26 August 2023
18:00 - 19:00 hrs (GMT+7)
Max Riefer, Tanasit Siripanichwattana, Kevin Castelo and TIME SOUL Percussion Group
Drumming by Steve Reich
Steve Reich’s masterpiece „Drumming", composed in 1970/71, belongs not only to the classics of percussion repertoire but can surely be counted as one of the milestones of 20th century music. At minimum, Drumming requires 9 percussionists, however, the number of players can be extended up to 13 percussionists, three vocalists, and a piccoloist. The nucleus of the composition consists of one pattern which is varied throughout. The four parts are clearly divided by the use of different instrument groups: first bongos, then marimbas, then glockenspiel, and all mixed at the end. Core elements of composition are building up, playing down and repetition of the nucleus and - one of Steve Reich’s most characteristic markers - phasing, a process where one player keeps the tempo of a pattern steady and another one speeds up the same pattern slightly until a different downbeat has been reached, leading to a new resulting pattern.
Although inspired by different local music ensembles Reich encountered during a visit to Ghana, the composition is neither a direct reference to Ghanaian modes of performance nor can it be approached in a way many European/North American contemporary ensemble pieces would be rehearsed - individual preparation, a few rehearsals to put the music together. Much more than that, the strategies of working on Drumming resemble those of many traditional local modes of production worldwide: collective learning from the beginning and many repetitions of parts which allow a deep understanding of one’s own part as well as the other parts that provide context to the respective voice. The highest level of performance is only achieved once the music is embodied by all players and the individuals have melted into one entity, preferably avoiding scores throughout the whole process but applying rote learning. In that sense, Drumming has a strong element of transculturality without referring to specific modes of practices.
Directed by Max Riefer, Tanasit Siripanichwattana and Kevin Castelo