Epic. Exhilarating. Revolutionary. Iconic. Words that describe Steve Reich’s monumental DRUMMING.
Russell Hartenberger had a thought. And now that thought has evolved into an exciting project, backed 100% by Steve Reich: We have joined with the wonderful Sō Percussion to create a videography of DRUMMING in celebration of the piece’s 50th Anniversary! The video is being created by Four/Ten Media. Filmmakers Evan Chapman and Kevin Eikenberg are also classically trained percussionists, so they will capture it perfectly. We are delighted to be a part of their roster along with the likes of Bang on a Can, Alarm Will Sound, Third Coast Percussion, and Sō.
Joining our two ensembles will be some extraordinary talents: Daisy Press (singer from the wildly eclectic House of Yes in New York – their landing page says it all!), Beth Meyers from the intriguing Damsel Duo, Alex Sopp on the piccolo part (joining us during a wee break from touring with Paul Simon), and a member of the third generation of percussionists that have performed DRUMMING, the very talented Yumi Tamashiro.
Of course, what makes DRUMMING particularly unusual is that it was originally learned by rote! Russell says, “I was lucky enough to be a part of the Reich Ensemble from the beginning when he was writing the piece. He taught it to us by rote, we rehearsed it once a week in his loft in New York City for the better part of a year before the premiere in December of 1971.” Bob Becker and Garry Kvistad were also early members of the Steve Reich Ensemble, and the three were Grammy winners for the 1998 recording of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians. Russell and Bob, along with Bill Cahn, were founding members of NEXUS – also in 1971 – and it wasn’t long before DRUMMING was part of the NEXUS repertoire.
This is a project of love – the performers are GIVING their time to the project. As Sō says, this kind of project “is why we wake up in the morning.” What the Kickstarter fundraiser will cover are the signicant costs of the video, audio, record label production, and the travel/accommodation and equipment costs of bringing everyone together. We want to get the recording out in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary, and the Kickstarter campaign will run ONLY for the month of September. And it is an “all or nothing” Kickstarter project – so please help us reach our goal. This is just the perfect opportunity to make an exceptional video of an exceptional work. Please join us and help bring the project to completion by giving a little (or a lot!) The link is HERE. Be a part of an historic event .There’s a range of gifts for donors, too, at a variety of levels.
We will leave you with Russell’s words: “What better way to celebrate Drumming’s 50th anniversary than with a strikingly beautiful video of the work as performed by the percussionists in the original Steve Reich and Musicians Ensemble. Even more excellent is that we have the full support of Steve Reich. We’ve spoken, and he told me that he’s behind this idea 100%. We are really excited about this project, and cannot wait to share it with you. We hope you can help us make it happen!”