Clocks in Motion to Visit Youngstown State University and Butler North
Clocks in Motion, an exceptional professional percussion ensemble made up of musicians who are either graduates or current students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, will visit Youngstown on Monday March 17th under the auspices of the New Music Society and the YSU Percussion Studio. Dr. Anthony DiSanza, an alumnus of the Dana School of Music, originally sponsored the ensemble when it first started among his current and former students. The ensemble will be in residence at the Butler North, a wonderful performance space, and will present a percussion workshop from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The main event of the day is the evening concert at 8:00 p.m. in Butler North. The ensemble will play several interesting compositions. Marc Mellits‘ new mallet quintet, Gravity, was commissioned in part by Clocks in Motion in 2013. The piece features Mellits’ pop-minimalistic style with driving rhythms and lush harmonies. The sectional work builds in intensity, resulting in a dramatic and satisfying ending.
Herbert Brün’s 1974 composition, At Loose Ends, utilizes a bizarre instrumentation including quarimba (a microtonal marimba built by Clocks in Motion members), xylophones, twelve snare drums, wooden boxes, slapsticks, flexitones, tam-tams, timpani, cymbals, tuned cowbells, and a virtuosic pianoforte part. As the title suggests, this piece serves as a loose collection of small yet intriguing compositional ideas.
Allhallows, by John Jeffrey Gibbens is a major three-movement work commissioned by Clocks in Motion in 2012. The ensemble will again showcase the quarimba, as well as the galvitone (eighty-eight microtonal pipes built by Clocks in Motion members), vibraphone, twelve tuned gongs, and pianoforte. Gibbens was inspired by his impressions of All Saints Day and the changing seasons. He employs a fascinating harmonic scheme and complex rhythms in this enchanting piece.
Charles Wuorinen’s Percussion Quartet, composed in 1994, is a fast-paced, virtuosic piece for a variety of tuned and unturned percussion instruments. Woods, metals, drums, and keyboard percussion clash in this physically demanding and, at times, violent work.
Hailed as “nothing short of remarkable,” Clocks in Motion is a group that performs new music, builds many of its own instruments, and breaks down the boundaries of the traditional concert program. Founded in 2011 and appointed more recently as Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison,
the group served in recent years as resident performers and educators at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Casper College, Rhapsody Arts Center, University of Michigan, Baldwin-Wallace University, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Arts.