news

Our Future  

 

As our annual fundraising appeal draws to a close, we'd like to tell you a bit about the "So Future Fund," our ambitious multi-year initiative to grow So Percussion's activities and reach.

We are also getting close to the $25,000 goal for our annual appeal: 70%! As you can see, even (tax-deductible) donations of $50 or $100 go a long way in helping us meet that goal.

Since we always like to give something whenever we ask for something, please enjoy Josh Quillen's version of "What a Wonderful World" for solo Steel Drums:

 

What is the future?

Well, as we think of it, there is no one future, no monolithic path for everybody to follow. Instead, as John Cage wrote: "we are all going in different directions." There are many paths, and our mission is to both follow our own guiding light and also to inspire others to follow theirs.  

The next two years for us are packed with new ideas, and the So Future Fund is part of how we're following through on them.  

Here are some of the projects that this fund will help to support:
 

    • A Gun Show  - It seems that almost every hot-button issue in our society - race, economic inequality, constitutional rights - intersects with how we view these small machines. They are a simple practical tool to some, but a public health menace to others. What is it about the American psyche that fastens so tightly to guns? A Gun Show is an exploration of these issues through music, text, and movement. We are joined again by our collaborators Ain Gordon and Emily Johnson.
    • The So Percussion Summer Insititute (SoSI)  - Each summer at Princeton University this independently funded festival brings together percussionists, composers, and other artists for a two week "esoteric music boot camp," as our students have taken to calling it. The theme of SoSI 2015 is Percussion, Staging, and Movement.
    • Brooklyn Bound is our first foray into concert presenting. In the inaugural year, we are featuring six emerging percussion ensembles who call New York City home.
    • New Recordings - Just in the next two years, we're recording and releasing Bryce Dessner's Music for Wood and Strings, Glenn Kotche's Drumkit Quartets, and a new collaborative album of music with Buke and Gase.
    • Touring Repertoire - "Wait, but don't you get paid to play concerts?" Yes, and that makes up a big chunk of this activity. But a percussion group is a sprawling, logistically complicated endeavor. We have a small dedicated staff in Brooklyn, who coordinate shipments of twigs and wine bottles all over the world for David Lang's concerto man made, organize and administrate our studio in Brooklyn, and run our non-profit organization.

If any of these activities and ideas inspire you, give online now or send an email. We would love to have your voice, your ideas, and your investment.

The future is now.

-So Percussion (Eric, Josh, Adam, Jason)
so@sopercussion.com 


Support So Percussion in 2014

“Every time I'm at SoSI, I learn more about my genuine musical self, my aesthetic taste, my aspirations…it pumps me up about the professional world of art music.”

– Dylan Greene, SoSI ’12-14

When a young student like Dylan arrives on the campus of Princeton University for the first time to attend the So Percussion Summer Institute (SoSI), he quickly realizes that it is not a percussion festival at all. He is hurled into a maelstrom of artistic and intellectual activity: discussions of aesthetics and art; talks about the cutting-edge fusion of folk music and technology in contemporary music; and working closely with composers his own age on new works written especially for him.

The past six years at SoSI have been a laboratory for So Percussion. We've explored the vast realm of ideas and works that illuminate the world of contemporary music. As SoSI is not really a percussion festival, So Percussion is no longer just a percussion group. Our activities extend far beyond chamber music, encompassing a larger vision of artistic endeavor and an ever-broadening community.

We need your help to broaden it further.

Just this year, we

• Started a new series in Brooklyn to highlight talented young music groups.
• Brought 36 percussionists and 8 composers to the sixth SoSI, featuring more than 20 world premieres.
• Leapt into the orchestral world with the US premiere of David Lang's "man made" with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel.
• Started a new appointment as the official performers-in-residence at Princeton University.
• Curated a new performance project called "Branches" at Bard College.

Many of So Percussion’s projects – like SoSI- are independent ventures, funded by our generous supporters, and we can’t continue to do it without you. By supporting So Percussion with a 100% tax-deductible contribution you will be helping this optimistic, visionary community to grow.

Join us.  We'd love to hear from you.  



Adam Sliwinski
adam@sopercussion.com 


Fall Schedule Now Up!

Click on the "schedule" tab above.  Highlights include the North American premiere of David Lang's "man made" with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, Bryce Dessner's "Music for Wood and Strings," as well as the opening concert of our Princeton residency.  


Sō Percussion is delighted to announce the events of the sixth annual Sō Percussion Summer Institute (SoSI) at Princeton University, July 20 – August 3, 2014.

The So Percussion Summer Institute (SoSI) is an intensive two-week chamber music seminar for college-age percussionists and composers, led and curated by the four members of Sō Percussion.

Each year SoSI has a specific theme; in 2014, SoSI will focus on the intersection between percussion and electronics, a relationship that goes back to many of the masters of the art form such as Cage, Varese, and Reich.

36 percussionists and eight composers will be treated to a full slate of performances, guest lectures, and mentorship under the theme of "percussion and electronics." Nine concerts will be held over the two weeks and will take place all over the Princeton community -- and in New York July 23 -- with 18 world premieres and 14 performances of works by Princeton-affiliated composers.

