Sticks, Skins, Metal and Stone

by Glenn Kotche

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about

Sticks are the most basic tools of the percussionist. They are used for striking but are also shaped and arranged into tonal bars giving the percussion family rich melodic and harmonic components. Skins are what make drums drums. Metal in it's varied forms  - both tuned and untuned - provide a world of percussion color. And stone - the most basic of materials - struck together or shaped into pitched bars creating the most premordial, yet intriguing percussion sounds.  These 4 elements are the catalyst for the music contained in this record.

I've been fortunate to write for many truly talented and visionary percussion ensembles.  This records is a compilation of many of those works, all expertly realized by the NYU percussion ensemble under the direction of Jonathon Haas and Sean Statser.  I'm thoroughly grateful to their vision and to hear these varied pieces ranging from solo and duo to full percussion orchestra in one place. 

Three of the pieces are arrangements of my original works: Hush arr. by James B. Campbell is an all acoustic version of my Drumkit Quartet #51 which was originally commissioned and recorded by So Percussion,  Wild Sound Part 4 is the last part of an evening length multimedia percussion work commissioned and arranged by Grammy-winning Third Coast Percussion, and Traveling Turtle was arranged by NYU graduate student Adam Keifer taking it from gamelan instrumentation (originally commissioned by Gamelan Galak Tika) to large traditional percussion ensemble.  

Two of the pieces, Anomaly and Ping Pong Fumble Thaw, are reimaginngs of string quartets that were commissioned by Kronos Quartet and Brooklyn Rider respectively.  Both of these compositions grew from sketches written on the drumset, then expanded for string quartet and finally both heard here for the first time back on percussion.  

Eight of these ten pieces have never been recorded until now.  I can't thank the NYU percussion ensemble and it's directors for all of their hard work, dedication and preparation and for instigating and believing in this project in the first place.  

It's fascinating for me to hear these works which were written over a 10 year span all together. I hope you enjoy the energy, the variety of percussive timbres and the emotional range of this record.  

credits

released October 26, 2018

Jonathan Haas, Director, NYU Percussion Studies Program
Recorded at Dolan Studio, NYU

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National Sawdust Tracks New York

National Sawdust Tracks is the non-profit, in-house record label and recording studio of National Sawdust; an artist-led, multidisciplinary new music venue in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Jeffrey Zeigler, Label Director
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