Third Coast Percussion All Ages Free Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Sun., Dec. 11, 3 p.m. 2011

Over the past two years or so, Chicago's Third Coast Percussion has emerged as one the country's finest new-music ensembles, and the three works on this new program show off its broad reach. The four-piece ensemble reprises its performance of Steve Reich's Mallet Quartet, a 2009 composition that reflects his love of jazz, with springy, buoyant vibraphone atop hypnotizing low-end marimba—Third Coast nailed it as part of a Reich celebration this past summer at the Pritzker Pavilion. They'll also perform Credo in Us, a 1942 John Cage masterpiece that both Merce Cunningham and Jean Erdman used for choreography as members of the Martha Graham Dance Company; it mixes piano, tin cans, buzzers, gongs, and aleatoric samples of radio broadcasts and phonograph recordings. The centerpiece of the concert, however, is the Chicago premiere of Common Patterns in Uncommon Time by ensemble member David Skidmore, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright's Wisconsin home and studio. It combines meticulous, post-Reich tuned percussion, clanging toy piano, and blasts of almost martial toms and snare drums—elements that hang together in a structure as sturdy, organic, and imaginative as the architect's designs. —Peter Margasak

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