Friday night I saw a performance by So Percussion in collaboration with Kneebody at the Whitney Museum of American Art. So Percussion is a an eclectic group of musicians who hit an incredible assemblage of objects to create a kind of music even So Percussion finds difficult to describe. Their music swung pleasantly from dramatic to jazzy to ethereal. The gaggle of talented musicians played a traditional drum set, a glockenspiel, vibraphones, bowed marimba, melodica, overturned pots, metals, keyboard, clarinet, saxophone, and a trumpet.
After the concert, I was talking with the friend I’d gone with about how gripping and exciting we both find percussion music. Like a lot of other music I hear live, I have a particularly hard time listening to percussion and not wanting to dance around a little bit. I realized that a lot of my favorite contemporary composers, particularly Philip Glass, have very rhythmic, repetitive styles that have a pulse similar to percussion. Interestingly enough, when I went home and looked up So Percussion, I realized that their 2004 album “Drumming” was master minded by none other than Steve Reich. Reich is considered by a lot of people as Glass’s contemporary counterpart in his purely minimalist style that includes lots of repetition, loops, patterns, and canons. So Percussion even describes themselves as being “devoted to dreamscapes” of Reich, John Cage, and others.
Check out So Percussion‘s website where you can listen to their music.