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SOU-Left Edge Percussion-Tower Music

SOU’s Left Edge Percussion presents world premiere of Tower Music

Terry Longshore will lead SOU’s Left Edge Percussion in the premiere of New York composer Joseph Bertolozzi’s percussion arrangement of “Tower Music.” The work features 82 percussion instruments played by five performers, and will premiere Nov. 8 at the university’s Music Recital Hall.

Left Edge Percussion is a contemporary percussion group in residence at SOU’s Oregon Center for the Arts.

The idea behind “Tower Music” grew out of Bertolozzi’s “Bronze Collection” project for solo percussion. He reasoned that everything vibrates and drummers like to bang on things, so why not play the Eiffel Tower?

Never thinking he would get permission to drum on the iconic French tower but liking the concept, Bertolozzi first sought approval from the New York State Bridge Authority to create another piece, “Bridge Music,” on the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

“I didn’t think I’d get permission for that either, but at least I didn’t have to learn French just to ask,” he said.

“Bridge Music” is now in its 9th year as a public sound art installation.

Using “Bridge Music” as a proof of concept, Bertolozzi approached the French government (six times) and eventually received permission to “sample” (record) the Eiffel Tower’s surfaces. He and his team of audio and video engineers sampled over 10,000 sounds of the Eiffel Tower, then narrowed those down to about 2,800 “usable” sounds. He next constructed scales and “instrument sets” out of those raw recordings.

Seven years of planning, fundraising and sweat later, “Tower Music” became a reality. It reached  No. 11 and No. 16, respectively, on the iTunes Classical and Billboard Classical Crossover charts.

The score for “Tower Music” on the Eiffel Tower itself is written out in standard notation so it can be performed live by 100 percussionists. A possible live performance directly on the Eiffel Tower is currently in development for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but is far from certain.

Meanwhile, Bertolozzi’s new arrangement makes it possible for a percussion 5tet to reproduce the music – for instance, with cymbals standing in for fence crashes, bass drums for booms on the Tower legs with a log and glockenspiel for pings on a pipe.

“This arrangement is important to me, as it will bring live performances of the work into the concert hall, since live performance on the Eiffel Tower itself will be an extremely rare (if ever) event,” Bertolozzi said. “It gives longevity and presence to the music by allowing live audiences to enjoy live performances in an authentic, composer-created arrangement.”

Bertolozzi, joined by SOU’s Longshore and Left Edge Percussion, will also give a free talk about “Tower Music” from 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, , in the Music Recital Hall.

Longshore and Left Edge Percussion tours and performs throughout the Northwest and actively collaborates on innovative projects with composers and artists of various media. Members of the group have been featured around the globe at prestigious festivals, competitions, conferences and workshops.

ICFAD Longshore

Three SOU arts leaders accepted as fellows in international council

NEWS BRIEF
(Ashland, Ore.) — Three Southern Oregon University faculty members – the largest contingent from any college or university in the world – have been accepted into the 2018-19 Fellows Program of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD).

SOU’s new ICFAD fellows are music professor Terry Longshore, director of SOU’s Percussion Studies program; Deborah Rosenberg, professor of costume design in the university’s Theatre Program and past president of the Faculty Senate; and Scott Malbaurn, director of the Schneider Museum of Art. In addition, David Humphrey – director of SOU’s Oregon Center for the Arts – has been invited to serve as a mentor for a fellow from a different institution.

The international council offers a fellows program every third year as a professional development opportunity for talented arts administrators considered ready to move into leadership positions.

This year’s program for the 19 fellows who were accepted from around the world will begin in October with an education program, “Strategies for Developing Leaders,” at the ICFAD’s Annual Conference in Seattle. Each fellow will also be assigned a mentor from an ICFAD member institution other than their own.

The International Council of Fine Arts Deans was established in 1964 to facilitate the sharing of information and ideas among deans and other arts executives in higher education. ICFAD is the only organization that focuses solely on issues that impact higher education leaders in creative areas including fine and performing arts, arts education, art history, architecture and communication.

-SOU-