The Williams College Department of Music presents the Williams College Percussion Ensemble (WiPE) on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall. This free event is open to the public.
The Williams Percussion Ensemble presents its fall concert, mo(nu)ment. In works that feature marimbas and vibraphones, drums and cymbals, metal and glass pipes, and gongs dipped in water, WiPE delves into the deep rhythms and patterns of contemporary percussion music. Kate Moore’s Fern for strings, percussion, and electronics envelops the listener in intricate patterns inspired by the fronds of ferns. Her work explores, “the way tectonic forces act upon a surface where the subtle collision of energies push and pull against each other resulting in rippling, swirling, and vibrating soundscapes that are always changing.” Matthew Welch’s Loch Fyne Variations combines the melodies of Highland bagpipe playing with the patterns of Indonesian gamelan in a work for mallet percussion instruments, while Eric Moe’s I Have Only One Itching Desire finds the West African drumming patterns implied in Mitch Mitchell’s drumming in the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Widely hailed as America’s most important living composer, Steve Reich’s 1971 masterwork Drumming is an extraordinarily deep dive into pattern, in which the composer has created a new musical world out of four pairs of bongos tuned to matching pitches. Reiko Füting’s mo(nu)ment 129 refers to the light sculptures of Dan Flavin and explores the spatial as well as the acoustic. With players placed around the hall, the listener is immersed in a fast moving, ever changing sonic and rhythmic universe.
About Williams Percussion Ensemble
In programs featuring cutting-edge new music and important works of the twentieth-century, the Williams Percussion Ensemble (WiPE) surveys a vast terrain of sound and rhythm. The ensemble employs all manner of percussion instruments, found sounds, and electronics to create music that resonates across boundaries of genre and discipline. In addition to music for percussion alone, the group presents works for mixed ensembles and new and experimental music for other instruments, and often works directly with composers. The ensemble also collaborates with artists in diverse media in order to explore the connections between different types of sound, form, image, and movement.
About Matthew Gold
Matthew Gold is a percussionist in the Talea Ensemble, where he also serves as Director of Operations, and a member of the Talujon percussion group. As a soloist and chamber musician he appears frequently on festivals and programs across the U.S. and internationally presenting concert programs, master classes, and lectures. Mr. Gold performs with the Mark Morris Dance Group, serves on the artistic faculty of the Wellesley Composers Conference, and has been an artist-faculty member of the Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance at Mannes College and a member of the resident ensemble at the Walden School’s Young Musicians Program. Recent highlights include Talujon’s performance of Gérard Grisey’s Le Noir de l’Étoile on the Bang on a Can Marathon in New York and performances of works by Stockhausen and Boulez with the New York Philharmonic on its “Philharmonic 360” program at the Park Avenue Armory. Mr. Gold is Artist in Residence in Percussion and Contemporary Music Performance at Williams College where he directs the Williams Percussion Ensemble, the I/O New Music Ensemble, and the annual I/O Festival of New Music.