Quotes & Reviews

Press Quotes

“The evening was an exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam…”

– The New Yorker

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.

–The New York Times (2012)

“Marimbas and steel drums resonate like heavy raindrops, while other percussive rustles bring to mind the dry overlap of wind and cicadas whispering in the trees…Sō Percussion are most often serene, but some of their lightest touches are most dramatic.” – Pitchfork

“If percussionists are, as proclaimed elsewhere, the new princes of the realm of virtuosity, then these four wear the crown with panache.” The Financial Times

“a marvelous program…crisply sensitive performances…This is a group that clearly inspires composers to push the limits of what’s possible. San Francisco Chronicle

“The range of colors and voices that So Percussion coaxes from its menagerie is astonishing and entrancing.”  -Billboard Magazine

“This group plays with an irresistible vitality.” -The Washington Post

“This ensemble has set the New York standard for percussion innovation.” – The New Yorker

“The reason for their success is simple: staggering ensemble virtuosity, which allows them to exhale the most complex scores like a single, multi-malleted organism.” – emusic.com 

Reviews

Recent Recordings with Caroline Shaw: Narrow Sea and Let the Soil Play its Simple Part

“Simply breathtaking [and] works on every conceivable level…So Percussion has an immense arsenal at its disposal… Narrow Sea packs endlessly creative and deeply textured moments into the song cycle […] almost like the invention of a brand-new style…Disarming and intoxicating. So Percussion, Upshaw and Kalish [are] at the absolute height of their powers.” – PopMatters

“This latest venture with Sō Percussion is every bit as vivid and colourful as the acclaimed Narrow Sea released earlier this year… it is also an experiment in deep collaboration…The result is a glorious, genre-defying disc by turns poignant, celebratory, complex and direct…Beautifully performed and expertly produced, this is music-making at its most vital, expressive and imaginative.” – BBC Music Magazine

A Record Of… with Buke and Gase

“A most magical pairing… A Record Of… is a superb collaboration, reconciling jarring contrasts without compromising either party’s own character. It is the dynamic meeting point of pop and experimental, punk and classical minimalism, noisy and hushed, abrasive and smooth, delivered with stark clarity and precision.” The Quietus

Julius Eastman’s Stay On It

“Last month, Sō Percussion released a moving version of “Stay on It” (1973) with a team of collaborators, in which bright, shiny order — a riff as pearly-precise as the vibraphone one that gives “Femenine” its spine — melts into woozy mayhem before returning in gentler form. Vocalists’ cute chirps of the title become screams and moans of it; a passing evocation of a police siren suggests ongoing struggles.” – The New York Times

The New York Times

“‘Let the soil play its simple part’ is planned for release this year. Grammy nominators, take note.” February 7, 2020

“But this performance featured the premiere of David Lang’s new arrangement of “man made,” his single-movement concerto for percussion and orchestra, written in 2013 for the four brilliant players of So Percussion.” August 24, 2017

“Much of the music is made up of breathtakingly complex and fragile interlocking rhythms that are shared between the players, who, in the course of 15 years of professional ensemble playing, seem to have developed telepathic powers of communication.” July 31, 2016

“…it is the arrangement and imaginative juxtaposition of familiar instrumental timbres with splashing, crinkling and other exotic noises that makes these pieces so irresistible and entrancing.” October 31, 2010

“Time and again…you found yourself smiling in a quiet amazement that could verge on disbelief.” March 27, 2010

“If you think about it, drums are the new violins.” (featured in article) December 28, 2009

Feature article: July 20, 2007