Sō performs free concert at Princeton September 16th


Having just wowed audiences at the Lincoln Center Festival this summer, acclaimed ensemble SŌ Percussion will offer the first of two free performances in Princeton as part of their Edward T. Cone Residency at Princeton University. On Friday, September 16, 2016 at 7:30PM in Richardson Auditorium at Alexander Hall, the community has the incredible opportunity to engage in an unparalleled range of music—from John Cage’s Living Room Music transforming household items into instruments, to the world premiere of Emeritus Professor Paul Lansky’s Springs. Also on the program is Taxidermy, specially written for Princeton alum and Pulitzer-prize winning composer Caroline Shaw, as well as the ensemble’s first major commission: David Lang’s the so-called laws of nature. Tickets are required for this free concert. Reservations are available online at tickets.princeton.edu or at the door (Richardson Auditorium Box Office) the day of the concert.

The anticipation of a world premiere performance of a composer as esteemed and experienced in percussion writing as Paul Lansky already is much cause for excitement. Yet SŌ Percussion cannot help but add some humor into the mix of such an occasion. It seems fitting to a group always fusing whimsy with earnestness that “the ensemble’s first major commission, Mr. Lang’s the so-called laws of nature, balances humor and poise” (The New York Times), unearthing unexpected beauty from a row of “carefully tuned flower pots.” In juxtaposing the astounding wit, surprise and charm of finding music in everyday items with the masterful scores of some of the most celebrated composers in recent history, the evening will be particularly positioned to engage and welcome music lovers of all backgrounds.  Or, as SŌ Percussion’s Adam Sliwinski succinctly puts it, this program is simply “a lot of fun.”

SŌ Percussion’s second free concert as part of their residency will be a celebration of Steve Reich, including a pre-concert discussion with the composer, on March 14, 2017. Tickets for that event are not yet available.

Sō is incredibly grateful to Chamber Music America for their commissioning of Paul Lansky’s new piece.  This commission has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.


SŌ PERCUSSION, Princeton University Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence

WHEN:                  Friday, September 16, 2016 at 7:30PM

WHAT:                    PAUL LANSKY Springs (WORLD PREMIERE); CAROLINE 

SHAW Taxidermy; JOHN CAGE Living Room Music; DAVID LANG the so-called laws of nature

WHERE:                 Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton University

TICKETS:              Free admission.  Reservations are available online at tickets.princeton.edu or at the door (Richardson Auditorium Box Office) the day of the concert.

Announcing Sō Percussion’s Third Annual Benefit

Join us for Sō Percussion’s Third Annual Benefit,
honoring special guests Steve Reich and members of Nexus Percussion.

Tuesday, May 17th – 7pm

BRIC House Ballroom

Brooklyn, NY

Reserve tickets at https://sopercussion.com/benefit/
or RSVP to so@sopercussion.com

We’ll be playing music, auctioning off special Reich-related items, and celebrating the North American release of the Cambridge Companion to Percussion, edited by Russell Hartenberger.


Cantaloupe Music Releases Glenn Kotche’s “Drumkit Quartets” with Sō

Now Available on Cantaloupe Music:
Glenn Kotche’s Drumkit Quartets
with Sō Percussion 




“These quartets, which feature a battery of instruments outside the standard drum kit, tease out the different parameters that govern ensemble playing, like synchronicity, imitation, competition and symmetry. They also show off Mr. Kotche’s command of mood and texture…”

The New York Times: February 17, 2016 

We are delighted to announce the release of our 19th studio album, Glenn Kotche’sDrumkit Quartets! We recently had a blast performing these pieces together at Carnegie Hall. Below is a more complete description of the album, as well as a free preview of one of the tracks on Bandcamp. If you’d like to listen to more, Red Bull Music has an exclusive preview of the entire record.

The album is available on all of the outlets above, including the new merch store on ourwebsite. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!


From the multihued vision of his aptly titled Cantaloupe debut Adventureland to the drumming-without-a-net workout of John Luther Adams’ Ilimaq, Glenn Kotche is on a roll, so to speak, both as a performer and as a composer. While most music fans already know him as the powerhouse drummer behind the beloved rock band Wilco, he’s also an emerging creative force in the contemporary classical world, drawing the attention of Adams, Kronos Quartet, Missy Mazzoli, the Bang on a Can All-Stars and many more.

Sō Percussion certainly took note when the group — Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting — approached Kotche several years ago about collaborating. “At the time, I was feeling a strong desire to get back to writing for percussion,” Kotche reveals in the CD’s liner notes, “because I think the timbral, textural, melodic and rhythmic possibilities haven’t been explored nearly enough. I try to do that through my solo performances, but I jumped at the chance to try it with such an incredible and forward-thinking group as Sō Percussion.”

