July 16, 2016 – 8:00 pm

Steve Reich’s “Drumming” on the Lincoln Center Festival


The acclaimed quartet Sō Percussion brings their “impressive vitality” (Washington Post) to Reich’s 1971 breakthrough work, Drumming. Considered one of the first minimalist masterpieces, Drumming marks a major shift in Reich’s early work, when he applied processes he’d been developing with looped tapes to live performance. With kaleidoscopic textures that bloom from a single repeated rhythm, this major, four-part percussion work continues to intrigue and impress audiences 45 years after its premiere.

Performed on bongos, marimbas, glockenspiels, a piccolo, and with female voices, Drumming’s crisscrossing patterns induce gradual shifts in timbre, mood, and spatial perception. The result is a work that, like many of Reich’s later pieces—including the iconic Music for 18 Musicians—is at once meticulous in its parts and wholly immersive. Sō Percussion, who released a critically acclaimed recording of Drumming in 2004, is a thrilling champion of Reich’s works and an expert guide to this essential musical experience.