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A “torque” is a twisting force, and Vijay Iyer’s new mallet quartet for Sō Percussion is a dizzying display of virtuosity and inventiveness. In this four-movement work the renowned pianist and composer adapts his unique concepts of rhythm to percussion keyboards (two marimbas and two vibraphones). Breathtaking accelerations, ambiguous and wonky odd-number grooves, a lyrical marimba chorale, and straight-ahead 4/4 reminiscent of Prince mark a journey that only this combination of artists could imagine.
Sō Percussion has commissioned a refreshing new generation of percussion keyboard music. Steve Reich’s Mallet Quartet from 2009 kicked off a subgenre of pieces for two marimbas and two vibraphones. In that vein, fantastic new works by Vijay Iyer, Donnacha Dennehy, and Jason Treuting demonstrate the possibilities of this satisfying combination of wood and metal.

Other composers have concocted original ways of making sound and of combining keyboards with other instruments. Caroline Shaw explores her fascination with flower pots, Elliot Cole tasks four players with bowing one vibraphone in his gorgeous preludes, and Suzanne Farrin explores her characteristically impressionistic sound worlds.

Our longtime collaborator Dan Trueman has invented something truly original: a software instrument called the “Bitklavier,” which extends the possibilities of the traditional piano by warping and retuning its natural sounds.
Amid the Noise by Jason Treuting
Promo video by Four/Ten Media
Performers: SoSI 2018 Percussionists

Zachary Bass, Joe Berry, Andrew Berry, Yang Chen, Lucas Conant, Tyler Darnall, Nia Devetzis, Emily Durocher, Aly Evans, Caleb Evans, Francis Favis, Zachary Frieze, Daniel Hartung, Sam Herman, Jonathan Huard, Anna Hughes, Elizabeth Karney, Jack Kloecker, Salina Kuo, Bensen Kwan, Carla Lackey, Allison Littlejohn, Nicholas Martinez, Daniel Matei, Rebecca McDaniel, Lauren Molloy, Luca Morante, Mika Nakamura, McKayla Phillips, Raphaël Plante-Hétu, Alyssa Resh, Nicole Robbins, William Rothermel, Juliette Serrie, Julian Springer, Morgan Sutherland, Jackson Vickery, Jordan Walsh, Josh Weinfeld, Cameron Wilson, Euphina Yap.

July 28, 2018 - Lewis Center Complex Forum
It’s amazing what you can make with wood. Watch Sō Percussion play Steve Reich’s “Music for Pieces of Wood” at Makeville Studio, a woodworking shop in Brooklyn.
"Water, Wine, Brandy, Brine"
for percussion quartet (15 crystal glasses, lightly amplified)

Composed by Viet Cuong
Performed on May 18, 2015 at Princeton University by Sō Percussion
Thursday 18 August 2016
St John's Church, Seaham

More than 200 people packed into St John’s Church in Seaham on Thursday 18 August to see New York-based group Sō Percussion perform From Out A Darker Sea, a piece of music created for and inspired by the people of East Durham, commissioned by East Durham Creates and produced by Forma Arts.
Sō Percussion creates adventurous performances with new, unconventional instruments. Performing "Music for Wood and Strings" by Bryce Dessner of The National, the quartet plays custom-made dulcimer-like instruments that combine the sound of an electric guitar with the percussionist's toolkit to create a hypnotic effect.
Trailer for Evan Chapman's HD video of So Percussion's live performance of Bryce Dessner's "Music for Wood and Strings."
On October 2nd, 2014, Sō Percussion and the LA Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel conducting premiered David Lang's "man made," a concerto for percussion quartet and orchestra.
Steve Reich with Bryce Dessner & Sō Percussion - Clapping Music I A Take Away Show
The minute its members were ensconced in our office, So Percussion started borrowing items to add to its set, from an amplified cactus and bells to a mug filled with spare change and an empty padded envelope. The ensemble performs original pieces and the works of John Cage at the Tiny Desk.
Mallet Quartet (2009) is scored for two vibraphones and two five octave marimbas. I had never written for five octave marimbas extending down to cello C. On the one hand I was delighted to have the possibility of a low bass and on the other hand apprehensive since just slightly too hard a mallet that low can produce noise instead of pitch. Eventually, after a bit of experimentation, this was well worked out.
neither Anvil nor Pulley
for laptop/percussion quartet (with turntable) commissioned by Sō Percussion
Sō Percussion previews composer Steve Mackey's It Is Time.