Published on October 5, 2022 by L. Kent Wolgamott | Share this post!
Third Coast Percussion had an impressive Lincoln debut at Kimball Hall on Wednesday, presenting a program of contemporary classical pieces played on a vast array of instruments, from marimbas and water-filled bowls to chimes, drums and shakers.
The first event in the Lied Center for Performing Arts’ Danny Elfman Week, the 75-minute concert was highlighted by a performance of Eflman’s Percussion Quartet.
Written for Third Coast, the piece took full advantage of the range of instruments, bringing in hand drums and cymbals on the warm, gentle second movement before delivering the rhythm of the third “dance” movement on the way to the exuberant conclusion.
The program was drawn from the Chicago-based quartet’s new album “Perspective” and concluded with five of the seven movements of it’s title cut, a piece written for the ensemble by electronic dance music composer JLin, who sent them computer created tracks to transform in their distinctive percussion music.
In doing so, Third Coast managed to replicate the electronic sounds by, in one movement, finding the anchoring heartbeat of much electronic music and creating a woozy sound on the bowls that carried a groove, and hammering on on the side of a wooden bass drum and scraping metal rods on another.
“Perspective,” and most of the other pieces, required the quartet to move around the stage, going from instrument to instrument with two sometimes playing the same marimba or moving to play the chimes or a drum set at the back of the stage.
That display of each of the member’s prowess on a variety of instruments was enhanced by video projection from cameras behind the group, allowing the audience of about 600 a view of the players at work that couldn’t be seen from its seats.
The concert also included Third Coast’s arrangement of Philip Glass’s “Metamorphosis No. 1,” the only piece I was familiar with on the program. The arrangement beautifully transformed Glass’ piano piece into a flowing, layered conversation between the marimbas and other instruments while retaining the classic Glass repetition of figures and theme.
This Glass aficionado was very impressed by “Metamorphosis” and by the concert as a whole, which made me want to hear another program from the talented Third Coast Percussion very soon.