Published on September 11, 2020 by BWW News Desk | Share this post!
“Since [the pandemic began], we’ve reached 40,000 screens on five continents and dozens of countries, invited live (virtual) guests such as Danny Elfman and Devonté Hynes, and partnered with institutions ranging from Stanford University to Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot. It feels so good to continue creating positivity and community in this very unsettling time.”
Building on the success of their recent livestream performances and virtual fundraiser, Third Coast Percussion (TCP) extends a consistent schedule of online appearances through the fall of 2020. The group has been proactively engaging venue partners and artistic collaborators since March to “keep the music alive” despite the ongoing pandemic. The result of these efforts is a thrilling lineup of events that highlights TCP members’ versatility as musicians, speakers, curators, and arts administrators.
“Third Coast Percussion was very fortunate to be in a position to begin doing multi-camera, multi-track audio livestreams just nine days after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic,” shared TCP Ensemble Member and Executive Director David Skidmore. “Since then we’ve reached 40,000 screens on five continents and dozens of countries, invited live (virtual) guests such as Danny Elfman and Devonté Hynes, and partnered with institutions ranging from Stanford University to Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot. It feels so good to continue creating positivity and community in this very unsettling time.“
TCP’s longstanding commitment to commissioning new works is evidently reflected in their programming for the upcoming fall. From exploratory compositions to new arrangements, the Grammy Award-winning group continues to shed light on contemporary American composers. Simultaneously, TCP members strive to amplify the canon of chamber music repertoire available for percussion ensembles. These two pillars of TCP’s mission are most clearly underlined in the following projects:
Jlin’s seven-movement work, “Perspective,” was written for the group through a highly collaborative process. Jlin visited TCP at their studio in Chicago multiple times to discuss their musical inspirations and to sample percussive instruments from their vast collection. She created the first version of each of the work’s movements using these samples and other sounds from her own library. The TCP members then set about determining how to realize these pieces in live performance. Their version of this piece incorporates-in addition to standard instruments like marimba and vibraphone-mixing bowls filled with water, bird calls, a variety of gongs and tambourines, Mbira, and a metal spring coil, as well as many variations of drum set-like sounds, electronic delay, and electronic playback of some of Jlin’s original stems.
“Perspective” was commissioned for Third Coast Percussion by the Boulanger Initiative, Carnegie Hall, the Lester & Hope Abelson Fund for the Performing Arts at the Chicago Community Foundation, the DEW Foundation, and Third Coast Percussion’s New Works Fund.
Tyondai Adaien Braxton’s work for Third Coast Percussion, “Sunny X,” is an electro-acoustic piece featuring electronic sounds created with a modular synthesizer. Braxton worked closely with TCP in their studio in Chicago to develop the sounds and playing techniques for the work.
“Sunny X” was commissioned for Third Coast Percussion by the Sewanee Music Festival, George Mason University, and Carnegie Hall with additional support from Third Coast Percussion’s New Works Fund.
Co-founded by Lil Buck and Jon Boogz, Movement Art Is celebrates street dance styles like poppin and jookin. The evening-length project, “Metamorphosis,” offers a dynamic artistic collaboration through the blending of street dance and percussion ensemble performance. Choreography will be featured alongside new music composed by Jlin and Tyondai Adaien Braxton, as well as TCP’s acclaimed arrangements of Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia.
“Metamorphosis” is produced in collaboration with Sozo Artists.
The above-mentioned collaborations are highlights of Third Coast Percussion’s fall 2020 programming. Additional projects and further details can be found on the TCP website.