“Music for Wood and Strings” by Bryce Dessner + So Percussion
"The work is charming and sincere, employing the perfect balance of silence and sound to create a fully captivating sonic meditation. Dessner’s colorful musical palette features hocketed rhythms, mirrored inversions, drones, tremolos, rhythmic repetition, contrapuntal textures, and a primarily tonal musical language, creating a vivid and distinctive sound that pulls the listener in from start to finish.
"Writing the piece for four of the most renowned percussionists in contemporary classical music also doesn’t hurt. Sō Percussion’s perfect blend of rhythmic precision and organic expressivity brings the score to life, immersing the listener in an unforgettable soundscape filled with sweet strings and shimmering rhythms."
— Maggie Malloy,
So Percussion makes mayhem with mallets
"The chamber ensemble So Percussion has a straightforward name, but like this quartet itself, it has a way of revealing more than what may be initially apparent."
— Aaron Cohen,
CSO, MusicNOW make cutting-edge music together
"So Percussion, rock stars of the percussion world, often use 'found objects' in their performances. For this, the objects were twigs, which they picked up, snapped and dropped, in a stylized, seated performance. After the twigs, the work unfolded theatrically through other sound events. The soloists – Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting – picked up mallets and performed a mesmerizing choreography on marimba, xylophone, steel drums and even steel garbage cans. Their sound world was inventive, subtle and precisely played."
— Janelle Gelfand,
So Percussion Is So Entertaining At SFJAZZ
"From a performance standpoint, So Percussion was simply flawless. There were no hiccups, no hesitations, no errant moments to disturb the complex (and often fragile) sonic architectures they erected. Yet their greatest accomplishment might be the least apparent one: They are perfectly transparent performers, relinquishing histrionics, mannerisms, and flamboyancy in total service to the music."
— Giacomo Fiore,
San Francisco Classical Voice
David Lang, Michael Gordon and So Percussion toy with minds
"Leaving Disney, I felt unsteady, as evidently did others, some of whom ignored traffic signals and stepped incautiously in front of cars on Grand Avenue.
"'Timber' is music as a powerful drug. So Percussion and its L.A. Phil friends administered it astonishingly."
— Mark Swed,
Los Angeles Times
Dudamel, L.A. Phil give epic Mahler
"The So Percussion players – Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, Jason Treuting – were snazzy and precise no matter what the instrument."
— Timothy Mangan,
Orange County Register
Bryce Dessner, So Percussion and Matmos, Live at Carnegie Hall
"Pounding, pulsating beats cascaded through the hall, deep primal bass drums punctuating the rapping of wood blocks, making a rousing end to a night of precipitous clashings, where classical orchestral music and avant-garde electronics met and, unlikely as it may seem, meshed."
— Charlee Redman,
Eli Keszler & So Percussion: Making The Manhattan Bridge Roar And Sing
"By the time that their performance rolled around at 6:30 PM, Keszler and So Percussion created fascinating layers of sound. The shimmering, nearly melodic lines produced by bowing small cymbals called crotales offset sharply articulated snare drums and the grunting roars, squonks and groans of the piano wire installation. It was urbane and thoroughly urban music for a signature city setting."
— Anastasia Tsioulcas,
Northern Public Radio
So Percussion: Dan Trueman's neither Anvil nor Pulley on Can
"Created in collaboration with Brooklyn-based quartet So Percussion, nAnP provides a compelling vision of 21st century music-making, where boundaries between digital and acoustic universes dissolve and beguiling new soundscapes arise from the musical melting pot."
— Dana Wen,
I Care If You Listen
"So Percussion also performed Reich’s later 'Mallet Quartet' (featuring inventive harmonic movement and color, with a section in slow motion), 'Nagoya Marimbas' (a pentatonic fantasy for dueling marimbas) and 'Drumming Part 1' — just a 20-minute segment of Reich’s epic Drumming. It was all performed with breathtaking technical precision and flair, as well as endurance." Read More...
— Janelle Gelfand,
A Bunch of Drummers and Friends, Thinking About Home and John Cage
"So do the singing and electric- guitar playing of Grey Mcmurray, whose contributions amplify a progressive-rock spin already implicit in hypnotic, vibraphone-led passages. Those elements, Mr. Mcmurray’s reedy croon in particular, lend a relatable aspect to an otherwise pleasurably inscrutable evening of ambient washes and elemental bashes, and emphasize the theme of communal interaction intrinsic to this ambitious, beguiling show."
— Steve Smith,
New York Times
'Where (we) Live' Creates a Transporting Theatrical Soundscape
"Collaborating with songwriter Grey Mcmurray, who supplies vocals and guitar, the gentlemen of So have woven together a hypnotic tapestry of beats, blips, and tinkles."
— Mitch Montgomery,
Improvisation, With Prompting to Set the Mood
"In 'Where (we) Live' the members of So Percussion, who all make their homes in Brooklyn, embrace the notion of community within the act of making music. Friends from other disciplines — a blacksmith, a potter, a painter, a cabinetmaker — join the musicians onstage and perform the tasks of their trades, acting as both muses and collaborators. A certain amount of trust is inherently part of any ensemble’s playing, but here So Percussion deepens it to explore how a sense of community enriches the creative process and the resultant work of art."
— Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim,
New York Times
So Percussion, ACME and yMusic showcase new sounds
"... this group plays with an irresistible vitality.... This was a concert rare in its delightful excellence."
