This TNT presentation features two kaleidoscopic concert-length, thematically-linked works for single instrument-families: Rushes for 7 bassoons (The Rushes Ensemble) and Timber for six percussionists (Mantra Percussion). Each work was written by Michael Gordon (co-founder of New York City’s Bang On a Can), one of America’s most adventurous composers, who creates music characterized by “vigor and hypnotic intensity” (The New York Times). Both works will be presented back to back in an environment that invites curious audiences to sit, walk or lie down as they take in the trance-inducing music.
These works have received critical praise since their respective premieres, having been described by The New York Times as if they “evoke electronic music,” and by New York Magazine as “simultaneously dizzying and austere.”
Timber (composed in 2009), for percussionists playing two-by-fours — like you might buy at a lumber yard — creates a rhythmic atmosphere of overtones that The Boston Globe describes as “a halo, an ethereal aura of sound.” Rushes (composed in 2012) also makes inventive use of unusual resources: it is a reflective, sixty-minute tour de force scored for seven bassoons and partially inspired by the ethos of Timber. Rushes has been described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as if the music “flows like a river with constantly varying ripples and waves.” In both works, Gordon intends to create “a quasi-meditative, almost ecstatic state in the listener as well as the performer.”
The performance is 110 minutes of music, separated by a short break.
This program supported in part by Tennessee Arts Commission, The Danner Foundation and Metro Nashville Arts Commission.