How big can the difference between dialects be before they become new languages and at what point can we no longer communicate with each other? These are the two questions that Derek Plunkie’s Dialekt begs to ask. Although their music has no words, the musicians speak together through pitch, rhythm and timbre, comparing their distinct voices against one another. The Diverse group of musicians from Canada, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Australia all speak their own musical dialects, shaped by different cultural experiences and different music scenes leading to musical debates and conversations. In a time when so much debate happens online, in an impersonal form, the ensemble strives to remind us that real conversations always have rhythm, pitch, and timbre, and that we need to respect the variety of different voices at the table in every conversation. Studying together at Kunst Universität Graz the ensemble’s collective language is based in the jazz tradition, giving ample room for these improvised conversations, while allowing each ensemble member to speak from their personal dialects.
From the prairie city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, band leader Derek Plunkie’s music takes on a cinematic quality with heavy influence from composers such as Maria Schneider and Aaron Parks and guitarists such as Bill Frisell and Gilad Hekselman. Studying originally in Edmonton at Macewan University he moved to Graz in September 2019 to Study with Ed Partyka for his Masters of Jazz Composition and Arrangement.