— Anne Midgette,
"The members of S? Percussion have friendly, down-to-earth personas and were captivating to watch perform, especially during more physical pieces." Read More...
— Kristin Shafel Omiccioli,
So Percussion and the Rise of Rhythm
"Just now, the leader of the movement is probably the So Percussion, whose new album with the guitarist Greg McMurray, Where (we) Live features a dramatized ode to Brooklyn. The quartet’s members — Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting — are improvisers, composers, producers and musical entrepreneurs. They have teamed up with the DJ and composer Dan Deacon, commissioned pieces from Pulitzer-winners like Steve Reich and David Lang, and developed programs that are more theatrical extravaganzas than mere concerts. The reason for their success is simple: staggering ensemble virtuosity, which allows them to exhale the most complex scores like a single, multi-malleted organism."
— Justin Davidson,
Album Review: Where (we) Live
"With the album Where (we) Live, a distillation of an evening-length show that So Percussion premiered and toured in the fall 2012, the group continues to push the conventions of what a percussion ensemble sounds like, or even what it is."
— Stephen Eddins,
Festival Review: CoS at Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 2012
"Eight tuned bongos in a straight line meant one thing: Part One of Steve Reich's Drumming, his epic 1971 percussion opus. The iconic piece has become something of a signature work for So Percussion, partially because they are just so damn good at playing it."
— Jake Cohen,
Consequence of Sound
"The inventiveness of the entire enterprise and the unpredictability of the ultimate product (the downloads) beautifully embody the open-endedness of Cage's aesthetic. By taking his ideas in directions he could never have imagined, So Percussion has realized and given new life to Cage's generous intent to divest his compositions of ego and to empower performers. One can't help imagining his infectious smile and laugh if he were on hand to experience this project." Read More...
— Stephen Eddins,
"The evening was an exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam -- Cage punkishly reinvented for a new generation, without nostalgia for the old downtown scene."
— Alex Ross,
The New Yorker
"A hugely entertaining John Cage Centennial Celebration by So Percussion and friends performing on assorted electronics at Zankel Hall (3/26) led off the first night of American Mavericks." Read More...
— Sedgwick Clark,
"On tracks such as 'Third Construction,' perhaps Cage's best-known percussion piece, cymbal rolls hiss on the edge of the aural precipice, as cowbells expertly hocket with bongos in an asphyxiating conversation. The important lesson here, which So Percussion proves so well, is that indeterminacy does not negate the necessity of talent and preparation." Read More...
— Doyle Armbrust,
Time Out Chicago
"Spending an evening listening to So Percussion's Cage 100 Bootleg Series is somewhat akin to sitting up all night in college, drinking red table wine, smoking Parliaments and discussing what it all means: Very few concrete answers result, but you still walk away feeling buzzed and charged." Read More...
— Olivia Giovetti,
"Last night, I attended a John Cage tribute by So Percussion and Matmos - one of the more entertaining and fulfilling evenings I've had in recent years, not least because Dan Deacon's conceptual piece Take a Deep Breath required me, along with the rest of the audience, to make a hooting, hollering, singing, stamping, and ringtone-playing Carnegie debut.... I would happily have seen it five more times."
— Alex Ross,
The Rest Is Noise
Bring Out Your Ringtones, and Other Requests for Accompaniment
"That was not the concert's oddest moment, but it would be hard to find a consensus on what was. Maybe it was seeing these four imaginative percussionists (Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting), along with the members of Matmos, an equally innovative electronica duo (Drew Daniel and M. C. Schmidt), playing their alternately tactile and thunderously crunchy collaborative work, 'Needles' (2010), on an amplified cactus. Or it could have been a random visual gag: a musician's suddenly stopping to do push-ups or slice celery stalks or shave off a long, thick beard."
— Allan Kozinn,
New York Times
"'The guy wrote a piece for turntables in 1939-he was way ahead of the curve,' said Adam Sliwinski, a member of the contemporary-music quartet So Percussion. Mr. Sliwinski and his bandmates feel a special kinship with Cage, whose centennial inspired the outfit's new recording project, 'Cage 100: The Bootleg Series,' as well as a tribute concert Monday at Zankel Hall." Read More...
— Steve Dollar,
Wall Street Journal
"One of the most colorful ensembles around, and lately one of the engines that drives New York's new music world, So Percussion and guest artists (including Matmos, the electronica group) pay tribute to John Cage and his legacy in a program called 'We Are All Going in Different Directions.'"
— Allan Kozinn,
New York Times
Works by and inspired by John Cage
"The raucous party atmosphere continued in the lobby afterward. "
— Michael Johnson,
"Here's hoping that So Percussion remains with us for a long time to come and that the group keeps expanding our horizons as it relates to composition and percussion, whether banging out the new or banging in the old." Read More...
— Jedd Beaudoin,
Notable in 2011: So Percussion and Lisa Moore play Bresnick
"So Percussion and pianist Lisa Moore inhabit the music with a persuasive, commanding, and detailed performance on record: one can only imagine its powerful impact coupled with Goya's artworks in a live setting.
"Not only was chutzpah an ingredient of this project, but so was a seamless collaborative spirit. Meet the Composer commissioned this piece for So Percussion and Moore, and it is a truly inspired partnership. One hopes that it is merely the beginning of a long musical relationship."
— Christian Carey,