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Percussion

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ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 1995 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
You might think of Jennifer Higdon's Lake Blue Sky as her Siegfried Idyll. Not that, like Wagner, she wrote the lullaby out of gratitude for her son's birth; in her case, it was a gift for her baby brother, who is just shy of four months old. "A lot of the music I write is active - intricate and rhythmically complex," says Higdon, 32, whose work will be premiered tonight by the Network for New Music. "I thought this would be a nice balance to that. The other works on the concert are pretty intense, and besides, I figured there could be more lullabies in the world.
NEWS
February 16, 2009 | By Ellen Dunkel FOR THE INQUIRER
Live music makes all the difference in a dance performance - even when the music is nearly all percussion played by one guy on a drum set. That was true Friday night, when choreographer Zane Booker's Philadelphia-based Smoke, Lilies and Jade Arts Initiative presented the world premiere of Seven Stories of Love & Other Human Mysteries at the Performance Garage. The piece was billed as a suite of romantic dances in celebration of Valentine's Day weekend, yet the romance angle was not at all obvious, and the dance felt more abstract than storytelling.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 1993 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Percussion instruments have revitalized the music of the 20th century, delivering accessibility even as they add mystery to a score. Everyone responds to a ringing bell, and a beating drum sounds as familiar as childhood or the maternal heartbeat. The music the Philadelphia Orchestra played Thursday night at the Academy of Music pays particular attention to the percussion. Clash and Glitter, a revision of a 1989 score by Scott Lindroth inspired by John Philip Sousa, is rife with atmospheric sounds from the battery of struck instruments.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 1992 | By Peter Dobrin, FOR THE INQUIRER
Three "Masters of Percussion" stormed their instruments Saturday night at the Painted Bride Art Center, emphasizing not only the power of the percussion family to energize a crowd but also isolating subtleties usually obscured by larger ensembles that percussion instruments accompany. Under the hands of Airto Moreira, Zakir Hussain and Giovanni Hidalgo, the first 70-minute set was like an encyclopedia of sound. Moreira, surrounded by instruments on three sides, recalled nature - the wind (with his mouth)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 19, 1995 | By Kevin L. Carter, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When the steel drums begin to reverberate at Settlement Music School Saturday, it will be more than a free concert. While MTV and other video music channels have helped drum up interest in playing rock and roll or R&B percussion, that interest, say members of the Settlement Music School administration and faculty, hasn't translated to interest in orchestral percussion instruments - tuned mallet instruments, timpani and other instruments used...
NEWS
April 30, 1997 | By Susan Weidener, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
To hear the members of Steel Thunder promote their indoor percussion group is to savor a young person's zeal for doing something he or she loves. "We started out thinking it would be great if we won the beginners division," said Anna Quinn, 16, a member of Coatesville High School's unit. After practicing 10 hours a week for three months in the high school gym, the group of 22 students from Coatesville last year went on to win the intermediate division in the state and the East Coast regional competitions.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 1998 | By Faith Quintavell, FOR THE INQUIRER
It's about 11 o'clock on a warm Friday night, and the lights are dim. A single candle flickers in the center of the room. The people who've come to this modest house in the heart of Bucks County are young and old, male and female, but they have at least one thing in common - they are responding to the rhythms they've been creating for the past several hours, feeling moved by them, maybe even healed by them. This isn't a therapy group, though. Nor is it a concert or a workshop. In fact, there's no musical star or even a leader here, save for facilitator Conrad Kubiak, a teacher and professional drum-maker (trading under the name Spirit in the Wood)
NEWS
August 24, 1989 | By Hank Klibanoff, Inquirer Staff Writer
Another day, another Philadelphia first. The latest occurred yesterday, at 12:49 p.m., right inside Center City, right inside the Reading Terminal Market (which remains one of the most solid slats left in the cradle of civilization). What happened was a first-ever (OK wise guy, maybe it's not, but try proving otherwise) under-the-shed serenade that brought an entirely new meaning to the concept of heavy-metal music: As hard-hatted workers rat-a-tat- tatted dueling jackhammers on stubborn rivets in the train shed over the market, a vibraphonist and a drummer played mightily to the lunchtime crowd inside the market, trying to generate a blend of sounds that might pass for music.
NEWS
April 3, 2005 | By Mary Anne Janco INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Angela Zator Nelson has always had an affection for the marimba - the mellow-sounding percussion instrument that's rarely in the spotlight. To showcase the versatility of this underused solo instrument, the Philadelphia Classical Symphony turned to Nelson, a virtuoso percussionist, and Philadelphia composer Andrea Clearfield. In writing the piece that the symphony commissioned, Clearfield said, "I wanted . . . something joyous and exhilarating that highlights the different colors of the marimba.
