Música Poética | January 19, 2024 – Program Notes

Published January 17, 2024 by Rebecca McDaniel      |      Share this post!


7:00pm: Opening act by SRBCC’s La Cantera

7:30pm: Música Poética by Carlos Carrillo

(Chicago premiere)

“Four Walls”
“Como si fuera la primavera”
“Dueling with Time”

Third Coast Percussion (Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, David Skidmore)


Juan Horie, Cello; Zachary Good and Katherine Jimoh, Clarinets

Presented by Third Coast Percussion and the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center.

The longest-standing Latino cultural center in Chicago, SRBCC was established in 1971 and named in honor of Segundo Ruiz Belvis, a Puerto Rican patriot and member of a secret abolitionist society that freed slave children under Spanish rule. In that spirit, SRBCC realizes its mission to preserve and promote appreciation of the culture and arts of Puerto Rico and Latin America, with a focus on its African heritage. Click here to learn more about SRBCC.

The commission for “Four Walls” has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Campus Research Board at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Third Coast Percussion’s 2023/2024 Chicago Season is generously supported by members of TCP’s Chicago Circle (click here to learn more and join), the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, and the Robert & Isabelle Bass Foundation. Third Coast Percussion acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and a CityArts grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.


Photo by Judy Natal

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Composer Carlos R. Carrillo Cotto holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM), Yale University (MM) and the University of Pennsylvania (PhD). His teachers have included Tania León, Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, Joseph Schwantner, Christopher Rouse, Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick, Roberto Sierra, George Crumb, James Primosch, Jay Reise and Steve Mackey. Dr. Carrillo is the recipient of numerous awards including the Bearns Prize, the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI and ASCAP awards. He has been commissioned by Music and the Anthology for the Da Capo Chamber Players, the New York Youth Symphony, Concert Artists Guild and the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association. In 2004 he received a commission from the American Composers Orchestra, the second such work commissioned for ACO by the BMI Foundation, Inc./ Carlos Surinach Fund. 

Dr. Carrillo’s music has been performed at the American Composers Orchestra’s Sonido de las Americas Festival, and the Casals Festival, and played by the Young Musician Foundation’s Debut Orchestra, Sequitur, Network for New Music, Prism Quartet, Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony, and members of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Performances abroad include Lontano Ensemble in London, Trio Morelia in Mexico and Esclats in Spain.

In 2002, his symphonic work Cantares was featured at the inaugural “Synergy: Composer and Conductor” program presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and American Symphony Orchestra League. In 1998 he received one of the first Aaron Copland Awards from the Copland Heritage Association and he was the 2001-2003 Van Lier Emerging Composer Fellow with the ACO. In the spring of 2005 Dr. Carrillo was invited to the inaugural John Duffy Composers Institute as part of the 9th Annual Virginia Arts Festival. In 2007 he received a fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. From 2007 to 2009 Dr. Carrillo was musical director of the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony. Recent performances include The Gathering Grounds, commissioned by the Casals Festival and a performance of selections from the opera in progress La Pasión segun Antígona Perez at the Pregones Threatre in the Bronx. He has taught composition at DePauw University, Reed College, and the Conservatory of Music in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In the Spring of 2013 Dr. Carrillo was appointed Assistant Professor of Composition-Theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Four Walls, Como si fuera la primavera, and Dueling with time, bartering for minutes of existence are part of an evolving cycle of works by Carlos Carrillo, featuring percussion percussion instruments in different combinations and contexts, each of which is inspired by a poem.

Four Walls for percussion quartet

Paul Rochberg wrote his poem “My room has four walls” at age 16. Four years later, he was dead. From the first time I read this poem many years ago, it spoke to me, though I could not quite figure out why. It was not until after I completed this piece that I began to comprehend it. Like that song by the Cuban songwriter Silvio Rodriguez that says, “The most terrible things, we learn immediately. But the beautiful ones, take a lifetime.” By engaging with this poem through my composition process, I understood its depiction of both the profound and mundane. The contemplation of life by a teenager that, while quite mature, still shows his age. And this short poem, in inspiring this piece, remains a memorial and celebration of the beautiful things in life. 

Four Walls was commissioned by Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and written for Third Coast Percussion. In memoriam Jim Primosch.

