Gérard Grisey ~ Le Noir de L’Etoile (1989-90)

Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
Le Noir de L’Etoile for 6 percussionists, tape and live electronics (1989-90)

This regional premiere of Le Noir De L’Etoile was performed on 11/19/12 at Rowan University by Dean Witten with an Alumni All-Star Ensemble. The musicians were Matthew Witten, percussion 2; Anthony DiBartolo, percussion 3; Brittany Hoffman, percussion 4; AJ Lustig, percussion 5 and Mika Godbole, percussion 6.

I was bummed about missing Talujon’s performance of this massive work at last year’s Bang On a Can marathon, so finally now I can hear it in its entirety.


Time Travelers ~ Kickstarting Andy Akiho’s First Percussion Quartet


Time Travelers, a new percussion ensemble that features Ian David Rosenbaum, Gwen Burgett, Ayano Kataoka and Svet Stoyanov, came together in 2012 to perform and record Paul Lansky’s Threads for Bridge Records. The success of this project led to their first commissioning initiative: a new percussion quartet from rising composition star Andy Akiho. This piece is Akiho’s first for percussion quartet, and Time Travelers will premiere it at venues across the United States in April 2013. They are funding the commission for this project through the great Kickstarter.

The campaign needs $7,000 in 8 days time–They have made over $2,400, but they need your help, so, please check them out! There is a video of the pitch for the campaign on the link below, but right here is a video of Akiho and Rosenbaum performing another one of Andy’s original pieces:

Andy Akiho: Karakurenai (Andy Akiho and Ian Rosenbaum, percussion)

Click here to donate to the Time Travelers/Andy Akiho Percussion Quartet project

Lisa Pegher’s New York Debut at The Cell (A Review)


Lisa Pegher
The Cell, NYC
Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Written by Sharon Mizrahi

© 2012 Sharon Mizrahi

The lights dim, then darken in the intimate confines of The Cell. A single spotlight glows over a drum set in center stage. One figure emerges from the corner, picks up two drumsticks, and pounds out a jarring thwack. The figure is Lisa Pegher, and though her epithet of choice is “solo percussionist,” this intrepid powerhouse is more than just a drummer. Pegher is an alchemist of time, sound, and space, crafting visceral landscapes that penetrate the ears and mind. But most poignantly, she epitomizes experimental virtuosity, uniting the abstract and the concrete to form a transcendent whole. Continue reading

Lisa Pegher ~ Interview/Preview of her New York Debut at The Cell

Percussionist-composer Lisa Pegher will be making her first-ever New York appearance at a venue called The Cell on Thursday, June 28th at 8 PM. In this concert, she will be performing works by composers such as Paul Lansky, Tobias Broström, a world premiere by Joe Sheehan, and even a collaboration with visual artist Ben Hill on a piece she co-composed with Andrew Knox.

Lisa had some time to talk to us about this concert.

CM: Can you talk about your start as a percussionist and what drew you to those instruments?

LP: My first experience with drumming began in fourth grade like many other young American players. I was “tested” to see which instrument I should play in grade school band. The teacher handed me a pair of sticks and it was as if I already knew what to do. There was something about those sticks that felt right and came easily. Having come from humble beginnings and a somewhat unstable early home environment, music became a close friend at a very young age. When everything seemed to be falling apart, the sticks were always there for me to hold on to. And growing up, music was a great emotional outlet and also a provided a place where I could find solitude. Continue reading

Chicago Transit Authority ~ “Beginnings” (1969)

Normally, I want to pontificate on artists or bands that have something truly worth talking about, but I’d rather just let the music speak for itself this time, as I kind of been doing lately anyway.

I did explain in a previous post that this particular track has an ending that really moves me in a weird way, when it just brings the percussion up and fades, like the band picked these instruments up, partied with them and in a conga line went out the door. Amazing.

Jason Treuting: on Sō Percussion and Related Things

Jason Treuting performing on the bicycle wheel during one of his compositions with several fellow artists at an appearance at the Ecstatic Music Festival, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Center, NY, 2/23/12 (Photo courtesy of David Andrako)

Jason Treuting, composer and performer from the great Sō Percussion had time for me the little blogger that could (I’ll never get used to talking to these guys, so, I need a pinch for every post)!

Sō Percussion has The Cage Bootlegs, along with some exceptional recordings in It is Time for Steve Mackey, The Woodmans soundtrack for David Lang, and so many others (Buy them if you can), but Jason Treuting is also very active as a composer and collaborator with other artists, and given that many artists are working on all of these things at once, it’s crazy not to address everything as you’ve seen on these pages. I spoke about the Ecstatic gig already on the janus piece I did, but I’d be remiss not to ask him about it, regardless.

Jason spoke with me via Skype. Continue reading

Amy X Neuburg/Cory Smythe at Roulette: A Review

Photos courtesy of Glenn Cornett

Amy X Neuburg/Cory Smythe
Brooklyn, NY
Dec. 13, 2011

It’s East Meets West…coast, that is.

On the stage of the old-school charming Roulette in Brooklyn was yet another creatively edgy program, put on this time by the pairing of West-coast avant-cabaret artist Amy X Neuburg and New York’s own pianist-composer, ICE’s Cory Smythe. Presented without an intermission, the show was almost entirely electronic or electro-acoustic in nature (with the exception of a refreshing burst of Fats Waller’s “Handful of Keys” from Mr. Smythe), and most of the pieces were composed and/or arranged by both of them. Continue reading