Press Materials

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“They play as if they’re a single, eight-armed organism”
-NPR Music

“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

After the Deluge, an Outpouring of Support From Afar

December 18, 2012
by Steve Smith

CHICAGO – Business was brisk on Sunday afternoon at the Empty Bottle, a homey bar and a celebrated alternative-music nightclub in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood here. As 1 p.m. approached, patrons lined the bar and milled around throughout the club space, cradling beers and coffees. Above the bar an ancient rivalry was unfolding: the Green Bay Packers were overpowering the Chicago Bears.

As it happened, the television screen offered the only sign of conflict in a club bustling with luminaries and followers of the growing Chicago contemporary-classical music scene.

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Review: Third Coast Percussion, John Cage “The Works for Percussion 2”

June 26, 2012
by Seth Colter Walls

Historically, it’s been Cage’s “construction” pieces — written for augmented percussion ensembles that use (variously) slabs of metal and prepared pianos — that have been worst served on LP and CD. Recording this music takes real engineering skill, so one of the great gifts of the Cage centenary year is this marvelously produced effort by Third Coast Percussion.

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‘Resounding Earth’ rings into CSUS festival

October 28, 2012
by Edward Ortiz

In the career of a composer there is always that one work that stands out – as either the most difficult undertaking or as the most iconoclastic.

For noted composer Augusta Read Thomas, that likely will be the 25-minute “Resounding Earth.” It’s easy to see why. Her work, which will be performed by the Third Coast Percussion ensemble, is scored solely for metal instruments – many of which Western audiences have never heard.

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The Tolling of Bells: Third Coast Percussion Premieres Resounding Earth at Notre Dame University

October 7, 2012
by Arlene and Larry Dunn

Third Coast Percussion gave the world premiere of Resounding Earth by Augusta Read Thomas, at DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts at Notre Dame University on Sunday, September 30, 2012. This major new addition to the percussion repertoire was passionately and precisely rendered by ensemble members Owen Clayton Condon, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore.

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Bells will be ringing

September 27, 2012
by Jack Walton

Composer Augusta Read Thomas is working on a concerto for superstar cellist Lynn Harrell.

That job is a breeze compared to her new work for Third Coast Percussion, titled “Resounding Earth.”

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Third Coast Percussion electrifies New Music New College

September 24, 2012
by Gayle Williams

One might be surprised to see a Sarasota audience give a standing ovation for a performance of music by John Cage and Steve Reich. However, since the birth of New Music New College under the leadership of Stephen Miles, this series of concerts and events has become a shining beacon for new and experimental music attracting an ever-growing audience.

Not that either Cage or Reich are new, really. In fact, for new music fans, they’re the Bach and Beethoven of their genre. The centenary of John Cage’s birth is being celebrated this year across the globe. In honor of this event, Third Coast Percussion featured three of Cage’s compositions from the years 1940-42.

This crew of four percussionists from Chicago — Owen Clayton Condon, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore — with a veritable candy store battery of percussion, sizzled with the rhythmic energy of innumerable provocative sounds.

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The John Cage Century


September 4, 2012
by Alex Ross

John Cage would have been a hundred years old tomorrow. Scratch that: Cage is a hundred. He remains a palpably vivid presence, still provoking thought, still spurring argument, still spreading sublime mischief. He may have surpassed Stravinsky as the most widely cited, the most famous and/or notorious, of twentieth-century composers.

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CD Release Concert

John Cage spent part of 1934 studying privately with pioneering serialist composer Arnold Schoenberg in Los Angeles, during which time his mentor suggested that Cage would never be able to write music because he lacked a feeling for harmony. Luckily Cage kept at it for the next six decades—and in the years immediately following that discouraging advice, he wrote works for percussion that rank among his greatest, a resounding rejection of harmony’s primary role in composition. His inspirations at the time included the opportunity to write for dance troupes and his job as an assistant to animator Oskar Fischinger, who Cage says told him, “Everything in the world has its own spirit which can be released by setting it into vibration.” Cage’s Quartet (1935) didn’t specify instruments; when he conceived it he had household objects in mind, and the objects he set into vibration included chairs, books, brake drums, and pots and pans. Imaginative Chicago group Third Coast Percussion has contributed to the Cage centennial celebration with a terrific new CD, The Works for Percussion 2 (Mode), which includes vibrant readings of most of Cage’s percussion work from between 1935 and ’41.

Read the original article here.