(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – Brooklyn-based new music ensemble So Percussion brings its innovative interpretations of modern classics and collaborative new works to the Tent at PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century on Saturday, July 9, at 8pm. Champions of innovation and curiosity, So Percussion produces its own original music and frequently collaborates with other musicians and performers. They are well known for using original and exotic instruments in performance and on recordings.
So Percussion’s repertoire ranges from music of the 20th century by John Cage, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis, to commissioning and advocating works by contemporary composers such as David Lang, Steve Mackey, and Paul Lansky, to distinctively modern collaborations with artists who work outside the classical concert hall.
Using instruments including the glockenspiel, bowed marimba, aluminum pipes, and an amplified cactus, So Percussion has redefined the scope of the percussion-based ensemble. The New York Times has credited So Percussion with fueling an interest in experimental music: “Through a mix of consummate skill and quirky charm, this mercurial quartet has helped to ignite an explosive new enthusiasm for percussion music old and new.”
“Even though the styles and sounds of our music tend to be all over the map, there are a few unifying features,” said band member Adam Sliwinski. “One is that we love rhythm and pulse. A lot of the music we play features interlocking rhythms of varying complexity.”
The band formed initially when the members were graduate students at the Yale School of Music. “At the time, focusing on chamber music for percussion wasn’t usual in degree programs. Most instruction was geared towards orchestral playing,” explained Sliwinski. “Our teacher, Robert van Sice, brought students together who had a strong interest in this kind of music. After playing together as a school ensemble, we formed into a kind of arty garage band and started playing gigs. Our current group has been together almost nine years now. Much of what people hear as our sound is a result of that consistent relationship.”
This multi-genre performance will take place at The Tent at PS21, located at 2980 Route 66 in the town of Chatham.
Tickets are $28 general admission, $23 for PS21 members, and $14 for students. Tickets can be purchased at PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century, by calling 1-800-838-3006, or at the door until the show sells out. For other information about this or any other event at PS21, please call (518) 392-6121.
PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century is a not-for-profit organization in Chatham, N.Y., dedicated to the performing arts and to serving a diverse community with concerts, programs and residencies by professional artists and ensembles, youth and children’s programming and cultural education opportunities for all ages.