On October 14 at Bowling Green State University, Mantra Percussion gives the US premiere of Michael Gordon's percussion sextet, Timber — followed by a North American tour that includes the Canadian premiere on October 22 at the X Avant Festival (with indie rock-duo Buke & Gass).
The new work, an evening-length tour de force scored for six graduated wooden 2x4s brings the physicality, endurance and technique of percussion performance to a new level.
Mantra Percussion Tour
10/14 US Premiere – Bowling Green State University
10/16 Elastic Arts with Darin Gray of Brise-Glace and On Fillmore (Chicago)
10/17 Northern Illinois University
10/18 The Yellow Barn (Ann Arbor)
10/19 Village Gate (Rochester)
10/20 University of Buffalo
10/22 Canadian Premiere – X Avant Festival with Buke & Gass (Toronto)
11/9 Percussive Arts International Convention (Indianapolis) with So Percussion, Steve Schick,
Cincinatti Percussion Group and Doug Perkins
11/10 Artsgarden (Indianapolis)
11/11 Crane Arts' Ice Box Theatre (Philadelphia)
11/12 MIT's Kresge Auditorium with the Bang On A Can All-Stars (Cambridge)
In Timber, Gordon shapes the music in both polyrhythmic and dynamic waves of textures: often each players' hands are in separate rhythmic 'worlds', each traversing a different dynamic contour from loud to soft to loud, similar in some respects to his solo for percussion, XY.
Much of Gordon's music demonstrates a deep exploration into the extreme possibilities and stunning nature of rhythm, as well as the enriching, yet disturbing, multidimensionality of polyrhythmic layers — what has been termed in his music to be, 'glorious confusion.' Gordon's works, including Trance, Gotham, and Decasia, point to his interest in complex rhythmic and textural territory. His percussion sextet takes these elements and explores the extreme possibilities of rhythm and texture to a beautifully intense degree. The new evening-length work is indeed a unique and exciting addition to the world of percussion.
The recording of Timber, by Slagwerk den Haag, is available in a beautiful wooden CD case from Cantaloupe Music and for download on iTunes.