Glenn Kotche | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Fri., Nov. 7, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: $25, $23 for members
Earlier this year, Chicago percussionist Glenn Kotche released Adventureland (Cantaloupe), a collection of pieces dating back to 2006 that documents his emergence as a composer for other musicians. It includes the multipartite Anomaly, written for the Kronos Quartet; a five-movement piece called The Haunted, inspired by a supposedly haunted former steel mill in Alabama, that features four members of Eighth Blackbird, pianists Lisa Kaplan and Yvonne Lam and percussionists Doug Perkins and Matthew Duvall; and a studio-spliced collage entitled Triple Fantasy that draws from pieces commissioned by Kronos and 8BB. As befits a guy with a background in jazz and rock, Kotche performs on all the material, imprinting his personality on the recordings as well as the scores. In his liner notes he admits that at first he had trouble writing for non-percussion-based ensembles, but writing one of Anomaly’s movements led him to a breakthrough—he learned to translate the patterns he played with each of his four limbs into parts for the musicians in the quartet. He uses a wide variety of approaches, and writes more hooks and melodic fragments than you’d expect from a percussionist-composer—notably in the hypnotic, gorgeous gamelan piece “The Traveling Turtle.” Kotche is a student of classic 20th-century percussion music as well, and the fourth movement of The Haunted, “Hive,” bears the influence of Edgard Varese, with electronic smears that recall the sirens from Ionisation. Not counting a low-key set at Corbett vs. Dempsey in 2009, this is his first solo percussion performance in Chicago since 2006; the program includes pieces from his solo records, rearranged material from Adventureland, and solo adaptations of work by John Zorn, Jim O’Rourke, Steve Reich, and Joao Gilberto, among others. —Peter Margasak

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