Paul Rochberg escribió su poema “My room has four walls” (Mi habitación tiene cuatro paredes) a los 16 años. Cuatro años después, muere. Desde la primera vez que leí este poema hace muchos años, me llamó la atención, aunque no podía entender por qué. No fue hasta que terminé esta pieza que comencé a comprenderla. Como aquella canción del compositor cubano Silvio Rodríguez que dice: “Lo más terrible se aprende enseguida y lo hermoso nos cuesta la vida”. Al trabajar con este poema a través de mi proceso de composición, entendí su descripción tanto de lo profundo como de lo mundano. La contemplación de la vida por parte de un adolescente que, si bien es bastante maduro, todavía deja ver su edad. Y este breve poema, al inspirar esta pieza, sigue siendo un memorial y una celebración de las cosas bellas de la vida. Four Walls fue un encargo del Classical Commissioning Program de Chamber Music America, con una generosa financiación proporcionada por la Fundación Andrew W. Mellon, y escrito para Third Coast Percussion. En memoria de James Primosch.

My room has four walls

My room has four walls,
like a babycarriage
like a coffin
My room has four walls,
and a closet with
sliding doors that
open and close
like an elevator
Last night a man stepped out
of the closet and
got in and shut the door
I hope he finds it,
because I can still
hear the elevator.

Paul Rochberg (1944-1964)

Used with kind permission of the Rochberg Family

Duration: 14 minutes

Como si fuera la primavera for clarinet, bass clarinet, cello, and percussion

The title of Como si fuera la primavera (“As if it were spring”) is taken from the Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén’s poem “Canción.” The verse speaks of expectations that perhaps are not fulfilled. The piece was commissioned by Concert Artists Guild for clarinetist Anna Maria Baeza and is dedicated to George Crumb.

El título de “Como si fuera la primavera” está tomado del poema “Canción” del poeta cubano Nicolás Guillén. El poema habla de expectativas que quizás no se cumplen. La pieza fue encargada por Concert Artists Guild para la clarinetista Anna María Baeza y está dedicada a George Crumb.


¡De que callada manera
se me adentra usted sonriendo,
como si fuera la primavera!
(Yo, muriendo.)
Y de que modo sutil
me derramó en la camisa
todas las flores de abril
¿Quién le dijo que yo era
risa siempre, nunca llanto,
como si fuera
la primavera?
(No soy tanto.)
En cambio, ¡Qué espiritual
que usted me brinde una rosa
de su rosal principal!
De que callada manera
se me adentra usted sonriendo,
como si fuera la primavera
(Yo, muriendo.)

Nicolas Guillen (1902-1989)

Duration: 8 minutes

Dueling with time, bartering for minutes of existence for cello and percussion quartet

Dueling with time, bartering for minutes of existence, forms part of a collection of pieces written for percussion and diverse instruments, all inspired by a particular poem. The power of poetry to speak in a concentrated way of profound things and how that can be experienced as music serves as a driving force of this collection; like songs without words. The piece is dedicated to the memory of Jacob Druckman and was commissioned by The Percussion Plus Project.

Dueling with time, bartering for minutes of existence (Duelo con el tiempo, trueque por minutos de existencia), forma parte de una colección de piezas escritas para percusión y diversos instrumentos, todas ellas inspiradas en un poema en particular. El poder de la poesía para hablar de manera concentrada de cosas profundas y cómo eso puede experimentarse como música sirve como fuerza impulsora de esta colección; como canciones sin palabras. La pieza está dedicada a la memoria de Jacob Druckman y fue un encargo de The Percussion Plus Project.

Dying like the soft breath of butterflies

The crush of reality
bites down on me-
an animal
eating flesh.
Turn, twist, and diminish
I vomit atoms and particles
in an attempt to purge myself
of this terrible consciousness.
Dueling with time,
bartering for minutes of existence,
I suddenly find myself as you,
losing myself in a room of sleep.

Samuel Mintonye

Used with permission of the author

Duration: 14 minutes


Photo by Saverio Truglia

Third Coast Percussion (TCP) is a GRAMMY® Award-winning Chicago-based percussion quartet and GRAMMY®-nominated composer collective, and is the first percussion ensemble to ever win the revered music award. For nearly 20 years, the ensemble has created exciting and unexpected performances that constantly redefine the classical music experience and “push percussion in new directions, blurring musical boundaries and beguiling new listeners” (NPR), with a brilliantly varied sonic palette and “dazzling rhythmic workouts” (Pitchfork). In its latest GRAMMY® nomination, TCP’s 2023 album Between Breaths has been nominated under Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance in the 2024 GRAMMY® Awards.

The ensemble has been praised for the “rare power” (Washington Post) of more than 30 recordings and “an inspirational sense of fun and curiosity” (Minnesota Star-Tribune). Bringing their uniquely compelling programs worldwide, Third Coast Percussion maintains a busy tour schedule, with past performances in 40 of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., plus international tour dates across four continents. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2025, the ensemble is embarking on the most ambitious collaborative projects of their career, with some of the world’s leading musicians, choreographers, and composers from around the world.