Special guests will appear throughout the festival, including the electronic duo Matmos, and the excellent percussion and piano duo of Stuart Gerber and Stephen Drury, who will perform Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Kontake."


SCHEDULE

Sunday, July 20 at 8pm
Matthews Acting Studio, Lewis Center for the Arts, 185 Nassau Street
So Percussion and the American Composers Forum teamed up this year 
for a competition to find the brightest young talent.  The finalists'
 newly commissioned pieces will be premiered and a grand-prize winner selected.
Free admission.
 
Wednesday, July 23 at 6:30pm
SoSI in NYC at Silent Barn
with guests Matmos, Kid Millions, and Brian Chase
Advance tickets HERE
 
Thursday, July 24 at 4pm
Princeton Record Exchange,
20 South Tulane Street, Princeton, NJ
SoSI participants perform at Princeton Record Exchange
Free admission.
 
Saturday, July 26 at 8pm
Matthews Acting Studio,
Lewis Center for the Arts,
185 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ
Princeton Composers Concert:  Our annual concert of commissioned world premieres
from Princeton graduate students.
Free admission.
 
Monday, July 28 at 7:30pm
McAlpin Hall,
Woolworth Center, Princeton University
Stuart Gerber, percussion and Stephen Drury, piano


Music for Percussion, Piano, and Electronics

Works by Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Luther Adams
Free admission.
 
Tuesday, July 29 at 7:30pm

Albert Hinds Plaza,
outside the Princeton Public Library,

Witherspoon and Spring Streets
SoSI partipants perform outdoors at the Albert Hinds Plaza in Princeton
Free admission.
 
Thursday, July 31st at 8pm
Small World Coffee,
14 Witherspoon Street
SoSI participants perform at Small World Coffee
Free admission.
 
Friday, August 1st at 8pm

Matthews Acting Studio,
Lewis Center for the Arts,
185 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ
SoSI Participant Composers Concert

Matthews Studio


Our 8 composition fellows premiere new works with So Percussion.
Free admission.
 
Saturday, August 2nd at 3pm and 8pm

Matthews Acting Studio,
Lewis Center for the Arts,
185 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ
Summer Institute Closing Marathon

featuring music by Michael Gordon, John Cage, Dmitri Tymoczko, 
Ju Ri Seo, Dan Trueman, and more!
Free admission.

Man Forever and So Percussion: Ryonen

Now available via Thrill Jockey Records

NEW!  Tour dates

July 6th - New London, CT - Hygenic Art Park - tickets
July 7th - Boston, MA - Middle East Upstairs - tickets
July 8th - Montreal, QC - Casa del Popolo - tickets
July 9th - Harrisburg, PA - Second City Sanctuary - tickets 
July 10th - Chicago, IL - Constellation - tickets
July 11th - Kalamazoo, MI - Louie's Trophy House - tickets
July 12th - Detroit, MI - Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit - tickets
July 13th - Toronto, CA - The Jam Factory - tickets

"A union so natural...it could have been caused by gravity."

-Pitchfork Music

Man Forever is an exploratory percussion project helmed by John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions), one of New York’s most versitile and critically lauded collaborators and a founding member of Oneida. Since its inception in 2010, Man Forever has hosted an impressive list of guest performers, but few have been as specially qualified to perform Colpitts’ technically challenging meditative workouts as So Percussion, the United States’ premiere contemporary percussion ensemble.  Following a collaborative performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in June of 2013, So and Colpitts entered the studio together to record Ryonen, two pieces that combine the former’s precision and ingenuity with the latter’s restless punk spirit. While previous Man Forever records were inspired by blissful, overwhelming confusion, Ryonen derives its power from its clarity and immediacy. 


So Percussion Summer Institute 2014:
Percussion and Electronics
July 20 -August 3, 2014 


...for percussionists and composers 
Applications due February 1st! 

special guests Dan Deacon, Matmos 
More information 

 

For the sixth annual installment of SoSI, we decided to focus on one of the great marriages of 20th and 21st century music: percussion and electronics.  These two media were not only both exciting new realms of experimentation, they were also co-conspirators in the new music revolution.  Composers from Varese to Cage to Xenakis worked with equal vigor in both, seeing their expanded sound possibilities as a wave for the plugged-in future.

We are so pleased that SoSI happens every year on the campus of Princeton University, a prime hotbed of development in electronic and digital music.  Paul Lansky, one of the great figures of computer music, joins us to talk about his decades of innovation, as well as his landmark percussion music.  Dan Trueman, founder of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, shows us where interactive digital technology is taking today's talented performers, supervising participants in a performance of his epic percussion work "neither Anvil nor Pulley."

Our friends Dan Deacon and Drew and Martin of Matmos will work closely with participants on new projects.  Other guests speakers will include composers Steve Mackey and Daniel Wohl, and career coach Astrid Baumgardner from the Yale School of Music.

Of course, each year SoSI includes intensive chamber music, world premieres, and the second year of our composition program, supervised by faculty Andrea Mazzariello. Repertoire for the big last concert isn't finalized yet, but we're looking at Varese's "Ionisation," Michael Gordon's "Timber," Stockhausen's "Mikrophonie," Xenakis' "Persephassa," Cage's "Imaginary Landscapes," and many other heavy percussion pieces.

