Friday, July 30, 2010

drums along the pacific

in the spring of 1939, composers john cage and lou harrison presented a series of percussion concerts at cornish college of the arts featuring the use of unconventional materials such as baking pans, brake drums, and rice bowls filled with water. cage was experimenting with writing percussion music that dancers could play, while harrison was implementing instruments/rhythms/tonalities/melodies inspired by javanese gamelan. by january of the following year they had embarked upon a northwest tour presenting percussion concerts at whitman college in walla walla, washington, reed college in portland, the university of idaho in moscow, idaho, and montana state university in missoula, montana — a bold experiment their mentor/colleague henry cowell famously dubbed ‘drums along the pacific.’

in april, 2010 i joined the pacific rims percussion quartet (matt kocmieroski, rob tucker, gunner folsom, paul hansen), paul taub (flute), and christopher hahn (piano) in retracing the route of this historic pilgrimage 70 years later with performances at reed college, eastern washington university in cheney, montana state university, and the university of idaho. it was truly an honor.

famous in moscow, ID

rehearsing for henry cowell's 'pulse'
brake drums and pipe lengths - my percussion debut

pacific rims percussion quartet performing john cage's 'third construction' for percussion students at the university of idaho

christopher hahn perparing for henry cowell's 'the banshee'

hotel hallway - moscow, ID

workshop at UofI



Double Music (John Cage & Lou Harrison)
Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet

Homage to Iran (Henry Cowell)
Andante rubato; Interlude; Andante rubato; Con spirito
Paris Hurley (violin), Christopher Hahn (piano), Paul Hansen (doumbek)

First Concerto for Flute and Percussion (Lou Harrison)
Earnest, fresh and fastish; Slow and poignant; Strong, swinging and fastish
Paul Taub, Gunnar Folsom, Rob Tucker

Nocturne (John Cage)
Paris Hurley (violin) , Christopher Hahn (piano)

Pulse (Henry Cowell)
Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet with Paris Hurley and Paul Taub, percussion

Varied Trio (Lou Harrison)
Gending; Bowl Bells; Elegy; Rondeau, in honor of Fragonard; Dance
Paris Hurley (violin), Paul Taub (flute), Matthew Kocmieroski (vibes, rice bowls, chinese toms, baking pans), Christopher Hahn (piano)

Fabric (Henry Cowell)
The Snows of Fuji-Yama (Henry Cowell)
The Banshee (Henry Cowell)
Christopher Hahn, piano

Third Construction (John Cage)
Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet

for more information, check out this preview by the university of idaho

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