A direct connection with the audience is at the core of all of Third Coast Percussion’s work, whether the musicians are speaking from the stage about a new piece of music, inviting the audience to play along in a concert or educational performance, or uniting fans around the world via one of their free mobile apps. The four members of Third Coast are also accomplished teachers, and make active participation by all students the cornerstone of all their educational offerings, including thoughtfully curated K-12 workshops and family programming.

The quartet’s curiosity and eclectic taste have led to a series of unlikely collaborations that have produced exciting new art. Their omnivorous musical appetite, paired with approachable and flexible working methods, remove collaborative boundaries across cultures and disciplines. The ensemble has worked with engineers at the University of Notre Dame, architects at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, dancers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and musicians from traditions ranging from the mbira music of Zimbabwe’s Shona people, to indie rockers and footwork producers, to some of the world’s leading concert musicians. Third Coast Percussion served as ensemble-in-residence at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center from 2013-2018, and currently serves as ensemble-in-residence at Denison University.

A commission for a new work from composer Augusta Read Thomas in 2012 led to the realization that commissioning new musical works can be – and should be – as collaborative as any other artistic partnership. Through extensive workshopping and close contact with composers, Third Coast Percussion has commissioned and premiered new works by Philip Glass, Missy Mazzoli, Jlin, Danny Elfman, Clarice Assad, Gemma Peacocke, Flutronix, Tyondai Braxton, Augusta Read Thomas, Devonté Hynes, Georg Friedrich Haas, Donnacha Dennehy, Glenn Kotche, Christopher Cerrone, and David T. Little, plus many of today’s leading up-and-coming composers through their Currents Creative Partnership program. TCP’s commissioned works have become part of the ensemble’s core repertoire and seen hundreds of performances around the world. In 2023, Jlin’s Perspective, commissioned by TCP, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Third Coast Percussion’s recordings include 17 feature albums, and appearances on 14 additional releases. Besides putting its stamp on iconic percussion works by John Cage and Steve Reich, the quartet has created first recordings of commissioned works by Philip Glass, Augusta Read Thomas, Devonté Hynes, Gavin Bryars, Danny Elfman, Donnacha Dennehy, David T. Little, Ted Hearne, and more – in addition to recordings of original Third Coast compositions. In 2017 the ensemble won the GRAMMY® Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for their recording of Steve Reich’s works for percussion. Third Coast has since received four additional GRAMMY® nominations as performers, and in 2021 they received their first GRAMMY® nomination as composers.

Third Coast Percussion has always maintained strong ties to the vibrant artistic community in their hometown of Chicago. They have collaborated with Chicago institutions including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the Uniting Voices Chicago choir, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Chicago Humanities Festival, and the Adler Planetarium. TCP performed at the grand opening of Maggie Daley Children’s Park; conducted residencies at the University of Chicago and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago; created multi-year collaborative projects with Chicago-based composers Jessie Montgomery, Clarice and Sérgio Assad, Augusta Read Thomas, Glenn Kotche, and chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird; and has taught tens of thousands of students through partnerships with Uniting Voices Chicago, The People’s Music School, the Chicago Park District, Rush Hour Concerts, Urban Gateways, Changing Worlds, and others.

The four members of Third Coast Percussion (Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore) met while studying percussion music at Northwestern University with Michael Burritt and James Ross, and formed the ensemble in 2005. Settling in Chicago, the four friends have carefully and thoughtfully built a thriving nonprofit organization – including full-time staff, office/studio space, and a board of directors – to support their vision and facilitate their efforts to bring new works to life. Members of Third Coast also hold degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Rutgers University, the New England Conservatory, and the Yale School of Music.

Stay up-to-date and go behind-the-scenes by following Third Coast on Instagram (@ThirdCoastPercussion), YouTube (@thirdcoastpercussion), TikTok (@thirdcoastpercussion), Twitter (@ThirdCoastPerc), Facebook (@Third Coast Percussion) and LinkedIn (linkedin.com/company/third-coast-percussion)

*Third Coast Percussion is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.

