The New York-based ensemble Sandbox Percussion releases its debut album, And That One Too (Coviello Classics) on Friday, February 28, 2020. And That One Too includes works by Andy Akiho (Haiku 2), David Crowell (Music for Percussion Quartet – with Crowell on guitar) Amy Beth Kirsten (she is a myth – with Kirsten on vocals), and Thomas Kotcheff (not only that one but that one & that too). That same day at 8pm, Sandbox Percussion celebrates the release with a concert at National Sawdust in Brooklyn (80 N. 6th Street) performing selections from the album and more.
Brought together by their love of chamber music and the simple joy of playing together, Jonathan Allen, Victor Caccese, Ian Rosenbaum and Terry Sweeney formed Sandbox Percussion in 2011. A central tenet of their mission as an organization has been to collaborate with composers over long periods of time to write music that stretches the boundaries of what is possible with percussion – both technically and expressively. Rosenbaum explains, “This collection of works represents four of the most meaningful and long-term relationships with composers that we have had as a group. Furthermore, this album is about the first nine years of Sandbox's existence, and about the music of four people who have done a lot to help us become the musicians we are today.”
The concert at National Sawdust features three selections from the album: Andy Akiho’s Haiku 2; David Crowell’s Music for Percussion Quartet; and Thomas Kotcheff’s not only that one but that one & that too, part 3. Additional works on the program which are not on the album are Amy Beth Kirsten’s may the devil take me; Ricardo Romaneiro’s Sub Pulse; and a special performance by composer and multi-instrumentalist David Crowell. The concert is presented by A/V 360, a new audiovisual series curated by composer Ricardo Romaneiro. A/V 360 presents immersive performances exploring relationships between sound, light, film, and live visuals. This performance features visuals by Mau and lighting design by Dominick Chang, and makes use of National Sawdust’s state-of-the-art Spacemap® and Constellation® systems from Meyer Sound.
Click here to listen on Spotify. Click here to listen on Apple Music.
1. Andy Akiho: Haiku 2 (2011; rev. 2019)
“This work has no text, but it observes the 5-7-5 form of a haiku musically. The rhythmic structure of each measure consists of a group of 5 sixteenth notes, then a group of 7, then another group of 5. The larger metric structure is also based on the 5-7-5 of a haiku - the material is played 5 times, then 7 times, and then 5 again. When one returns to the beginning of the cycle again, each player in turn leaves their pitched instrument and moves to an unpitched sound, until by the end, all that is left is a dense hocket among the four players.
Andy Akiho and I met in grad school in 2010, and I've played nearly every piece that he's ever written for percussion. Right now, he's in the process of writing Seven Pillars for Sandbox - a 75-minute work, the most expansive chamber music piece of his career thus far. Haiku 2 is a piece that he originally wrote for Loadbang, and we arranged it for Sandbox during a Seven Pillars residency about a year and a half ago.” – Ian Rosenbaum
[2-5] David Crowell: Music for Percussion Quartet (2015) (with David Crowell, guitar)
2. I - Fluctuation 3. II - Sky 4. III - Oscillation 5. IV - Landscape
“Music for Percussion Quartet draws inspiration from the radically different environments I’ve lived in and experienced while traveling. The first and third movements, Fluctuation and Oscillation, both utilize polyrhythms throughout. Parts are interconnected, even as the clarity of their relationships blur and shift in focus. In a busy urban environment, individual agendas and varying rates of movement mirror the independent/co-dependent nature of this polyrhythmic interaction. Sky and Landscape, on the other hand, come from the meditative calm of spacious, pure environments. These movements suggest a place for contemplation in quiet spaces of the mind. I have experienced this perspective most vividly when climbing mountains, looking up at the sky and out on to the landscape.” – David Crowell
“David Crowell wrote Celestial Sphere, a piece for marimba and electronics, for a consortium of percussionists that included a few of us in Sandbox back in 2013. He wrote the work on this album, Music for Percussion Quartet in 2015 after workshopping the elements in it extensively with us, and has since written us another percussion quartet.” – Ian Rosenbaum
6. Amy Beth Kirsten: she is a myth (2017) (with Amy Beth Kirsten, vocals)
“she is a myth was originally commissioned for three percussion and three voices by the Riot Ensemble with generous support from London Arts Council. Sandbox Percussion, who also premiered the 90-minute work QUIXOTE, commissioned this version for three voices and percussion quartet in 2019.” – Amy Beth Kirsten
“I first met Amy Beth Kirsten while I was in an undergrad at Peabody, and Sandbox started to play music of hers as part of her theatrical ensemble HOWL in 2013. In 2017, we collaborated with her on Quixote, a 90-minute theatrical work for Sandbox and 3 singers. she is a myth was an early piece written for Quixote as it was being developed. It didn't end up being a part of the show, and we're thrilled to be able to release it here. Amy sings all 3 vocal parts on this recording.” – Ian Rosenbaum
[7-9] Thomas Kotcheff not only that one but that one & that too (2016)
7. Part I 8. Part II 9. Part III
“not only that one but that one & that too is divided into three large parts which each focus on a different family of percussion instruments: wood, skins, and metal. A majority of the piece’s direct inspiration came from Sandbox Percussion themselves. All the instruments were drawn from the list of instruments that Sandbox Percussion had in their studio and I aimed to write unique music for each specific player within the ensemble — Victor on percussion 1, Jonny on percussion 2, Terry on percussion 3, and Ian on percussion 4. Every moment of the piece that has an idiosyncratic solo of some kind was written with that person in mind.” – Thomas Kotcheff
“Thomas Kotcheff is another friend of ours from undergraduate school. He wrote his first piece for us in 2012, the second in 2014, and finally the work on this album, not only that one but that one & that too in 2016. This work represents the culmination of our years of friendship and collaboration - it's a 30-minute piece in 3 sections, and was truly written for the 4 of us. Each of us has solo moments in the piece that represent aspects of our individual personalities in Thomas' eyes, and the instruments involved in the piece - from the exact number of drums in movement 2 to the pitch content of the metallic instruments in movement 3 - were selected by Thomas during trips to our rehearsal studio in Brooklyn.” – Ian Rosenbaum
Total Time 53:17
Coviello Classics, 2020 | COV 91918 | Produced by Moritz Bergfeld, Aaron Holloway-Nahum and Olaf Mielke
Tracks 1, 6-9: Seymour St. John Chapel, Wallingford CT. 12–14 March 2019
Produced, Edited, Mixed and Mastered by Aaron Holloway-Nahum
Tracks 2-5: Good Child Music Studios, Brooklyn NY. 5–6 May 2018
Produced and Edited by Lawson White, Mixed by David Crowell
Additional Mixing, Mastering by Aaron Holloway-Nahum
Art Direction & Design: Aaron Holloway-Nahum
Digipak and Booklet Cover: Ben Clube
And That One Too | Sandbox Percussion | Coviello Classics | Release Date: February 28, 2020 (digital retailers)