Percussion Ensemble 

  • Percussion
    The UW Percussion Ensemble and UW Steel Band present a virtual concert on Friday, June 4.

The University of Washington Percussion Ensemble (Bonnie Whiting, director) performs early and recent works for percussion ensemble in its Autumn Quarter concert, including all three of John Cage's Constructions, plus brand new works from the Everybody Hits consortium. 

Masks are required in all indoor spaces on the UW campus, and patrons must show proof of vaccination or recent (within 72 hours of the performance) negative COVID-19 test for entry to live events at Meany Hall. Enhanced sanitation measures and touchless ticketing are among other safety measures in effect for 2021-22. Details of these policies and procedures are at: https://artsevents.washington.edu/covid-protocols 


Program

First Construction in Metal (1939) ........................................................... John Cage (1912-1992)

IHVUSTÚ I (2021) .................................................................................. Finola Merivale (b. 1987)

Recover. (2020) ..................................................................................... Aeryn Santillan (b. 1990)

Second Construction (1940) .................................................................................................. Cage

Super Heavy (2020) ........................................................................... Susanna Hancock (b. 1992)

Third Construction (1941) ..................................................................................................... Cage


UW PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE

Bonnie Whiting, Director

Connor Aksama, Scott Farkas, Brindha Jaeger, Ryan Baker,  Daisy Fernandez,

Jonathan Rodriguez, Aaron Michael Butler,  Abigail George, Grace Rosing, 

Billie Chance, Cyrus Graham, Sophia Schmidt, Simon Harty


Program Note

John Cage’s three Constructions (1939-41) were primarily composed while he was working in

Seattle at the Cornish School, organizing sound and materials into architecture that would

eventually change the world of music and dance. These early experimental works were exceptional

not just in their materials (resonant found objects alongside percussion instruments

from several musical traditions) but also in their rhythmic structures. We present these vintage

Constructions alongside three of our discipline’s newest works for chamber percussion ensemble.

The pieces by emerging composers Finola Merivale, Aeryn Santillan, and Susanna Hancock

were commissioned as part of the 2020/21 “Everybody Hits” consortium, and similarly

point toward new futures for the percussion ensemble.

Many thanks to Scott Farkas, Jonathan Rodriguez, Colin Todd, Joanne De Pue, Adam Groh, and

Director Taricani/the UW School of Music for all the help and support that made tonight’s performance

possible.


Bios

Everybody Hits

Everybody Hits is a commissioning project organized by percussionist Adam Groh to create six new percussion ensemble works by a diverse group of living composers that are accessibly by a wide range of ages and ability levels. Works are by composers Jonathan Bingham, Aeryn Santillan, Susanna Hancock, Finola Merivale, Emma O’Halloran, and Shruthi Rajasekar. Learn more about the consortium.


Bonnie Whiting

Bonnie Whiting performs, commissions, and composes new experimental music for percussion. She seeks out projects involving non-traditional notation, interdisciplinary performance, improvisation, and the speaking percussionist. She lives and works in Seattle, WA, where she is Chair of Percussion Studies and an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Music.

Her debut solo album, featuring an original solo-simultaneous realization of John Cage’s 45’ for a speaker and 27’10.554” for a percussionist, was released by Mode Records in April of 2017. Her sophomore album Perishable Structures, launched by New Focus Recordings in August of 2020, places the speaking percussionist in the context of storytelling and features her own music as well as works by Vinko Globokar, Frederic Rzewski, Richard Logan-Greene, and Susan Parenti.

Recent work includes performances as a percussionist and vocalist with the Harry Partch Ensemble on the composer’s original instrumentarium, and a commission from the Indiana State Museum’s Sonic Expeditions series for her piece Control/Resist (2017): a site-specific work for percussion, field recordings, and electronics. Whiting has an ongoing relationship as a soloist with the National Orchestra of Turkmenistan via the U.S. Embassy Cultural Affairs Office, playing concerti in Ashgabat in 2017 and 2018. She collaborates frequently with percussionist Jennifer Torrence, giving concerts of new experimental work for speaking percussionists throughout Norway and the US. Her collaboration with multimedia artist Afroditi Psarra generated the album < null_abc >, released on the Zero Moon label in 2018. Their current project with designer Audrey Desjardins on transcoding data from IoT devices as performance received a 2019/20 Mellon Creative Fellowship. This project was explored in a workshop at the 2020 Transmediale Festival in Berlin, and currently lives as an interactive net art installation. 2021 brings the premiere of Through the Eyes(s): an extractable cycle of nine pieces for speaking/singing percussionist collaboratively developed with composer Eliza Brown and ten incarcerated women, and the world premiere of a new percussion concerto by Huck Hodge with the Seattle Modern Orchestra.

Whiting has presented solo and small ensemble shows at The Stone in New York, the Brackish Series in Brooklyn, The Lilypad in Boston, The New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, at Hallwalls in Buffalo, the Tiny Park Gallery in Austin, The Wulf in LA, the Carl Solway Gallery in Cincinnati, The Grove Haus in Indianapolis, on the Wayward Music Series in Seattle, on tour throughout New Zealand, and at colleges and universities around the country. Whiting has collaborated with many of today's leading new music groups, including red fish blue fish percussion group, (George Crumb’s Winds of Destiny directed by Peter Sellars and featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw for the Ojai Festival), eighth blackbird (the “Tune-in” festival at the Park Avenue Armory), the International Contemporary Ensemble (on-stage featured percussionist/mover in Andriessen’s epic Die Materie at the Park Avenue Armory, and the American premiere of James Dillon’s Nine Rivers at Miller Theatre), Bang on a Can (Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians for the LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series) and Ensemble Dal Niente (the Fromm Concerts at Harvard.)

People Involved: