Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
On Friday, February 5th at 7:30 p.m, the University of Chicago Presents will bring Chicago’s bold and innovative Third Coast Percussion to The University of Chicago’s International House. The intriguing program includes the Chicago premiere of Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy’s immersive, bodhrán-inspired Surface Tension, only a week after its world premiere at Norte Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
Frequently commissioned by some of the world’s leading contemporary music ensembles, Dennehy has composed music lauded by The New York Times as “magnificently energetic.” Grá agus Bás, his 2011 album, was recommended by NPR and given a 5-star review by the Guardian, which called it an album of “startling freshness.”
According to Dennehy, Surface Tension is solely built on the manipulation of drumhead tension, creating “large pulsing harmonies” using techniques similar to those employed by bodhrán drum players; the player creates rich, melodic, and harmonic patterns by varying the skin tension with the hand.”
Surface Tension is paired in the upcoming program with Thierry De Mey’s Table Music for wooden table, another piece scored with only one material in mind. The concert ends with Steve Reich’s Sextet, programmed as an early celebration of the minimalist composer’s 80th birthday in 2016. Third Coast Percussion will release an album of Reich’s, which coincides with the ensemble’s February concert tour.
Since its founding in 2005, Third Coast Percussion has been consistently lauded for its ability to expand the sonic possibilities of the percussion repertoire and for its groundbreaking collaborations. The 2015/16 season marks the Chicago-based ensemble’s third residency at The University of Chicago, which includes performances at “Sundays at Rockefeller” at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and at Logan Center Family Saturdays at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, as well as interactions with students and faculty across campus.
The February 5 concert will be followed by an audience discussion with Dennehy and Third Coast Percussion.
For tickets or more information about the upcoming performance, call 773.702.ARTS (2787) or visit chicagopresents.uchicago.edu.
Third Coast Percussion to Give Chicago Premiere of Donnacha Dennehey's Bodhrán-Inspired Surface Tension
Members of the acclaimed ensemble, Third Coast Percussion (photo by Saveria Truglia).