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“Virtuosity and deft, precisely timed wit”
-Washington Post

“Commandingly elegant”
-New York Times

-Alex Ross, The New Yorker

“An inspirational sense of fun and curiosity”
-Minnesota Star-Tribune

“The group performed with absolute aplomb”
-Boston Globe

-Chicago Tribune

“Mysterious, funny, endlessly inventive”
-Boston Classical Review

-Independent (UK)

“Technical precision, palpable groove and outstanding sound”
-Time Out New York 

-New York Times

“Savvy and hyper-talented young percussionists”
-Musical Toronto

“Fluency and zest”
-Andrew Clements, the Guardian (UK)

“Undeniably groovy…masterfully performed”
-Time Out Chicago

“One of the country’s finest new music ensembles”
-Chicago Reader

“The musicality and fierce focus of Third Coast Percussion electrified the room.”
-Sarasota Herald-Tribune 

Reviews and Features

Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche’s extravagant ‘Wild Sound’ a spectacle at the MCA

May 22, 2015

by Alan G. Artner

As each ticket was torn to give entry to Thursday night’s concert at the Museum of Contemporary Art, each bearer received what looked like miniature chopsticks joined at a serrated center.

These sticks would be called into play midway through Glenn Kotche’s “Wild Sound,” an extravagant, 43-minute long audio-video piece performed by the four virtuosi of Third Coast Percussion.

The immediately engaging piece developed from a collaboration not only between composer, performers and the video artist Xuan but also stage director Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, lighting designer Sarah Prince and audio engineer Dan Nichols. What resulted was a choreographed spectacle that twice enlisted brief audience participation to refresh and illustrate John Cage’s principle of all sound being ultimately music.

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Wilco Drummer Glenn Kotche Brings “Wild Sounds” to Classical Audiences

May 19, 2015

“Can this happen? Can we do it? Can the musicians actually construct instruments onstage and make music that I actually want to listen to? Can we transcend gimmick and theatricality and have actual musical merit? How is this going to happen?”

These are the questions that Glenn Kotche began to ask when devising his latest work, Wild Sounds, with Third Coast Percussion and the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. The work comes to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago for two performances on May 21 and 22, 2015.

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Review: Augusta Read Thomas’s Spiritual ‘Resounding Earth’

 March 6, 2015

by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim

Budding composers are well advised to write for standard instrumentation: The simpler and more common the forces required, the higher the chances of a piece getting performances beyond the premiere.

But Augusta Read Thomas, the subject of a Composer Portraits series at Columbia University’s Miller Theater on Thursday and the recipient of numerous prizes and orchestral commissions, is no longer a novice. In fact, according to statistics released last year by ASCAP, a performing rights organization, she topped their list of most frequently performed living composers in 2013-14.

She has permission, then, if any were needed, to think big. “Resounding Earth,” a 30-minute work for percussion quartet that received its New York premiere at Miller this week by the commandingly elegant Third Coast Percussion, calls for a battery of some 300 metal instruments, including tiny cymbal-like crotales, giant gongs, Burmese temple bells and metal coils. The work was developed in close collaboration with the Third Coast players and has been released on a beautiful CD by New Focus Recording.

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American Music Festival wraps up with a bang from percussion ensemble



March 23, 2015

by Stephen Brooks

The National Gallery of Art’s two-week American Music Festival — one of the most adventurous and exciting celebrations of contemporary music here in years — closed Sunday with a performance by the Third Coast Percussion ensemble that proved just how vital and fertile new American music really is. Playing on items as varied as Tibetan singing bowls and amplified Magic Markers, the ensemble transformed the museum’s West Garden Court into a vast, resonating sonic playground, presenting four recent works that ran from mischievous humor to bluesy sensuality — delivered with virtuosity and deft, precisely timed wit.

