Sō continues its collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw with a new collection of songs. These new songs will be featured alongside music from 2020’s Grammy Award-winning song cycle Narrow Sea, and the co-composed album of songs Let the Soil Play its Simple Part.
Sō Percussion has long championed the work of American composers, and this program expands that category to include a wider range of voices and dynamic performers. Concurrent with innovations in experimental music, genres such as disco, jazz, hip-hop, tap dance, and rock n’ roll exploded in popularity and inevitably influenced concert music. These programs embrace the influence of these American art forms on composers.
In this program, pieces built from deep knowledge of rhythms from West Africa, Trinidad, India, and North America coalesce in new works for Sō Percussion. Some of these works exist in a score, others were conceived and transmitted through oral instruction, and still others were co-composed in the style of a band.
Most of the composers Sõ Percussion works with are also extraordinary performers, and Sõ composes music, blurring the lines between these traditionally discrete roles. The composers in these programs have appeared frequently onstage with Sō Percussion, and have all been members of notable bands themselves (Balun, Eighth Blackbird, The National).
Sō's 2012 celebration of John Cage’s explosive legacy blew the roof off of Carnegie’s Zankel Hall! More than 10 years later, Sō has updated the program, which features both Cage’s work and that of current collaborators, to reflect both today’s interests and Cage’s timeless provocations. Favorite works such as the ultra-virtuosic, genre-defining Third Construction mix with ethereal chance-based pieces to express the range of Cage’s ideas.