percussion repertoire

So Percussion was founded in 1999 on a handful of pieces by master composers, believing that many had not yet been written. Since then, we have been dedicated to commissioning new works from the most exciting composers of our time, many of them American.  

enjoy samples of this music on the soundcloud widget below

Major Quartet Commissions

David Lang: man made

For So Percussion and orchestra.  

World Premiere May 10, 2013: The Barbican Centre, London, UK; the BBC Symphony 
U.S. Premiere 2014: The Los Angeles Philharmonic

man made was commissioned by the Barbican Centre and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  It is a 4 movement concerto for solo percussion quartet.  In the first three parts, the percussionists play homemade or found sounds against the forceful backdrop of the orchestra:  twigs, tuned wine bottles, metal pipes, trash bins.  In the final section, repeating harmonic cycles bring the entire group together.  

Steve Reich: Mallet Quartet

U.S. Premiere January 9, 2010: Stanford Lively Arts
Boosey and Hawkes, 15'

Mallet Quartet was written for Sō Percussion and three other groups in 2009. We have championed Reich's music for years, and are honored to have worked with him on a new piece.  

David Lang: the so-called laws of nature
Premiered October, 2002: Miller Theatre, NYC
Schirmer, 35'

Sō Percussion's first big commission has proven to be one of our most durable. The so-called laws is a huge statement:  woodlbocks, metal pipes, drums, and tuned flower pots.  

Steven Mackey: It Is Time
Commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Chamber Music America
Premiered March 25, 2010: Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall
Boosey and Hawkes, 36'

Mackey's stated purpose in writing It Is Time was to give the four members of So as strong an individual voice within a chamber work as possible.  He asked us each to describe what instrument(s) we love playing the most.  The four movement magnum opus moves from Eric's miscellaneous sound menagerie, to Josh Quillen's microtonal steel drums, to Adam's 5-Octave marimba, to Jason's Drumset.  

Dan Trueman: neither Anvil nor Pulley
Premiered March 10, 2010: University of Texas at Austin

Trueman's neither Anvil nor Pulley breathlessly combines his diverse interests as the idiosyncratic rhythms of Norweigan folk music strain against the relentless perfection of the computer.  The members of So integrate Dan's custom-programmed laptop programs into our percussion setups, and a concert bass drum amplifies speaker feedback to create Hendrix-like saturation.  

Paul Lansky: Threads
Premiered 2006: Princeton University
Schirmer, 30'

"the confident and poised work of a composer who's a master of his craft." - All Music

Threads is a percussion cantata.  Written for So in 2005, it has become one of our most popular commissions, played by many other groups around the world.  In January 2011 we released our recording on Cantaloupe Music.

Fred Frith: Small Time

Premiere forthcoming...


John Cage:
Third Construction, Credo in US, Child of Tree, Branches, Inlets, what about the sound of crumpling paper...

Steve Reich:
Drumming, Music for Pieces of Wood, Clapping Music, Four Organs, Nagoya Marimbas, Marimba Phase...

Iannis Xenakis:

Edgard Varese (with the International Contemporary Ensemble and Steven Schick):
Integrales, Hyperprism, Ecuatorial, Ionisation, Offrandes, Etude pour Espace, Deserts...

Other So Percussion Commissions:

Dennis DeSantis: Shifty
Premiered 2000
self published, 7'

Suzanne Farrin: a vida e tao rara (life is strange)
this mind made war (for percussion duo)

Self Published

Nicole Lizee: Dystopia Quartet Commissioned by MATA Premiered at the MATA Festival

Cenk Ergun: Proximity
Commissioned by Sō Percussion
Premiered at the MATA Festival, 2009

Carlos Carillo: Algunas metáforas que aluden al tormento, a la angustia ya la Guerra, Concerto For Percussion Quartet and Chamber Orchestra
Commissioned by the American Composer's Orchestra
Premiered January 2005 at Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall

Andrea Mazzariello: Octobot, Polybot
Octobot premiered at Princeton University
Polybot premiered at the Sō Percussion Summer Insitute 2010