Nomad Percussion is a new music ensemble comprised of young musicians William Jackson, Yvonne Lam, Bart Haddock, Jonathan Griffiths, Anna Ng, and Veronica Bailey. The percussionists, aged 19 – 27, will present their new concert, TRANS/MUTE, on February 19 at the ANU Arts Centre. Nomad Percussion’s first concert of 2013 explores percussion as a medium of sound-art. This is a world where toy pianos, clock coils, and glass bottles are layered, re-configured, and mutated to form sound tapestries that are strange, new, and exciting to the ears. This is contemporary and experimental music at its best. TRANS/MUTE is supported by the Friends of the School of Music and the Australian National University.
All six members are past or present students of the ANU School of Music. Their musical qualifications range from continuing undergraduates to masters degrees. They have also had extensive experience with Canberra’s premier music ensembles such as Canberra Symphony Orchestra, DRUMatiX Percussion Ensemble, National Capital Orchestra, Canberra Youth Orchestra, and local festivals including the Canberra International Music Festival, Canberra Festival, and You Are Here Festival. Nomad Percussion, formed in 2012, is their new and independent contemporary music ensemble. The ensemble strives to present challenging contemporary music to a diverse audience, irrespective of age or musical inclination.
TRANS/MUTE includes the world premiere of a new work by Sydney musician and ANU alumnus Bree van Reyk (Synergy Percussion, Ensemble Offspring, Holly Throsby). The renowned percussionist, drummer and composer plays with countless ensembles, but this is the first time van Reyk has been commissioned to write a piece for another ensemble. Her as-yet-untitled work draws from a chorale by J.S. Bach, and invert and mutates the harmonic structure into a riveting aural experience. Van Reyk’s arrangements of John Cage’s Prepared Piano Sonatas #2 and #13 will also be performed by Nomad Percussion.
The concert’s namesake refers to Transmutations, by Anthony Pateras. The Melbourne composer is well-known for his exploratory musical style. In Transmutations, for percussion sextet, the focus is not on tune, or harmony. Inanimate objects become new sound sources that shift and blur – brake drums and glass bottles are played with manic energy and relentless intensity, then give way to plastic bags and rocks which form a eerie sonic tapestry. This is Nomad Percussion’s second encounter with Pateras’s music – in 2012, their debut concert featured Pateras’s sextet, Refractions.
Other works on the program include:
· Ostinato Pianissimo (1934) by Henry Cowell
· Suite for Percussion (1942) by Lou Harrison
· Third Construction (1941) by John Cage
· Two Portraits for Bass Dru, (1974) by Steven Gryce
· Trio per Uno, Mvt. #1 (1995) by Nebojsa Zivkovic
What: TRANS/MUTE, presented by Nomad Percussion
When and Where:
Canberra: Sunday 17th Feb, 4pm. ANU Arts Centre
Sydney: Monday 18th Feb, 6pm. Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Recital Hall West.
Tickets: $15 concession, $20 adults. Available at the door.
Nomad Percussion is a new contemporary music group, comprised of young percussionists from around Australia.
The majority of Nomad’s members are still in their early 20s. However, their youth has not curbed their musical ambition. In 2012, Nomad Percussion performed Iannis Xenakis’s epic work, Persephassa, not once, but twice. They had the great privilege of being invited to perform the 30-minute work at the Canberra Festival. Since then, Nomad Percussion has been invited to perform with Ensemble Evolution (Swed), at the You Are Here Festival (Canb), and as part of an international web-stream of Erik Satie’s Vexations as part of the Make Music New York Festival.