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PercussEnsApril2017 small

This winter was a mixture of deep creative hibernation, freelance work, and collaborations.  We now emerge with a very special collaborative project with the New York University percussion studio, to be premiered May 1 in New York City.

A couple of years ago, I approached Jonathan Haas, director of NYU percussion ensemble, about performing the album version of Loop 2.4.3’s Time-Machine_music.  Jonathan was interested, but the timing wasn’t right. As the conversation continued, it was decided that I would write a new large scale work, essentially a symphony for percussion.  

Jonathan clearly wanted a large work, and it ended up being huge. He has said the work is larger in scope than anything they have ever taken on. There will be 16 musicians sprawled across the stage with keyboard percussion, piano, timpani, drums, metals, and a literal cage of tuned gongs. Every performer plays multiple instruments; some are called upon to sing as well. I have been meeting with the ensemble throughout the winter as they ready the premiere on May 1.

I would like to thank Jonathan and his fabulous percussion studio for their dedication and thoughtful approach to this music. It has been an amazing opportunity and experience.

The 40-minute work, entitled Child of the Earth (un niño busca a Dios), is in four movements:

I. Mother Nature (la inocencia pérdida)
II. Mysticism (Carillon)
III. A Journey (baile de los tambores)
IV. Beauty and Its Passing (cuando habiamos podido amar)

Child of the Earth is dedicated to the memory of Chad M. Plasters.

Please join us for this premiere, made possible by the generous collaboration of all parties. Brief program notes follow below.

The full May 1 program includes landmark works by Lou Harrison and Minoru Miki, providing context with the origins of symphonic thinking in percussion literature in Harrison’s Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra, and the virtuosity and visceral, tribal energy of Miki’s Marimba Spiritual. These highly evocative works, along with atmospheric, romantic, and groove oriented musics, influence Child of the Earth.

Long-time Loop 2.4.3 collaborators Aviva Jaye and James Godwin will assist with the vocal material on Child of the Earth.

NYU Percussion Ensemble
Miki, Harrison, Kozumplik World Premiere
Monday, May 1, 7:30 p.m.
Frederick Loewe Theatre
35 West 4th St.
New York, NY 10012

Admission is Free

Information: 347-687-5243

Presenter Website: http://events.nyu.edu/#!event_id/146712/view/event

Notes on the program
Child of the Earth is semi-programmatical and explores man finding his place in the world, and then leaving it. The title is personal and universal - we are all children of the earth. The second part of the title (un niño busca a Dios) represents man’s journey to find meaning in life. This is also personal and universal - we are all on a journey, yet everyone is on his own. People seek meaning, seek God, in many ways - through religion, through nature, through art, through physical feats, through drugs, relationships…

In Movement I we explore birth, youth, the loss of innocence, and a cry for help.

Movement II is a moment of connection to the universe. A youthful declaration of love and faith.

Movement III is an active journey, exploding with the energy of life.

In Movement IV we suffer the anguish of lost love, then remember when we could love…

In form, Child of the Earth resembles the symphony of the late Romantic period; the language and execution are contemporary and led by expressive intent. Viewing the percussion family as an orchestra one could imagine marimbas as strings, vibraphones as brass, glockenspiels as high winds…drums, gongs, piano, and the wide variety of world percussion provide great opportunity for expression. There is no attempt to reference any style, only the attempt to express through music, which pays homage to all that I hold dear.

My heartfelt thanks to Jonathan Haas and the NYU Percussion Ensemble for inspiring and realizing this work. My sincere gratitude to my family and friends for putting up with me during its creation.

Child of the Earth is dedicated to the loving memory of Chad M. Plasters.

- Thomas Kozumplik