Collide Contemporary Music Series & Festival | music.ucf.edu/collide
Founded in 2011, the Collide Contemporary Music Series & Festival presents multiple events each semester at the University of Central Florida. The annual festival is intended to feature new music for percussion and the collaborative process between percussionist and composer.
Past guests composers and artists include: Paul Lansky, Jonathan Kolm, Matthew Barnson, Meehan/Perkins Duo, Third Coast Percussion, Samuel Solomon, and Bob McCormick. Stay in touch through the official website for further details.
Vignette No. 1 for Solo Percussion
Vignette No. 1 is a unique “collage” percussion recital which features newly commissioned works for keyboard percussion instruments by Jonathan Kolm, Travis Jeffords, and Halim El-Dabh as well as some adaptations of music by J.S. Bach and John Cage and standards by Gordon Stout and Thom Hasenpflug. The recital also highlighted some recent video and percussion collaborations that I have been involved in with Diana Reichenbach, Christopher Brannan, David Randag, and Ruwan Perera.
Cage Percussion Players
During the summer of 1939, the Bennington School of Dance hosted a groundbreaking concert on the campus of Mills College in Oakland, CA. This performance did not feature dancers, but rather musicians playing on clay pots, chunks of metal, and blocks of wood. This unique concert was presented by John Cage and his percussion group from the Cornish School in Seattle, WA. They performed music that was specifically composed for them by West coast composers such as Lou Harrison, Henry Cowell, William Russell, Johanna Beyer, and Cage himself. John Cage created this opportunity by establishing his own creative outlet, a percussion ensemble, which scarcely existed at this time. The group, made up of mostly dancers and artists, continued to perform and tour the United States through the early 1940s. In doing so, they brought many of our most important early percussion ensemble works to audiences for the first time.
Currently in residence at the University of Central Florida, the modern reincarnation of the Cage Percussion Players aims to establish a performing body of repertoire that is similar to that of the original ensemble. This task includes seeking out original parts and authenticating instruments, implements, and performance practice.
Standard Deviation | www.standardeviaton-themovie.com
I am fortunate to have worked with documentary filmmakers Chris Brannan and David Randag on their project Standard Deviation, a documentary film about Billy Cottrell, the brilliant young physicist turned ecoterrorist. I composed and recorded about 35 minutes of original music for the film. The project has done well and even won an EMMY for best documentary at the 2009 College Television Awards. Below is a 90 second trailer about the film.
Percussion Commissioning Project
As an advocate for new music, I am currently collaborating with contemporary composers and colleagues to create new works for percussion. Some of these projects include the following:
- Marc Mellits | mallet quartet in progress (consortium member) | www.marcmellits.com
- Steven Snowden | mallet solo in progress (consortium member) | www.stevensnowden.com
- D.J. Sparr | percussion ensemble piece in progress (consortium member) | www.djsparr.com
- David Bennett Thomas | Fine Tune for bass clarinet & percussion ensemble | http://www.davidbthomas.com
- Chris Cerrone | Memory Palace for solo multi-percussion (consortium member) | www.christophercerrone.com
- John Psathas | 4BY4 for percussion quartet (consortium member) | www.johnpsathas.com
- Zack Browning | Flying Tones for percussion quintet | www.zackbrowning.com
- Jonathan Kolm | Cantogo for percussion quartet | www.jonathankolm.com
- Martin Bresnick | A Message from the Emperor (consortium member) | www.martinbresnick.com
- John Serry | GROUNDLINES for solo marimba (consortium member) | www.johnserry.com
- Halim El-Dabh | Sailing Wind for solo vibraphone (consortium member) | www.halimeldabh.com
- Jonathan Kolm | Haven for solo marimba | www.jonathankolm.com
- Paul Lansky | Idle Fancies for solo marimba/percussion (consortium member) | www.paullansky.org
- Travis Jeffords | Gearbox Transmission for solo marimba/percussion | www.travisjeffords.com
- Jonathan Kolm | Warrior from the Deep for vibraphone trio | www.jonathankolm.com
Long story short, composer Travis Jeffords wrote a piece for solo marimba, three woodblocks, and a resonant metal for me. The piece is titled Gearbox Transmission and the blocks and metal represent “gears” for the marimba (shifting between various rhythmic values). I recorded the audio in May of 2008 and videographer, Ruwan Perera, put together all of the visuals. Enjoy!