Thinking Out Loud: So Percussion preview

Feb 6, 2014

This Sunday, February 9 the chamber ensemble So Percussion brings their creative classical performance to Columbia's Missouri Theatre. KBIA's Trevor Harris recently asked So Percussion member Adam Sliwinski about the band's history, their repertoire and their commitment to teaching their craft to a new generation of percussion-oriented classical music students.

So Percussion's Adam Sliwinski talked with KBIA's Trevor Harris on a recent Thinking Out Loud
Credit So Percussion

So Percussion draws heavily for their live shows from 20th century composers like Steve Reich and John Cage. Adam Sliwinski noted that these and other composers started bringing additional percussion into classical compositions as a way to express moods that needed to be shared in the music.

Here's Adam Sliwinski on the history of percussion in 20th centrury classical music:

In the context of classical music in the Twentieth century when composers had an unothodox idea they found that percussion was a good way to express that idea. It goes back to Edgard Varese and his image of a futuristic, electronic music that he wanted to make. The electronics hadn't been invented or developed yet so he started writing percussion instruments into his music because he wanted to hear different tambors and colors than what were in the traditional orchestra.

The genesis of So Percussion grew from a class project 20 years ago at Yale's School of Music. With a few line-up changes the ensemble has continued to bring commissions and original works to curious concertgoers.

Adam Sliwinski on what to expect at a So Percussion show:

Expect the unexpected. We like for people to be surprised and delighted by the kind of things we do, which sometimes are things that people might not have thought of before. For instance, we make music on tuned flower pots and tea cups... A lot of what we do is find ordinary objects and find unusual and exciting ways to use them in our music.

So Percussion performs this Sunday, February 9 at the Missouri Theatre as part of the University Concert Series.

Hear new episodes of Thinking Out Loud each Tuesday afternoon at 6:30 on KBIA.