Artpark Kicks Off Summer Season with Sō Percussion
As summer nears closer and closer in Lewiston, New York, the desire for live music that was postponed in the summer of 2020 continues to grow, and at last, some good news has arrived. Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park, also known as Artpark, recently announced their summer concert and event schedule.
The summer music season kicks off at Artpark on Sunday, June 13 at four in the afternoon with Sō Percussion as part of the venue’s New Music in the Park series. Sō Percussion thus far has released the following for their set list for the event: Julia Wolfe’s Dark Full Ride Pt. 1 and Kendall Williams’ Melodic Concept iii, though more may be added as the date draws nearer.
Sō Percussion will be celebrating their sixth year as the Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence at Princeton University this year, and has welcomed the appointment of vocalist, flutist, and composer Nathalie Joachim as the ensemble’s inaugural Andrew W. Siegel Composition Fellow.
Described by The New Yorker as “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” Sō Percussion interprets modern classics through original, genre-bending original productions. The ensemble has time and time again redefined the range and length of modern percussion.
Sō Percussion’s original productions include “Where (we) Live,” “From Out a Darker Sea,” and Jason Treuting’s “Amid the Noise.” These productions are most noted for employing a twenty-first century palette distinctly that features theatrical production values, visual art, original music, and artistic collaboration. All factor in to themes of potent explorations of the human experience.
Back in December of 2019, Sō Percussion sold out Carnegie Hall in one of their most triumphant returns to music with their performance of “A Percussion Century,” which has been described as a massive exploration of the modern percussion soundscape, including the works of Iannis Xenakis, David Lang, John Cage, and Steve Reich, as well as the works of Carlos Chávez, Johanna Beyer, and the New York premiere of Sō’s newest commission, “Forbidden Love,” a string quartet by Julia Wolfe.
Sō Percussion continued the momentum in 2020 with a Miller Theatre Composer Portrait of Sō collaborator Caroline Shaw, an artist whom has an album due this musical season with Sō Percussion as well. Sō Percussion recently collaborated with famed choreographer John Heginbotham on a new ballet, “RACECAR,” which premiered as part of The Washington Ballet’s season opener production entitled “NEXTsteps.”
Sō Percussion has recorded more than 20 other albums and performed at numerous events and locales including Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Hall, the Barbican, the Eaux Claires Festival, MassMoCA, and TED 2016. Sō Percussion has performed with Jad Abumrad, Dan Trueman and the JACK Quartet, Buke and Gase, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel, as well as many other talented musicians.
Sō Percussion has also been known for their growing range of community outreach and social projects. Their Brooklyn Bound presentations of emerging composers and artists, commitments to off-setting carbon-heavy activities including touring, and the Sō Percussion Summer Institute (SōSI), an intensive two-week chamber music seminar for percussionists and composers are all fine examples of the group’s commitment to social justice. SōSI, now in its second decade of being, continues to feature community performances, guest artist workshops, and an annual food-packing drive, which has in past years yielded up to 25,000 meals for the Crisis Center of Mercer County through the organization, EndHungerNE.
Sō Percussion features works from the twentieth century by producers and musicians including Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, and Steve Reich just to name a few. Sō Percussion is also known for advocating and commissioning works from more contemporary composers like Steven Mackey, David Lang, Caroline Shaw, and Julia Wolfe. More specific modern collaborations with Sō Percussion feature artists more known for their work outside the concert hall setting, including Bryce Dessner, Shara Nova, and choreographer Susan Marshall.
Ticket information is forthcoming.