San Fermin, So Percussion All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Free Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Mon., June 1, 6:30 p.m. 2015

Dynamic New York quartet So Percussion have long demonstrated a very broad view of what counts as “percussion,” whether that means thwacking amplified cacti or ceramics. Tonight they’ll perform Music for Wood and Strings, a 2013 work written for the group by guitarist Bryce Dessner of the National and commissioned by Carnegie Hall. The piece requires all four musicians to play hybrid instruments designed specifically for the project by Dessner with Aron Sanchez of Buke & Gase; each “chordstick” features eight strings tuned to a pair of open chords. So Percussion play them (including a bass version that uses frets) with bows, mallets, and even pencils, producing lush, resonant harmonies whether they involve all the strings or just one apiece. Some parts involve relatively conventional instruments such as a bass drum or wood blocks, but the focus is on these four novel dulcimer-like contraptions—on a new recording of Music for Wood and Strings released by Brassland, So Percussion use them to create hovering drones, lockstep polyrhythmic patterns, collisions of overtones, and repetitive, pulse-­quickening minimalist cycles. —Peter Margasak

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