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Rhythms of the Silk Road

Rhythms of the Silk Road is based around music from countries that stretched along Silk Road trade routes from East Asia to Africa and the Mediterranean.  These land and sea trade routes crisscrossed Eurasia for almost 2000 years transferring not only merchandise but also artistic and musical styles among countries and cultures.  From the metallic gongs of Java and China all the way to the hammered bronze cymbals of the Riq (Middle Eastern Tambourine), this program shows the musical, cultural and technological connections made by these travelers.  Rhythms of the Silk Road stands as a testament to Ethos Percussion Group’s vast knowledge of non-Western percussion.  For over twenty years, members of the ensemble have intensely studied and become masters of percussion from Silk Road territories including Indonesia, North India, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.  This program includes traditional rhythms and melodies by Wang Goweh, Simon Shaheen and Samir Chatterjee, as well as modern compositions from John Cage and John Hollenbeck based on music from Silk Road countries.  Audiences will be introduced to the amazing sonic possibilities of the Daf, (Iran), Riq and Dumbek (Egypt), Tabla (North India), Udu and Kanjira (South India), Singing Bowls (Tibet), and Gongs and Drums from Java and China.

Pulse of the 20th Century

In this compelling retrospective, Ethos presents landmark works by John Cage, Lou Harrison, Steve Reich and Frank Zappa. Each of these iconic composers featured (and challenged) percussionists in new and innovative ways: Cage, Harrison and Reich added distinctively American dialects to their Asian and African influences, while Zappa brought rock and roll instrumentation and a healthy dose of humor to the complexity associated with the European avant garde. The enduring appeal of their pioneering compositions is revealed through Ethos' masterful use of a battery of exotic instruments, including brake drums, metal pipes, oxen bells and temple bowls. The performances will also introduce audiences to recent Ethos commissions from gifted young composers who are transporting the ingenuity of these "fathers of invention" into the 21st century.

EPG & The Masters of Indian Music

ETHOS With Special Guest Artists
Pandit Samir Chatterjee, Tabla
Pandit Ramesh Misra, Sarengi

Ethos joins with Master Indian musicians Pandit Samir Chatterjee on Tabla and Pandit Ramesh Misra on Sarengi to explore the place where ancient and modern percussion music meet.  In this groundbreaking collaboration, classical Indian music, taught directly by the guru to the disciple rather than by the notation method used in the West, converges with the innovative play of the Ethos Percussion Group to bring together the traditions of Indian classical music and contemporary percussion.

EPG with Choir

The Missa Luba is a Mass in Congolese (Zairean) style for a mixed chorus with tenor soloist and percussion, arranged by Guido Haazen and the African singers with whom he worked.  According to Haazen’s notes, “African music differs infinitely from our Western rhythmic feeling.  The drums, especially the tom-toms, which are used as an integral part of the music, always, adhere to a very strict, inexorable rhythmic beat.  This basic rhythm serves as a canvas on which the other instruments base their improvisations.”  The music of the Missa Luba is mainly the product of collective improvisation and the characteristic performance style known as call and response. Missa Luba generally closes an Ethos Percussion Group performance. It can be prepared in one rehearsal with the members of the ensemble although the choir must be prepared in advance.