This year our opening concert will feature world premieres performed by So Percussion of 3 new works by the finalists of the American Composer's Forum competition. Thanks to our terrific organizational supporters, we will also be awarding more scholarship money than ever before, ranging from $250-$1000.

Join us!

- Adam, Eric, Jason, Josh

I believe that the use of noise...to make music...will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the aid of electrical
instruments.  - 
John Cage, 1937


Join our family of So-supporters & 
help us reach our year-end goal 

Dear friends,

This fall, when we had to vacate our Brooklyn studio of 8 years to make room for a new luxury hotel, we all took a moment to reflect (ah, the life of an artist in NYC…).

After some soul searching and hours spent pounding the pavement, we’re happy to announce that last month we signed a long-term lease on a new rehearsal studio and office right here in Brooklyn, our home!

This is a year of ambitious programming and with a new space in the mix we need you, our family of So-supporters, more than ever.

Help us create this new music with a whole new generation of performers, composers, and collaborators. Be a rabble-rouser right along with us by supporting our next year of projects.

Our goal is to raise $25,000 by 12/31/13. If we can raise that much, here’s what we’ll do.

  • Compose and develop the next big show for BAM – our third piece in five years following Imaginary City & Where (we) Live).
  • Write new music with Buke & Gase, Shara Worden, Matmos.
  • Collaborate with composers Vijay Iyer, Steve Mackey, & Bryce Dessner.
  • Build the next wave of young composers and percussionists at our 6th annual So Percussion Summer Institute.

THANK YOU for your help and support!

Warmly,

Jason, Eric, Adam, & Josh

PS: 100% of your gift is tax deductible. Visit www.sopercussion.com/donate to give your gift online and keep up to date on our work.



SO PERCUSSIOPREMIERES DESSNER'S
MUSIC FOR WOOD AND STRINGS

AT ZANKEL HALL, NOV. 23

 WITH LANG’S EPIC SO-CALLED LAWS OF NATURE
AN AUDIO/VIDEO REMIX BY MATMOS

“American Patterns” on flowerpots, teacups + hybrid hammer dulcimers

So Percussion returns for a third visit to Zankel Hall on Saturday, November 23 at 9 pm, playing the world premiere of a 30-minute work by Bryce Dessner (The National), and a formidable peak of the percussion literature, David Lang’sthe so called laws of nature. In addition, So Percussion is joined by the electronic duo known as Matmos for a pair of collaborations: Carnegie Double Music, composed and performed jointly by the two ensembles, and so-called remix, an audio/video remix of the Lang piece. Whether performing on teacups, flowerpots, or newly invented instruments, So Percussion’s stunning virtuosity and restless spirit of adventure will be fully on display.

Taken as a whole, the program – titled "American Patterns" – bookends the group’s evolution to date: the so called laws of nature (2002) was the first work commissioned by So Percussion, while Dessner’s Music for Wood and Strings, comissioned by Carnegie Hall, finds So expanding its sonic palate with a piece played almost entirely on amplified strings.  

Tickets are $43 - $50, available through www.carnegiehall.org. A pre-concert talk at 8:00 pm in Zankel Hall brings David Lang and members of So Percussion together for a conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Carnegie Hall’s Director of Artistic Planning.

 


Unpacking David Lang's "the so-called laws of nature." 



Now up on Adam's Blog, an article dissecting David Lang's modern masterpiece the so-called laws of nature, written for So Percussion in 2002.  

This piece is the featured work on So's upcoming concert at   Carnegie Hall. The evening also features the world premiere of Bryce Dessner's Music for Wood and Strings, as well as a new set of music with Matmos. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall
New York, NY


In-depth interview with Dan Trueman on WHYY

On Thursday, June 13, Dan was featured for a full hour on WHYY Philadelphia, talking about neither Anvil nor Pulley, as well as his other work.  


May 28th - So Percussion releases Dan Trueman's neither Anvil nor Pulley on Cantaloupe Music

JUNE 8 RELEASE SHOW WITH MAN FOREVER - WORDLESS MUSIC / METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

Limited-edition “no-CD” release in three versions: Dropcard with Repurposed LP / Tether controller / Speaker drivers

“The dazzling results mixed George Crumb’s knack for unearthly timbres, Alvin Lucier’s infinitesimally fine gradations of tone, and the fierce creative audacity of Jimi Hendrix.”

– The New York Times on neither Anvil nor Pulley

So Percussion (Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, Jason Treuting ) releases its fourteenth major album, neither Anvil nor Pulley for laptop/percussion quartet (with turntable), by composer/programmer/fiddler Dan Trueman, on Cantaloupe Records Tuesday, May 28. The group fetes this “no-CD” release with a performance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the Wordless Music Series on Saturday, June 8 (6:30 PM doors / 7:00 PM show). For the concert, So Percussion shares the stage and collaborates with the force-of-nature drummer/composer John Colpitts as Man Forever (a.k.a. Kid Millions of Oneida). Tickets are $25 and include Museum admission on the day of the event.