Composer Portraits___________Percussia showcases the works of several great composers through programs dedicated to their music. Current Composer Portraits include:
Lou HarrisonA journey through the magical and eclectic world of the godfather of American percussion music.
Astor PiazzollaA showcase exploring the passionate and energetic works of the great master of the modern Argentine tango.
Marta PtaszynskaA highly varied and engaging program featuring the meditative and sonorous sounds of this award-winning Polish composer and percussionist.
Justinian TamusuzaRecognized as one of Africa's finest contemporary classical composers, Tamusuza's works are based on the colors and rhythms of traditional Bugandan court music.
Africa: Tradition and BeyondThis program features a variety of works spanning the African continent, including traditional works for drums, marimba and mbira; stylistically surprising and exquisitely crafted compositions by some of Africa’s best classical composers (Kevin Volans, Justinian Tamusuza and Peter Kltazow); and Percussia's own fresh arrangements of modern and traditional tunes.
The Pacific RimThis concert celebrates Asian music and Asian influences on American music, as well as works from Japan’s great tradition of marimba writing. The program includes works by Lou Harrison, Gareth Farr, David MacBride, Toru Takemitsu, Takayoshi Yoshioka, and Teruyuki Noda, as well as Percussia's own arrangements of Asian folk music styles.
Inspired by GamelanThis program is comprised entirely of works influenced by the amazing gong- and percussion-based gamelan orchestras from Indonesia’s islands of Java and Bali. This program features works by Colin McPhee, Gareth Farr, Steve Reich, Suzanne Farrin, Urs Wiesner and Matthew Welch.
Xylo-Klezmer JamIdeal for a nightclub setting, this avant-guard program showcases the xylophone and an assortment of other groovy instruments. The concert features modern klezmer-inspired tunes as well as modern interpretations of classic klezmer songs and traditional Balkan favorites.
Serenade by Marga Richter (2007)This Peruvian-inspired piece reveals the delicate side of percussion with meditative finger cymbals and delicate kendhangan drums from the Javanese gamelan, as well as features lyrical melodies for the flute and harp.
Starfish at Pescadero by Dennis Tobenski (2007)A gorgeous setting of the poetry of Idris Anderson for soprano, percussion, harp and viola. This work was written to showcase the vocal talents of Melissa Fogarty.
Calliope: The Muse of Eloquence by George Cork Maul (2007)Inspired by Calliope, the muse of epic poetry in Greek mythology, this piece explores the percussive side of the flute in an homage to the original calliope instrument. The work also includes harp and a collection of seven percussion instruments—a triangle, a tambourine, two woodblocks, two bongos, and a wrench hit with a brass mallet.
Evocation 1 by Demetrius Spaneas (2006)Bringing together musical elements from the Balkans, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and jazz, this spiritually inspired duet for woodwinds and percussion evokes shamanistic practices in a modern-day take on an ancient ceremony.
Kusanganisa by Charles Griffin (2005)Based on the melodic material of Griffin’s 2003 work, this piece, scored for two marimba players and flute, explores the concept of cyclical time through the use of a musical palindrome and hard-driving groove.
Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle by Charles Griffin (2003)Scored for two percussionists, violin, cello, flute and audience participation, audience members are asked to play along with Percussia on water-filled mason jars and super-ball mallets in an energetic, fun, call-and-response section. The melodic material in this piece is based around the mbira dza vadzimu from Zimbabwe, which is prominently featured in this piece.
Duos and Trios___________
In addition to the full ensemble, Percussia also often performs duos for percussion and percussion, flute, harp or viola, as well as trios for flute and two percussion or harp, flute and percussion.