NEWS
October 29, 1993 | by Mark de la Vina, Daily News Staff Writer
Tabla heads and bata buffs unite! Percussion enthusiasts will have ample reason to bang their drums when north Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, Puerto Rican conguero and percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo and hand drummer Anthony Carrillo join forces in the Masters of Percussion series at the Painted Bride Art Center. Hussain, son of the legendary Ustad Alla Rakha, built a reputation for blending his own native sounds with those of Indonesia, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
When African-born, European-raised Marie Daulne - the Mama of Zap Mama - created her world-music ensemble in 1990, it was an all-female a capella outfit whose principal goals were to awaken Western audiences to everything from pygmy onomatopoeic vocal techniques to call-and-response chatter. Wordless chants, scats and percussive clicks, lyrics of empowerment and sensuality sung in a mix of French and Afro-Caribbean languages - these made Zap Mama a vexing, valuable commodity no less charming or adventurous when Daulne - the sole remaining Mama - added instrumentation and male voices to her mix. It was that Zap Mama that packed World Café Live on Saturday with sauntering, multinational-tinged melodies, spacious arrangements, percussive singing, and a haunting, athletic brand of vocalese from Daulne, her female backing trio (Lene Christensen, Judith Okon, Maria Fernandez)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 19, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Percussion guru Alan Abel was the subject of what had to be the loudest 85th birthday concert in Philadelphia history on Sunday. But had it not been a bang-up occasion, something would have been seriously wrong. Indeed, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society was out of its usual league at the Perelman Theater with this 21/2-hour lovefest of Abel's percussion disciples, ending with a battery of 12 in a Rolando Morales-Matos drumming showdown incongruously titled The Little Rhumba . All had their individual moments, and, as we know, once percussionists hit a groove, you never know when they'll stop - even Abel, whose contribution was on cowbell.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 16, 2014 | By Shaun Brady, For The Inquirer
Giving over a portion of your set to a synchronized percussion piece performed with virtuosic precision by a trio of drummers is the sort of thing that drives King Crimson's detractors to hurl accusations of indulgence. But if indulgence isn't your cup of tea you likely knew to avoid the Kimmel Center this weekend, when the legendary British prog band made one of nine stops on its first U.S. tour since 2008. For those who enjoy the band's blend of bombast, complexity, heavy rock riffs, and chamber music intricacy, Saturday's second two-hour Philly show was packed with impeccably realized highlights from throughout the band's 46-year history.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 26, 2014 | By Shaun Brady, For The Inquirer
Audiences interested in a crash course in Afro-futurism had a chance to see the genre's past and future in Philadelphia last week. Founding father George Clinton played the Ardmore Music Hall on Wednesday, while current torchbearers Shabazz Palaces landed at Union Transfer on Friday, performing for a small but rapt crowd. The duo plays a warped sci-fi mutation of hip-hop that incorporates equal doses of EDM and old-fashioned eccentricity and makes their music sound like nothing else on the current scene.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Classical music is supposed to be immune to the kind of format requirements that constrain mainstream radio and television. And yet modern masterworks by great composers go unplayed: They're too short to be worth the effort of assemblage or their instrumentation is odd. Proof came from Orchestra 2001's concert Sunday at Swarthmore College, full of undeservedly neglected music. In fact, a full 15 minutes of stage reshuffling was necessary between Richard Wernick's Kaddish-Requiem and Henri Dutilleux's Les Citations , so different were their sound worlds.
NEWS
May 1, 2014 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Steve Weiss, 71, a rare-instrument lover who owned one of the country's largest percussion retail businesses in Willow Grove and rented instruments to both orchestra players and David Bowie's backup band, died Monday, April 21, at Abington Memorial Hospital of heart failure related to prostate cancer. Mr. Weiss grew up in Logan and graduated from Olney High School. His first drum lesson was at the age of 10, and he went on to play the instrument in bands, including in a Polka group, before starting his business.
NEWS
August 5, 2012
Pop Cut the World (Secretly Canadian ****) If Antony Hegarty had a dime for every goose bump he's raised with his emotive voice, he could pay off the national debt. His haunting, expressive cry gets the backing of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra on his new album Cut the World , which was recorded live in Copenhagen, Denmark. On it, songs from Antony & the Johnsons' four previous albums are gloriously worked over to spine-tingling effect. "You Are My Sister," "I Fell in Love With a Dead Boy," and "Kiss My Name" all shimmer magnificently in the orchestral light.
NEWS
April 23, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Starting a program with Pierre Boulez, that paragon of cerebral modernism, and ending it with Balinese ensembles and dancers is your basic day at the office for Orchestra 2001, the Swarthmore-based modern-music ensemble that shrinks from little. The unexpected part of Saturday's concert at the Philadelphia Ethical Society was when these disparate elements melded, seemingly by accident, and then, amid better-laid plans, did not. Boulez was represented with 1984's Derive I, a 10-minute chamber piece for winds, strings, and percussion that, we can see in hindsight, is an instance of seemingly repressive systematization yielding something that sounds like complete musical freedom.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 24, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
After a full decade of near-annual George Crumb premieres - and with them, landscapes of sounds undreamed of - Orchestra 2001 has completely earned its latest running joke: When the players are ambushed by odd noises on the street, they say, "Don't let George hear that one!" - meaning, he might put it in his next piece. "Oh, I know," said the soft-spoken Pulitzer-winning composer, who is 82. "They kid me, too. They do. " As it is, Voices From the Heartland , the seventh set in his "American Songbook" series, will be premiered Saturday and Sunday by Orchestra 2001 with a Balinese anklung, an Afro-Brazilian berimbau, and 98 other percussion instruments that are as hard to imagine as they are to pronounce.
NEWS
January 9, 2012 | By David R. Stampone, For The Inquirer
To Yemenite Israeli composer, vocalist, and charismatic performer Ravid Kahalani, the blues is a feeling, a transcendent "moment of the soul" that resounds through human experience. Before a standing-room-only crowd at Center City's Painted Bride Arts Center on Saturday, he put his conception on display, leading his nine-piece Yemen Blues ensemble through two sets of engrossing, demonstrably sui generis music. From the rousing opener, "Eli," it was evident how bracingly unique and, yes, "multicultural" a synthesis Kahalani has developed, with essential contributions from all the band's members.
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