Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tribute - New Percussion Duo

IronWorks Percussion perform the first movement of "Tribute" by Dave Gerhart. The IronWorks Duo gave the premiere performance on October 12, 2008.

For more information about the IronWorks Percussion Duo, please visit: http://www.ironworkspercussion.com/

Program Notes: Tribute, a three-movement work for any six drums for two players, was written as a tribute to three figures that have had an influence on my musical career. I wrote Tribadacious (movement 1) as a homage to one of my teachers, Brad Dutz, and his composition Ewe Day. The syncopated rhythms and different tone colors (rim, dead strokes, drum shell and open tones) are all inspired by the African drumming from the Ewe tribe (Ghana). ||: Tribute :|| (movement 2) is a homage to Steve Reich and the minimalist musical movement. The ostinato figures and additive processes are reminiscent of Reichs compositional style. The third movement, Djunute, is a homage to the Djembe music of the Ivory Coast. This fast, aggressive movement uses repeated rhythmic interlocking figures and soloistic phrases invoking the spirit of the music from Guinea and Mali. The performance features 6 Ewe drums being played with sticks, brushes and felt mallets.
—Dave Gerhart

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

IronWorks Percussion Duo Concert - October 12

If anyone is in the Los Angeles area, please come check out the IronWorks percussion duo. The concert will feature the winners of our first annual composition competition. Visit our website for more information.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Arc & Current (2007) - Roger Przytvlski

In my mind, the Steel Drum conjures up images of electricity, islands, festivals, hammers, and gleaming steel. The idea of industry and nature coming together to form something new, artistic, and acoustic was a very intriguing concept. Arc & Current was composed with the idea of this duality in mind. Each of the two movements explores both an industrial and natural aspect of the instrument.

Arc refers to the gleaming light created by an electrical arc as well as the curved shape of the steel drum. The first movement follows an arch form and begins with bright chords and a dancing line that passes back and forth between the two players. The chords continually spark up and interrupt the arcing line until they fuse together and intermingle in a clamor of the two lines. The movement then becomes an interweaving dance as the moving line passes between the drums while chordal sparks intermittently interrupt the flow. The two lines come back together and intermingle once again leading to a bright rhythmic conclusion.

Current refers to the movement of electricity through metal as well as the movement of water in and away from the beaches. This movement continues the dancing arcing line from the first movement but pairs it with a more flowing and festive melody. A joyous chorus continually enters in a rondo form but eventually leads back to the chordal sparks from the beginning. A chromatic version of the Current melody plays alongside the chords until the sparks ultimately take over and conclude the piece. -- Roger Przytvlski

Tribadacious (2007) - Dave Gerhart

I wrote Tribadacious as an homage to one of my teachers, Brad Dutz, and his composition Ewe Day. Tribadacious was written for four (or more) Ewe drums to be played by two players and is the first movement of a set of three pieces. The syncopated gestures and different tone colors (rim, dead strokes, drum shell and open tones) are all inspired by the African drumming from the Ewe Tribe (Ghana).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Welcome to The IronWorks Percussion Duo Blog

The IronWorks Percussion Duo, a Los Angeles based percussion group, was founded by Dr. Dave Gerhart and Axel Clarke. Though they gave their first concert in December of 2007, the group began much earlier. Dave and Axel were peers in the undergraduate percussion program at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and performed together in countless concerts throughout their time at the university. After graduating, both joined the CSULB faculty as instructors in the percussion department. The pair’s desire to continue working together, and to explore new pieces and avenues of percussion, gave them the idea to form a new duo. At the 2006 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Austin, Texas, Dave and Axel decided to dive headfirst into the collaboration and took their name from the local BBQ restaurant where they first formulated the group.

The goal of IronWorks Percussion Duo is to explore all the possibilities of percussion performance within the duo format. Its performances blend pieces by established composers with new works by up-and-coming artists in addition to works by the group's founders. From formal structures to improvisation, from traditional instrumentation to found objects, from acoustic instruments to electronic soundscapes IronWorks Percussion Duo strives to incorporate as much of the broad spectrum of percussion music into its performances as possible. The group started a composition contest in January, 2008 to expand the repertoire of available duo works for the modern percussion field.