percussionists Archive

Talking Sticks (2016)

Talking Sticks (2016)

Not just a film bio of Arthur Lipner but a trip around the earth viewing many aspects of mallet instruments worldwide. Talking Sticks (2016) Cast: Arthur Lipner, Gary Burton, Mike Mainieri, Vida Chenoweth, Bernard Woma and other top percussionists Studio: Living Arts Productions Video: for 16:9 screens, color Audio: English DD stereo Length: 63 min. Rating: ****1/2 A fascinating global percussion journey, as Lipner goes everywhere there are seemingly some sort of mallet instruments and players and builders of them.  I had no idea that the marimba/xylophone was so widespread over the earth. He visits Mexico, Ghana, Iceland, Brazil, and perhaps the most amazing are the ice mallet instruments created in Norway which melt when the sun finally comes out. Lipner is searching for  deeper personal connections with various cultures and creativity thru his music, and is obviously nuts for mallet instruments – and I wasn’t aware there were so many of them. This is a wonderful documentary which probably would not have been possible before cheap and portable video equipment which meets film standards. It should appeal to more than just the aficionados of music. The several talks with Burton and Mainieri are especially interesting. This film should inculcate […]

TERRY RILEY: Four Four Three – Ragazze Quartet/ Slagwerk den Haag/ Kapok – Channel Classics

TERRY RILEY: Four Four Three – Ragazze Quartet/ Slagwerk den Haag/ Kapok – Channel Classics

A program of music by the American minimalist composer Terry Riley, newly arranged with a jazz trio and more. TERRY RILEY: Four Four Three – Ragazze Quartet/ Slagwerk den Haag/ Kapok – Channel Classics CCS 37816, 57:30 (6/10/16) ****: The first 3/4 of this unusual CD features Riley’s original work of over 50 years ago, In C, which was probably the most important example of ‘repetitive music.’ There have been several recordings since which attempted to pay tribute to this important work which sort of mixed classical and jazz. According to one of the liner note writers, the worst example he has heard tries to copy the original performance, and “Rules are not as important as results.” This version is totally different by using both the Ragazze String Quartet and four percussionists who go by the Slagwerk den Haag name. There’s an enormous dynamic range (no vinyl medium could possible handle this) and in addition to this explosiveness there is often a feeling of tranquil quiet and relaxation. For the closing Sunrise of the planetary dream collector, a third group is brought in to join the other two. It is the jazz trio Kapok who use electronic effects and other […]