A concert "must": Carleton hosts renowned Sō Percussion and Composer/Fiddler Dan Trueman '90

April 7, 2016

Carleton is pleased to present an evening with world-renowned musicians Sō Percussion, along with composer and fiddler Dan Trueman and composer, drummer and music professor Andrea Mazzariello on Friday, April 8 at 8 p.m. in the Concert Hall. This not-to-be-missed performance by these long-time artistic collaborators navigates a rich musical landscape in idiosyncratic and singular ways, blurring lines between the traditional and the avant garde, between the composer and the performer.

The program will take audiences on "a very wild ride," including compositions that intersect traditional Norwegian folk music with the use of a variety of digital technology. There will also be a performance of Trueman's original composition, "neither Anvil nor Pulley," described an as epic musical exploration of the man/machine relationship in the digital age.

"These artists work in ways that can speak with real resonance to Carleton students and the greater Northfield community," says Mazzariello. "They make music that has its hands in many different traditions but manages to wholly honor each. This performance offers us an opportunity to observe and participate in their unique creative practices, as well as to honor the rich musical life of our community."

For over a decade, Sō Percussion has redefined the modern percussion ensemble as a flexible, omnivorous entity, pushing its voice to the forefront of American musical culture. Praised by the New Yorker for their “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” Sō’s adventurous spirit is written into the DNA passed down from composers like John Cage and Steve Reich, as well as from pioneering ensembles like the Kronos Quartet and Nexus Percussion.

Based in New York City, Sō Percussion’s career now encompasses 16 albums, touring throughout the USA and around the world, a dizzying array of collaborative projects, several ambitious educational programs, and a steady output of their own music. Their repertoire ranges from “classics” of the 20th century, by John Cage, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis, et al, to commissioning and advocating works by contemporary composers such as David Lang, Steve Mackey, and Paul Lansky, to distinctively modern collaborations with artists who work outside the classical concert hall, including vocalist Shara Worden, electronic duo Matmos, the groundbreaking Dan Deacon, legendary drummer Bobby Previte, jam band kings Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, choreographer Shen Wei, and composer and leader of The National, Bryce Dessner, among many others.

Sō Percussion is also well known for its use of unusual and exotic instruments in performance and on recordings, including glockenspiel, bowed marimba, aluminum pipes and an amplified cactus.

Acclaimed composer, fiddler, and electronic musician Dan Trueman is also a member of the Carleton Class of 1990. He began studying violin at the age of 4, and decades later, after a chance encounter, fell in love with the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, an instrument and tradition that has deeply affected all of his work, whether as a fiddler, a composer, or musical explorer. 

Trueman's current projects include a double-quartet for Sō Percussion and the JACK Quartet, commissioned by the Barlow Foundation, as well as ongoing collaborations with Irish fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and guitarist Monica Mugan (Trollstilt). His recent albums with Adam Sliwinski (Nostalgic Synchronic), Ó Raghallaigh (Laghdú) and So Percussion (neither Anvil nor Pulley) have met with wide acclaim. Truemans's work has been recognized by fellowships, grants, commissions, and awards from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations, the Barlow Endowment, the Fulbright Commission, the American Composers Forum, the American Council of Learned Societies, Meet the Composer, among others. He is Professor of music and Director of the Princeton Sound Kitchen at Princeton University, where he teaches counterpoint, electronic music, and composition.

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Christopher U. Light Lectureship series. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4347. The Concert Hall is located on First Street, between Nevada and Winona Streets, in Northfield.