Concert Programming

I am always looking for ways to improve the concert-going experience. As artists, I think we need to find a better way to attract and retain an audience. We need to think about concert programming and how to put pieces together that will be interesting to the audience and help our students learn about musicality and programming. I have always disliked going to percussion concerts and/or recitals and watching percussionists move equipment in between pieces. For this reason, I generally choose to have three parts on my percussion ensemble programs with minimal (or no) movements in between pieces. This takes some planning, but I think it is a more enjoyable show for the audience. (more…)

The Year Before Yesterday by LAPQ

LAPQ Performs “The Year Before Yesterday” by Shaun Naidoo. This is the title track from their album on Sono Luminus.

Since 2009, the GRAMMY-nominated Los Angeles Percussion Quartet (LAPQ) has forged a distinct identity as a world-class contemporary chamber music ensemble that is dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works for percussion quartet. Originally, members Nick Terry, Matt Cook, Justin DeHart, and Cory Hills joined together to create a classical percussion ensemble that would champion the important contributions of 20th century West Coast composers while collaborating with local artists to continue the tradition of innovation and exploration. Today, the group continues their mission while broadening creative output through recordings, performances, and educational outreach.

Kettle Brew by Alex Shapiro and David Jarvis

Kettle Brew by Alex Shapiro and David Jarvis (2015)

From YouTube: It all started near midnight in a 2-star hotel lobby bar on the outskirts of recession-hit Reno, Nevada. David and Alex sipped their scotch from plastic cups because the locals had a penchant for stealing the barware. Surrounded by band musicians on the final night of a regional CBDNA conference in March 2012, their scheming about a new piece for timpani began at that table with the chipped brown Formica and cigarette burns, continued over emails that summer when Dave was in Oahu, and congealed into notes on the page when he stopped by San Juan Island, WA. on his return home, to work with Alex at her studio.

“How about an electroacoustic piece?”
“Wonderful, Alex.”
“Let’s add some other percussion for color.”
“Great, Dave.”
“Two words: funk timpani.”
“Oh, yeah, Alex!”

As Bald Eagles flew by the window, Alex inputted Dave’s hand-written timpani riffs as fast as he could pass them to her from the sofa while not spilling his beer. Once Dave went home to Pullman, WA, Alex got busy creating a prerecorded track unlike any other for kettledrums and percussion. When it was largely in place she emailed the audio track and score to Dave, who proceeded to add what seemed like thousands more percussion notes to the fast sections because, well, he knew he could play ’em.

KETTLE BREW represents the best aspects of composer and composer/performer collaboration, and proves what percussionists have always known: two heads can be even better than one.

Purchase “Kettle Brew” here.

LAPQ performs I Hold the Lion’s Paw

This is a live video of the premiere performance of Andrew McIntosh I Hold the Lion’s Paw performed by the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet at Zipper Hall, Los Angeles, CA on April 10, 2015. This is a beautiful piece, performed well with excellent video footage! Bravo.

Los Angeles Percussion Quartet is Justin DeHart, Nick Terry, Cory Hills, and Matt Cook.

Composer: Andrew McIntosh
Video: Two Channel Media
Audio recording/mixing: Justin DeHart

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