Sō Percussion will present several of their favorite masterworks of percussion at FWM, as well as some of their own music. Their program will consist of: Steve Reich’s Clapping Music, a celebration of the human hands, inspired by Flamenco style and the desire to set up fewer percussion instruments; 24 x 24, group member Jason Treuting’s homage to John Cage; Child of Tree, a meditative improvisation, where the performer makes use of organic materials such as cactus, leaves, and branches; and Third Construction, made of 24 sections of music with 24 bars each and also the namesake of Jason’s 24 x 24 (originally considered an aberration to construct a piece of music without any of the pitches from the piano).
The work of Sō Percussion—Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting—is inspired by the compositions and music of John Cage, Steve Reich, Steve Mackey, Paul Lansky, Martin Bresnick, as well as ensembles like the Kronos Quartet and Nexus Percussion. With a goal to present a repertoire of pieces by 20th century luminaries and extend beyond their contemporary classical roots, Sō Percussion has had projects and appearances with Wham City shaman Dan Deacon, drummer Bobby Previte, jam band kings Medeski, Martin, & Wood, and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche. In 2011, Sō open for the rock band The National at the Beacon Theater, NY. Through Sō Percussion mentoring initiatives, their students’ formed and co-directed a percussion department at the Bard College-Conservatory of Music. The Sō Percussion Summer Institute, an annual event on the campus of Princeton University, has been in existence since 2009, at which Sō Percussion was an ensemble-in-residence from 2011 to 2012. Since their first commissioned piece—the 36 minute, three movement the so-called laws of nature—they produced 13 albums, of which six were released in 2011, such as: Steve Reich’s Mallet Quartet, Steve Mackey It Is Time on Cantaloupe, and Bad Mango in collaboration with jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas on Greenleaf Music, and more recently Cage 100: The Bootleg Series on Cantaloupe, with a limited edition CD of 300. In 2011, Sō was commissioned by Shen Wei Dance Arts to compose Undivided Divided, for Park Avenue Armory, NY, and also been featured at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Stanford Lively Arts, and Texas Performing Arts. They tour the United States, Western Europe, South America, Russia, and Australia. The members of Sō Percussion live in Brooklyn, NY.