So Percussion

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So Percussion
So Percussion
Background information
Origin Brooklyn, New York
Genres Percussion
Labels Cantaloupe Music
Nonesuch Records
Thrill Jockey
Website Official Site
Members Josh Quillen
Adam Sliwinski
Jason Treuting
Eric Cha-Beach
Past members Tim Feeney
Todd Meehan
Doug Perkins
Lawson White

So Percussion (often styled Sō Percussion) is an American percussion quartet based in New York City.

Composed of Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, Jason Treuting, and Eric Cha-Beach, the group is well known for recording and touring internationally and for its work with composers such as Steve Reich, David Lang, Paul Lansky, Martin Bresnick, Steven Mackey, Fred Frith, Dan Trueman, Tristan Perich, Oscar Bettison, Evan Ziporyn, and Arvo Pärt. Originally formed when the members were students of Robert van Sice at the Yale School of Music, the group also continues to play works from the standard repertoire of percussion ensemble music—including works by composers such as John Cage, George Crumb, and Iannis Xenakis. In addition to their work with composers, the members of So Percussion produce original music, including large scale evening-length works.

So Percussion frequently collaborates with other musicians and groups from around the world, including Dave Douglas, Matmos, Kneebody, Medeski Martin & Wood, Dan Deacon, The Dirty Projectors, Glenn Kotche, Bobby Previte, Project Jenny, Project Jan, Trollstilt, and The Princeton Laptop Orchestra. The group 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.[1][2]

So Percussion records for Bang on a Can record label Cantaloupe Music and is represented by Alliance Artist Management. The group endorses Zildjian, Vic Firth, Remo and Pearl/Adams.[3][4][5][6]


Sō Percussion (2004)[7]

Steve Reich: Drumming (2005)[8]

Amid the Noise (2006) *CD/DVD[9]

Five (and-a-half) Gardens — with Trollstilt (2007)

Treasure State — with Matmos (2010)[10]

Paul Lansky: Threads (2011)[11]

Steve Reich: WTC 9/11 - Mallet Quartet Recording (2011) *CD/DVD[12]

Steve Mackey: It Is Time (2011) *CD/DVD[13]

Martin Bresnick: Caprichos Enfaticos with Lisa Moore, piano (2011) [14]

Bad Mango with Dave Douglas, trumpet (2011) [15]

David Lang: The Woodmans - Music From the Film (2011) [16]

Amid the Noise Remixes (2011) [17]

Cage 100: Bootleg Series (2012) [18]

Where (we) Live (2012) [19]

neither Anvil nor Pulley (2013) [20]

Cenk Ergun: Nana - Proximity Recording (2014) [21]

Man Forever: Ryonen (2014) [22]

Princeton University[edit]

So Percussion has been involved with Princeton University in a number of ways. Most recently, the members of So Percussion were named Edward T. Cone performers-in-residence at Princeton.[23] The group has commissioned and recorded major works from Princeton composition faculty Steve Mackey, Paul Lansky, and Dan Trueman, as well as collaborating many times with the Princeton Composer's Ensemble and Princeton Laptop Orchestra.[24][25]

So Percussion Summer Institute
The annual So Percussion Summer Institute (SoSI), founded in 2009, also takes place on Princeton's campus. The program features teaching and performing with the members of So Percussion and with Princeton faculty and student composers. Each year includes a number of concerts on Princeton's campus, in New York, outdoors in downtown Princeton, and in Small World coffee shop.[26][27][28][29][30]

Bard College Conservatory of Music[edit]

In 2010, the four members of So Percussion were appointed as codirectors of a new percussion department at the Bard College Conservatory of Music. The first students were admitted into this five-year, double-degree undergraduate program in August, 2011. Additional guest faculty for the program include Jan Williams, Garry Kvistad, Tzong-Chin Ju, Greg Zuber, Daniel Druckman, and Jonathan Haas.[31][32][33]

Original Music[edit]

Amid the Noise
A series of short pieces written by group member Jason Treuting, Amid the Noise was the first project of original music created and recorded by members of So Percussion. The project also features videos created by video artist Jenise Treuting, which were included in the CD/DVD release of 2006.[34]

Music for Trains
In 2008 So Percussion developed the Music for Trains project in southern Vermont. The month-long residency project centered around performances in and around the towns of Brattleboro and Bellows Falls, including concerts in the train stations of those two towns, pre-recorded mp3 players listened to on the trains, and materials gathered from the local community. The project also included original video created by Jenise Treuting and an on-stage sculpture created by local artist Ahren Ahrenholz.[35][36]

Imaginary City
In 2009 So Percussion wrote and produced an evening-length production called Imaginary City. Inspired by the Italo Calvino novel Invisible Cities, the project used as inspiration the six cities that are home to the presenters that commissioned it: The Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, NY; The Myrna Loy Center in Helena, MT; The Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, OH; The Flynn Center in Burlington, VT; Diverseworks Art Space in Houston, TX; and The Newman Center in Denver, CO. The project again included original video created by Jenise Treuting as well as theatrical direction by Rinde Eckert. [37][38]

Martin Kersels: 5 Songs
In 2010 the Whitney Museum commissioned the members of So Percussion to write new original music for performance in connection with Martin Kersels' sculpture project for the Whitney Biennial: 5 Songs.[39]

In 2010 the members of So Percussion composed and recorded the station-identifying "stings" for the internet radio station Q2, operated by WQXR.[40]

Shen Wei - Undivided/Divided
The members of So Percussion composed the music for Undivided/Divided with choreographer Shen Wei, which premiered at the Park Avenue Armory in November, 2011.[41]

