The Modern Percussion Revolution: Journeys of the Progressive Artist (Routledge Research in Music)
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More than eighty years have passed since Edgard Varèse’s catalytic work for percussion ensemble, Ionisation, was heard in its New York premiere. A flurry of pieces for this new medium dawned soon after, challenging the established truths and preferences of the European musical tradition while setting the stage for percussion to become one of the most significant musical advances of the twentieth century. This 'revolution', as John Cage termed it, was a quintessentially modernist movement - an exploration of previously undiscovered sounds, forms, textures, and styles. However, as percussion music has progressed and become woven into the fabric of Western musical culture, several divergent paths, comprised of various traditions and a multiplicity of aesthetic sensibilities, have since emerged for the percussionist to pursue.
This edited collection highlights the progressive developments that continue to investigate uncharted musical grounds. Using historical studies, philosophical insights, analyses of performance practice, and anecdotal reflections authored by some of today's most engaged performers, composers, and scholars, this book aims to illuminate the unique destinations found in the artistic journey of the modern percussionist.
experience with New Music easy. At UNM, I took the place of Robyn Schulkowsky, a great and path-ﬁnding percussionist who had left in order to live and work in Germany. She was already mining experimental musical territory with like-minded New Mexicans, both in notated and improvised settings; although my professional activities at the time were primarily centered in orchestral percussion, the interests that I shared with Robyn allowed me to ﬁt right in when I appeared on the scene. An important
vis-à-vis the construction of multiple sound-source setups (multiple-percussion);11 the avoidance of any hierarchical ordering of pitch against non-pitch; and the overall avoidance of entrenched forms. It is to here that I would like to turn my attention by focusing on the manifestation of these dynamics within the body and spirit of each of the three compositions and composers. SONIC TRANSITION Any sound is acceptable to the composer of percussion music; he explores the academically forbidden
language other than the vernacular of the audience, or simply omitted. Yet, it can be a crucial, even a focal, point of the entire composition. I choose to tell this story through extreme vulnerability. In order to amplify this storytelling choice, I extend the duration of this text signiﬁcantly, stammering it out of consciousness and into a realization I seem to be coming upon only at that moment. ?Corporel is a complicated and personal ritual, suddenly on display. It is understood deeply for
¿ nd my host, the renter of the apartment, so without his permission, I took sugar down from the shelf and gave it to her. Moments later, she spit out her tea, laughing and exclaiming that the “sugar” was actually salt. I made her another cup and found the real sugar. Later that evening, 4'49'' into the performance, at a moment when I am also directed to brush my hair, I came to this passage: We bake a cake And it turns out That the sugar was not sugar But salt. The line is delivered slowly, and
Interacting with people from different backgrounds who provide access to new ways of thinking. Observing: Watching the world around them for surprising stimuli. Experimenting: Consciously complicating their lives by trying new things or going to new places.22 The researchers call this “associational thinking,” a way to make connections to what may seem unrelated. Perhaps these qualities sound familiar? Classically-trained musicians are rarely ever encouraged to pursue careers in the private