Percussion Group Opens Distinguished Artist Series

Sept. 12, 2005

A remarkable quartet of percussionists, known as So Percussion, will launch the 2005-2006 Distinguished Artist Series at Baylor University. They will present a concert--joined by a contingent of nine Baylor musicians--at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, in Jones Concert Hall, which is located in the Glennis McCrary Music Building.

Formed in New Haven, Conn., in 1999, So Percussion consists of Douglas Perkins, Adam Sliwinski, Jason Treuting and Lawson White. They have two CD releases to their credit and have performed in such major venues as Carnegie Hall, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Roundtop Festival, and Merkin Hall. In addition to their busy concert schedule, So Percussion have been responsible for the commissioning of many new compositions.

The Waco program will include two large works by American composer Steve Reich. His Music for Pieces of Wood, scored for five players, dates from 1973. For its performance, the quartet will be joined by one of the group's founders, Todd Meehan, who now serves on the Baylor music faculty.

Next, the group will present Reich's ground-breaking minimalist work from 1972, Drumming, during which one rhythm permeates the entire piece. At the beginning, two players dramatically build that rhythm up one note at a time. Then one player starts moving slightly faster than the other. The result sounds at first like a musical train wreck, but gradually a new rhythm emerges, which is really the same rhythm set in different places. Other musicians then begin picking out patterns from this grid. These patterns move through three different instrument families (drums, marimbas, glockenspiels) and gradually up four octaves over the course of an hour.

Tickets for this Distinguished Artist Series concert are priced at $15, with students, senior citizens, and Baylor faculty and staff admitted for $10. For ticket information, call the Baylor University School of Music at (254) 710-1161.

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