March 2, 2017
Interview by Joshua Zinn
Rob Dillon of the recent Grammy-winning percussion group talks about their upcoming Houston concert and the music of Steve Reich.
“Surreal” is how Rob Dillon described Third Coast Percussion‘s recent Grammy Award for “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance” for their album Third Coast Percussion | Steve Reich. And part of that Grammy success will be presented on stage when the ensemble performs in Houston presented by the Society for the Performing Arts this weekend! On the concert will be one of the pieces from the CD, Reich’s Mallet Quartet. In describing the piece, Dillon says that it has “that rhythmic drive that comes from a lot of Reich’s earlier works,” but it is different from the process-driven minimalism the composer was known for in his early career.
As percussionists, the group greatly benefits from twentieth and twenty-first century composers like Steve Reich: “As a percussion quartet, we’re a fairly young art form within the classical music world… Beethoven didn’t write percussion quartets, unfortunately! But there are a couple of composers particularly who featured percussion so prominently in their works that it’s helped us come into our own… and I think Steve Reich is one of those composers.”