Sō What?

Pictured above: collage of images from Sō Percussion’s 2019 Summer Institute, credit Andrea Tafelski. Written below: a retrospective on my self-indulgent summer travels, which began with the institute, led me to dear friends in NYC, and culminated with Bang on a Can’s LOUD Weekend.

In a bit more detail–my trip began with two weeks at the Sō Percussion Summer Institute (affectionately, SōSI), which I would highly recommend to anyone who appreciates an action-dense schedule. The two weeks were packed with memorable guest lectures, lessons, master classes, performances (check out my modest contributions to In C ), and bbq hangs. I think I learned almost everything there is to know about smacking tin cans. Andrea Mazzariello and I spent more time discussing irrational time signatures than I care to divulge.

I then spent four days in NYC, caught up with a few dear friends, and headed to North Adams to catch the last few days of Bang on a Can’s Summer Festival (affectionately, Banglewood). The inaugural LOUD Weekend included performances from an incredible variety of musicians (also incredible in quality) and cemented my resolve to soon attend the festival as a composition fellow.

Beyond my focus on meeting cool folks (achieved), the trip offered several opportunities to collaborate with fantastic performers–percussion students at SōSI and the members of Sō Percussion. To be joined later by a video from Sō Percussion’s reading session, check out SoSI video 1 of 2 below. To Beginnings was written for fellow SōSI participants; it celebrates new friendships, and the form of the piece takes after the asymmetrical lifecycle of aluminum cans. The recording below is from Small World Coffee in Princeton NJ, and it features John Zazo, Daulton Mattingly, and Kyle Brenn.

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