Juan Horie is a Venezuelan/American cellist who was trained in Venezuela’s acclaimed SISTEMA, studying Cello in the Academia Latinoamericana de Violoncello with Maestros Leandro Bandres and William Molina Cestari. Following his passion for Early Music, he entered the Latin American Academy of Ancient Music (ALMA) and studied baroque cello with Maestro Manuel Hernandez. While Juan was studying at IUDEM and Simon Bolivar Conservatory, he was a member of the Teresa Carreño Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Simón Bolívar Baroque Orchestra. His international engagements as member of the Teresa Carreño Youth Symphony Orchestra include playing at the Beethoven Fest in Bonn, Salzburg Festspiele, Teatro Alla Scala of Milan, Berlin Philharmonie, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, among other halls in Europe and Asia under the batons of renowned conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Claudio Abbado, Simon Rattle, and Christian Vasquez. In 2015 he won a chair in the cello section of the Teresa Carreno Symphony Orchestra, a professional orchestra constituted by a national selection of the third generation of musicians formed in Venezuela’s SISTEMA. In 2017 Juan was forced to emigrate from Venezuela to escape from the political/economic/social situation and moved to the United States. Juan spent 7 years in Chicago where he ventured into New Music and found his way into joining Ensemble Dal Niente. Also in Chicago, he joined forces with violist Sixto Franco to form the “Quijote Duo”, specializing in new music and interdisciplinary collaborations. In 2023 he was invited by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to perform in the opening of the Music NOW series. Juan teaches at Midwestern Young Artists Conservatory in the Young Music Scholars Program.

In 2024 Juan moved to New Orleans where he joined the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Zachary Good is a multifaceted clarinetist, chamber musician, and composer based in Chicago. 

Zachary is the clarinetist of the sextet Eighth Blackbird (2019–present), a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, and a founding Co-Artistic Director and member of the eccentric performance collective Mocrep. He has frequently performed with International Contemporary Ensemble, Music of the Baroque Chicago, and the puppet company Manual Cinema. As an improviser, he performs and records with the trio ZRL and the amplified acoustic and synthetic quintet Honestly Same, as well as regularly appearing on improvised music series throughout Chicago.

As a composer, Zachary explores contrapuntal possibilities on the soprano clarinet with small–interval multiphonics (“close dyads”), creating the illusion of multiple clarinetists playing simultaneously. His music is quietly virtuosic, inspired by the intricacies of the clarinet and a love for Baroque nuance and form. Zachary’s compositions and intersecting multiphonic research are the focus of his dissertation, “Add Dye: Dyadic Perspectives on Close Dyad Multiphonics for the Soprano Clarinet.” 

Zachary is a graduate of Northwestern University (DMA), Oberlin Conservatory, and DePaul University. He is the recipient of the 2021 Luminarts Classical Winds Fellowship. Zachary has participated in fellowships with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Aspen Contemporary Music program. Zachary is a D’Addario Woodwinds Artist. 


Photo by Karjaka Studios

Katherine Jimoh, clarinetist, vocalist, pianist, singer-songwriter and goldsmith lives in Chicago and works as a freelance musician and jeweler. She is a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, University of Chicago’s Grossman Ensemble and Chicago Wind Project. Working side-by-side with living composers while surrounded by colleagues who specialize in new music provides constant inspiration and creativity.

Katherine leads her four-piece band, Katet as singer-songwriter and pianist. When tonality is achieved in an utterly unpredictable way, Katherine feels satisfied with her songwriting. Complex harmonies matched with mixed meters, drones and repetitive vocal lines equals Katet.

Katherine earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University where she won the IU clarinet concerto competition and was awarded a Performer’s Certificate. She was a participant at the 2006 Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles. In 2008, Katherine spent a year abroad in Japan teaching English where she was simultaneously principal clarinetist of the Kakogawa Philharmonic Orchestra in Hyogo prefecture. Katherine received an Essentially Ellington jazz soloist award for the clarinet. She earned her Master of Music degree from McGill University where she was awarded a full Schulich School of Music scholarship. Her primary instructors have been John Bruce Yeh, Alain Desgagne, James Campbell, Frank Kowalsky and Mary Kantor.

Third Coast Percussion

Sean Connors, Ensemble Member, Technical Director, and Education Director
Robert Dillon, Ensemble Member and Development Director
Peter Martin, Ensemble Member and Finance Director
David Skidmore, Ensemble Member and Executive Director

Reba Cafarelli, General Manager
Colin Campbell, Production Manager
Rebecca McDaniel, Marketing and Development Manager
Mayshell Morris, Administrative Assistant

Board of Directors
Ethelbert Williams, President
Beth I. Davis, Vice-President
Mary K. Woolever, Secretary
Daniel Knaus, Treasurer
Jim Barasa
Friedrich Burian
Sara Coffou
Julio Desir, Jr.
Robert Dillon
Nimish Dixit
André Dowell
Jamie Jung
Samir Mayekar
Sarah Forbes Orwig
Louise K. Smith
Catharine Fox Walby

Join TCP at our next Chicago performance: May 3 at DePaul University’s Holtschneider Performance Center. Click here to learn more, or view our full performance schedule at https://thirdcoastpercussion.com/events/