Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So Percussion Play Paul Lansky's "Threads"

There is good news. Bang-on-a-Can's label Cantaloupe Music is back in a big way with Naxos distribution. One of the first of the new releases is So Percussion's recording of Threads by Paul Lansky (Cantaloupe).

If you haven't heard So's version of Steve Reich's Drumming (also on Cantaloupe) you are missing something very good. The ensemble plays with the sort of drive and conviction a percussion group has to have or what's the point?

Paul Lansky's piece fills out around 30 minutes with ten varied movements. There are moments that sound post-gamelan-like, a little nod to Taiko drumming, something that sounds like bamboo from Borneo meeting a quasi-Latin groove and much else. It is a loosely integrated series of pieces that charm, uplift and captivate in one broad series of strokes. The different sound colors of the four percussionists playing a fairly wide arsenal of instruments little and not-so-little are on display. Each movement is a sound world unto itself. This is music with a pulse. It is music with a heart and soul.

It's worth a half-hour of your time, surely. It is worth it many times, many listens later.

Welcome back Cantaloupe!

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