Clocks in Motion, Madison’s cutting-edge new music ensemble, will present Unfamiliar Voices 1.0, an expansive program featuring music from both the heart of the established percussion ensemble literature and the forefront of modern percussion composition.
The performance, Sun., Feb. 16, 2014, at 3:00 p.m., will celebrate composer and UW-
Madison student Ben Davis, the 2014 Clocks in Motion Call for Scores winner, with the world premiere of his exciting new work, Night. The ensemble will also perform Paul Lansky’s meditative percussion quartet, Threads, and Georges Aperghis’ grand percussion sextet, Kryptogramma. Davis, a composer, trumpeter, and teacher from Richmond, Virginia, writes for unique instruments built by Clocks in Motion. His new work employs sixxen: large aluminum keyboard instruments that are tuned microtonally (vastly different from the standard repeating 12-tone scale in most western music). The three sets of sixxen in the piece are purposefully out of tune with each other, creating an entrancing sound cloud of beading frequencies for the listener. In contrast, the other three players in the piece each play a bombastic multi-percussion setup of tom toms, snare drums, kick drums, and china cymbals. Davis’ innovative work is sure to impress.
Paul Lansky shares some insightful thoughts on his 2005 work: “Threads… is a half-hour long ‘cantata’ for percussion quartet in ten short movements. There are three “threads” that are interwoven in the piece: Arias and Preludes that focus on the metallic pitched sounds of vibraphones, glockenspiel and pipes; Choruses in which drumming predominates; and Recitatives made largely from Cage-like noise instruments, bottles, flower pots, crotales, etc. The aim of the different threads is to highlight the wide range of qualities that percussion instruments are capable of, from lyrical and tender to forceful and aggressive, and weave them into one continuous ‘thread’. The movements are performed without interruption.”
George Aperghis’ 1970 composition Kryptogramma is a massive undertaking. Puzzling instrumental combinations and bizarre rhythmic structures make this one of the most fascinating and complex percussion ensemble works ever written. “Kryptogramma” means “concealed text/writing”. In the composer’s own words, “Every cyptogram [in the piece] conceals a text or number sequence, behind which information is hidden…simple rhythms…are developed in a tapestry of soaring movements, and…subjected to a mass of variation.”
Clocks in Motion is Dave Alcorn, Jennifer Hedstrom, Sean Kleve, Michael Koszewski James McKenzie, and Joseph Murfin. For the concert on Feb. 16, Clocks in Motion will welcome percussionists Vincent Mingils and Somali Wilson as guest performers. All performers are either current or former students of the UW-Madison percussion studio.
Hailed as “nothing short of remarkable” (ClevelandClassical.com), Clocks in Motion is a group that performs new music, builds rare instruments, and breaks down the boundaries of the traditional concert program. Formed in 2011, the ensemble is currently in residence at the University of Wisconsin School of Music. The individual members of Clocks in Motion’s unique skill sets and specialties contain an impressive mix of musical styles including, rock, jazz, contemporary classical music, orchestral percussion, marching percussion, and world music styles. Among its many recent engagements, the group served as resident performers and educators at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Rhapsody Arts Center, University of Michigan, Baldwin-Wallace University, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
Admission is free. For more information, including repertoire, upcoming events, biographies, and media, visit http://clocksinmotionpercussion.com.