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Percussionists close Stave Sessions



March 23, 2015

by Matthew Guerrieri

Third Coast Percussion wasn’t originally scheduled to close out Celebrity Series of Boston’s Stave Sessions, but that they ended up doing so was fitting. The Sessions — six nights of concerts in Berklee’s glass-enclosed, club-like dining hall — marked a somewhat radical departure for Celebrity Series, venturing into the brave new(-ish) world of classical music in nontraditional venues with a sustained dose of contemporary music. Percussion music, for its part, is inherently radical, stripping music down to essentials: time, gesture, attack. The Chicago-based quartet — David Skidmore, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and Sean Connors, making their Boston debut — emphasized that quality with a concert of further distillations.

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Third Coast Percussion taps, teases and tickles in Stave Sessions finale




March 22, 2015

by David Wright

Stave Sessions, the week-long mini-festival of cutting-edge musical presentations by Celebrity Series of Boston, ended with a bang Saturday night.  And a whisper, and a murmur, and a caress.

Anyone who thought an evening of music entirely for percussion instruments would sound like a pots-and-pans rack falling off the wall was in for a surprise, as the Chicago-based quartet of players called Third Coast Percussion led listeners through their mysterious, funny, endlessly inventive and often exhilarating musical specialty.

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Scene It: Third Coast Percussion at Kilbourn Hall




March 25, 2015

By Ron Netsky

Five blocks of wood, four thick dowels, and a mallet. If that sounds like the ingredients for a woodworking project from your 8th-grade shop class, you were not at Kilbourn Hall Tuesday night with Third Coast Percussion.

The four members of the group — David Skidmore, Peter Martin, Robert Dillon, and Sean Conners — were joined by Eastman Professor Michael Burritt for the most minimal of several minimalist pieces sprinkled throughout the concert. Burritt had mentored all of the group’s members when he was teaching at Northwestern University and they were clearly delighted to be sharing the stage with him.

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Liquid Music series begins with Glenn Kotche and Third Coast Percussion in ‘Wild Sound’

October 6, 2014
by Britt Robson

The third season of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series began with a bang — and a clang, a pebbly shake, and the unmistakable noise caused by unstuck tape.

That just scratches the surface of the fascinating sonic and physical choreography involved in “Wild Sound,” a 43-minute composition that tickled the ears and teased the imagination of a sold-out crowd at the Music Room at SPCO Center in St. Paul Sunday night. It was the second-ever performance of the piece, following its world premiere at the University of Notre Dame on Friday, and will be reprised in the Music Room on Monday.

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Third Coast contributes to ‘youthquake’ in city’s new-music scence



February 25, 2014
by John von Rhein

Sitting in a packed house of excited, engaged young people at a concert by Third Coast Percussion last week in the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts, I was reminded how much the city’s lively – and getting livelier all the time – new-music scene owes to the active involvement of this age group.

Clearly there is something going on here: Audiences made up mostly of twentysomethings are eating up the music of living composers, whether the sounds are being served up in a formal concert space such as the Logan’s inviting Performance Hall, or at an intimate alternative venue such as Constellation in Chicago’s Roscoe Village. The enthusiasm of these rock-weaned young listeners clearly is being felt by the performers and is given back in their music-making.

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‘Wild Sound’ human, organic



October 5, 2014
by Andrew S. Hughes

SOUTH BEND — Glenn Kotche’s “Wild Sound” couldn’t exist without today’s technology.

With its superimposed live and pre-recorded videos; an audio track of such sounds as a barreling locomotive, rain falling and traffic in a city; microphones embedded throughout the stage and in instruments; and its Plexiglas synthesizers for its finale, technology’s an essential part of performing and experiencing “Wild Sound.”

And yet, as Third Coast Percussion showed in its world premiere performance Friday night at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, “Wild Sound” is a deeply human, organic work at heart that, over and over, turns everyday sounds into music — grains of rice, for example, or the rubber of a bicycle tire that produces a delicious, warm bass note or a drum made from a large cardboard tube with packing tape serving as the drumhead.

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