2wice - Fifth Wall
In 2012 the members of So Percussion composed the score for 'Fifth Wall' - an iPad-based performance by dancer Jonah Bokaer, published by dance magazine 2wice.[42][43]

shhh Productions[edit]

In 2007, the members of So Percussion launched the record label shhh Productions in order to pursue projects outside the scope of their normal recording work with Cantaloupe Music. A CD/DVD of Dan Trueman's 5.5 Gardens, recorded by So Percussion and Trollstilt and including video art from Judy Trueman, was the first project released on the new label. In 2008, shhh Productions formed a distribution partnership with New Amsterdam Records.[44]


American Music Center Trailblazer Award - 2011[45]

Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming - 2004, 2006, 2010[46][47]

ASCAP John Cage Award - 2009[48]

International Percussion Competition Luxembourg 2nd Place - 2005[49]

Selected Works Commissioned[edit]

Dennis DeSantis: Shifty (2000)[50]

David Lang: the so-called laws of nature (2002)[51]

Paul Lansky: Threads (2006)[52]

Martin Bresnick: Caprichos Enfaticos (2007)[53]

Steve Mackey: It Is Time (2010)[54]

Dan Trueman: neither anvil nor pulley (2010)[55]

Steve Reich: Mallet Quartet (2010)[56]

Bobby Previte: Terminals (2011)[57]

Dan Deacon: Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler (2011)[58]

Glenn Kotche: Drumkit Quartets (2011)[59]

David Lang: man made (2013)[60]

Bryce Dessner: Music for Wood and Strings (2013)[61]


  1. ^ Sparrow (2008-04-29). "Aluminum Pipes & Amplified Cactus". Chronogram Magazine. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  2. ^ Smith, Steve (2010-03-26). "Cooking Timers, Golf Tethers, Windup Toys: It’s All Rhythm". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  3. ^ Schweitzer, Vivien (2007-07-20). "It Makes a Great Sound; Just Watch out for the Spikes". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  4. ^ Schweitzer, Vivien (2007-03-26). "Bang on a Board: Sophisticated Music for Primitive Instruments". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  5. ^ Lowenthal, Kevin (2005-03-28). "Percussionists Lay Down Reich's Elaborate Beats". The Boston Globe. 
  6. ^ "The Joyful Noise of Flower Pots, Tea Cups, Brake Drums". The Boston Globe. 2006-12-04. 
  7. ^ "So Percussion (debut CD)". 
  8. ^ "Steve Reich - Drumming". 
  9. ^ "Amid the Noise". 
  10. ^ "Treasure State". 
  11. ^ "Paul Lansky - Threads". 
  12. ^ "Steve Reich - WTC 9/11". 
  13. ^ "Steve Mackey - It Is Time". 
  14. ^ "Caprichos Enfaticos". 
  15. ^ "Bad Mango". 
  16. ^ "David Lang: The Woodmans - Music From the Film". 
  17. ^ "Amid the Noise Remixes". 
  18. ^ "Cage 100: Bootleg Series". 
  19. ^ "Where (we) Live". 
  20. ^ "neither Anvil nor Pulley". 
  21. ^ "Nana". 
  22. ^ "Ryonen". 
  23. ^ "performers-in-residence announcement: Princeton Music Department". 
  24. ^ "Princeton University Graduate Program in Musicology and Composition". 
  25. ^ "Princeton Laptop Orchestra". 
  26. ^ "So Percussion Summer Institute". 
  27. ^ "Zildjian Events: So Percussion Summer Institute". 
  28. ^ "Got Rhythm". 
  29. ^ "So Percussion Quartet shakes up Princeton". 
  30. ^ "The Action in Princeton, NJ". 
  31. ^ "Bard College Press Releases". 
  32. ^ "So Percussion Joins the Faculty of The Bard College Conservatory of Music". 
  33. ^ "So Percussion joins the faculty at Bard Conservatory". 
  34. ^ "So Percussion - Amid the Noise". 
  35. ^ "Music for Trains". 
  36. ^ Brown, Emma (2008-08-03). "The Rhythm of the Rails". The Boston Globe. 
  37. ^ Kozinn, Allan (2009-10-16). "Drummers Map an Imaginary City". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  38. ^ "So Percussion - playing 'Imaginary City' at BAM". 
  39. ^ "Whitney Live - So Percussion". 
  40. ^ "So Percussion on Q2". 
  41. ^ "Shen Wei News". 
  42. ^ "2wice - Fifth Wall". 
  43. ^ "Wall-Breaking Moves, Fit for a Screen". 
  44. ^ "NewAm Partners with So Percussion's Shhh Productions". 
  45. ^ "American Music Trendsetters to be Celebrated" (PDF). 
  46. ^ "ASCAP Adventurous Programming". 
  47. ^ "CMA Past Recipients". 
  48. ^ "10th Annual ASCAP Concert Music Awards". 
  49. ^ "So Percussion to bring the noise to UD". 
  50. ^ "Shifty". 
  51. ^ "The So-Called Laws of Nature". 
  52. ^ "NPR Classical Calls So Percussion's "Threads" Best of Year". 
  53. ^ "Caprichos Enfaticos". 
  54. ^ "Cooking Timers, Golf Tethers, Windup Toys: It's all Rhythm". 
  55. ^ "neither anvil nor pulley" (PDF). 
  56. ^ "Mallet Quartet". 
  57. ^ "Terminals". 
  58. ^ "Dan Deacon, So Percussion revisit roots". 
  59. ^ "MTC Studio". 
  60. ^ "'man made' world premiere". 
  61. ^ "Music for Wood and Strings". 

External links[edit]