The result runs the expressive gamut of percussive instrumentation, from the marimba-based “Drumkit Quartet #51” (with haiku recited by Cibo Matto’s Yuka Honda) to the hand-cranked sirens that open “Drumkit Quartet #50,” which channels the futurist manifesto of Luigi Russolo’s “art of noise,” spiced with a little John Cage and Luc Ferrari. A rich sonic tapestry of rhythmic exploration, audio collage and third-mind improv, Drumkit Quartets actually goes well beyond the drumkit — which is to be expected, given the feverishly inventive artists behind the recording.


So Percussion to Play at Carnegie Hall

Sō Percussion returns to Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, performing a characteristically diverse program of collaborative works with composer/musicians native to the intersection of popular and art music: Glenn Kotche (of Wilco), Shara Worden (of My Brightest Diamond), Steven Mackey, and Yuka Honda (of Cibo Matto).

February 12, 2016, 9pm at Zankel Hall

Part of Late Nights at Zankel Hall.

Tickets & More Info

Drumkit Quartets (2011) by GLENN KOTCHE
   #50 (Leffinge, Chicago) 
   #54 (Vienna)
#51(Tokyo, Brisbane, Berlin) with YUKA HONDA, voice
   #3 Movement III (Minneapolis, Chicago)

Migrations (2015) by GLENN KOTCHE
with GLENN KOTCHE, percussion
World Premiere, Commissioned by Carnegie Hall

Drumkit Quartet #1 (Los Angeles, Russell, Auckland) (2011) by GLENN KOTCHE
with GLENN KOTCHE, percussion

Before It Is Time (2015) by STEVEN MACKEY
with SHARA WORDEN, soprano
New York Premiere, Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall

Timeline (2015) by SHARA WORDEN and SO PERCUSSION

with Shara Worden, soprano
New York Premiere, Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall

This program contains three Carnegie Hall commissions – including two New York premieres, and the Glenn Kotche Migrations in its world premiere – as part of Carnegie Hall’s 125 Commissions Project, celebrating Carnegie Hall’s 125th Anniversary with more than one hundred twenty-five commissions over five seasons.

This concert showcases Sō Percussion’s distinctive model of composer collaborations, a process beginning with a flexible, playful, world-class performance capability offered to the composer’s distinctive artistic vision and voice, enabling the creation of a work of compelling specificity. Sō Percussion gives every piece a thorough development, with workshop performances and multiple seasons of touring performances, ensuring an ample opportunity for the work to enter the repertoire.

Each work on this program are in the midst of this process: Glenn Kotche’s Drumkit Quartet’s have been part of Sō’s repertoire since 2011, and are being released as a recording from Cantaloupe Music on February 27, 2016; Timeline was written by Sō Percussion and Shara Worden together last season, and given performances in Austin, Dublin, and at Princeton University; Steven Mackey’s Before It Is Time is a expansion of an early sketch for his 2010 work for So Percussion, It Is Time (another Carnegie Hall commission); and Glenn Kotche’s Migrations is a world premiere, heard here in its first public performance.

Additionally, this concert offers a snapshot of a important aspect of 21st music (one that is notably expressed by So Percussion’s artistry and career): the thawing of formerly icy divisions between high art and pop culture, in a manner characteristic of the Information Age.


So Percussion plays the Bonnaroo Festival June 13th – Rolling Stone Magazine calls it a “don’t miss!”


Our first ever appearance at the Bonnaroo Festival is generating even more buzz than we imagined it would!

Rolling Stone, in their massive “Ultimate Guide” to Bonnaroo 2015, says:

“…don’t miss New York’s ambitious new music quartet So Percussion on Saturday morning. A very rare taste of Modern classical in a big American summer festival setting…”

The blog “No Country for New Nashville” calls it a “definite must see” alongside acts such as Flying Lotus and Tears for Fears.

Information about our midday set at Bonnarroo can be found HERE.

Brassland releases “Music for Wood and Strings” May 19th

So Percussion’s 18th Studio album arrives this May with “Music for Wood and Strings,” Bryce Dessner’s ambitious quartet for the newly invented “chordstick” instrument.  Check out a sample of the record on Soundcloud below, as well as a documentary about the making of this recording on BoingBoing.net!

On the righthand panel, you’ll find all the links to pre-order the album from Brassland or your favorite digital outlets.  Enjoy!