Modular Ensemble | Drumming

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Classical: Minimalism Avant Garde: Avant-Americana Moods: Featuring Drums
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Drumming

by Modular Ensemble

"This version has scope and accuracy while keeping its strong live energy. Both is rhythmic force and long fluid melodies set up a striking interpretation of this monumental piece." David Cossin
Genre: Classical: Minimalism
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Bongos - measures 1-8
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1:10 album only
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2. Bongos - measures 9-10
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4:06 album only
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3. Bongos - measures 10-11
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4:46 album only
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4. Bongos - measures 12-13
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5:27 album only
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5. Bongos - measures 14-15
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0:39 album only
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6. Bongos - measures 16-22
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1:03 album only
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7. Bongos - measures 23-28
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0:51 album only
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8. Bongos - measures 29-31
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1:26 album only
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9. Bongos - measures 32-34
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1:05 album only
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10. Bongos - measures 35-38
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1:32 album only
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11. Bongos - measures 39-42
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0:39 album only
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12. Bongos - measures 43-46
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2:06 album only
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13. Marimbas - measure 47
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1:14 album only
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14. Marimbas - measures 48-50
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1:00 album only
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15. Marimbas - measures 51-53
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3:38 album only
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16. Marimbas - measures 54-55
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3:49 album only
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17. Marimbas - measures 55-57
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0:56 album only
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18. Marimbas - measures 58-60
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3:46 album only
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19. Marimbas - measures 61-62
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4:09 album only
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20. Marimbas - measure 63
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2:52 album only
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21. Marimbas - measures 64-67
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2:14 album only
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22. Glockenspiels - measure 68
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1:39 album only
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23. Glockenspiels - measures 69-71
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1:13 album only
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24. Glockenspiels - measures 72-77
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1:51 album only
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25. Glockenspiels - measure 78
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2:02 album only
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26. Glockenspiels - measures 79-80
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1:32 album only
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27. Glockenspiels - measures 80-82
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0:58 album only
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28. Glockenspiels - measures 83-87
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2:27 album only
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29. Glockenspiels - measures 88-92
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0:58 album only
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30. Glockenspiels - measures 92-101
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1:08 album only
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31. Final - measures 102-109
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1:33 album only
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32. Final - measures 109-121
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3:13 album only
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33. Final - measure 122
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3:40 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Phasing: this is the distintive mark of Steve Reich's work. It consists in audio signals starting simultaneously to then change tempo speed and pitch, creating a molteplicity of other events in a process that uses recorded tapes (It's Gonna Rain, Come Out) as well as musical instruments (Piano Phase, Violin Phase, Four Organs) or even oscillating microphones on speakers (Pendulum music).
This composing process comes from several musical experiences: in fact it is possible to recognize the uninterrupted repetition - by voices and/or instruments - of a sharp and short music formula, which is increased and decreased in speed, typical of medieval and ethnic traditional music. In different times and places people have experienced the different opportunities offered by sliding motifs and their rhythmic, melodic and harmonic approaches.
Since his interest in the progressive variations of sound overlaps, the encounter with subsaharian polyrhythm must have seemed absolutely essential to Steve Reich. In 1970 he went to Ghana and started studying the African repertoire with a particular interest in drums and voice. Afterwards he worked on Asian and Jewish music (he went to Bali in 1973 and to Jerusalem in 1977); in the meantime many other young musicians began to work with him, Philip Glass among them.
Reich's interest in Ghana and in particular in the Ewe tribe will be important during all his composing career and the years spent working on these African musical expressions match with his first experiments with wider ensembles. The first remarkable piece of this period is Drumming (1971), almost 90 minutes of percussion (bongos, marimbas and glockenspiels), voices, whistles and piccolo flute, which represents a turning point towards broader and more complicated compositions.
The phasing in Drumming emerges from the unceasing repetition of an essential pattern, which during the track undergoes a slow mutation realized by a speed change. After being manipulated time by time every new version of the song overlaps to the previous one revealing itself inevitably changed and producing multiform sound combinations. However in Drumming Reich doesn't use only the phasing but he also inserts others composite artifices, such as the gradual permutation between notes and rests in a repeating sequence, the overlapping of instruments with different tones, the undetectable but steady metamorphosis of the tone while preservating the integrity of the sound, the deformation of the human voice shaped as an imitation of the sound of the musical instruments.
Drumming is composed by four main parts which can be distinguished by tone stratification and which are ruled by a methodical change between one instrumental ensemble to another. The first part (tracks 1-13) is characterized by the sound of the skins of bongos, which intentionally drag the listener to a far, archaic and mysterious past. In the second part (14-22) the obsessive movement and the fibrous tone of the marimbas are wisely mixed together with the enticing grace of the voices. The bewitching mood of the third part (22-30) is imposed by hypnotic thrills of the glockenspiels, immediately followed by whistle and piccolo flute pulses. The histrionic final (31-33) sends everyone back on the scene with a pressing and perpetual motion.
It is worth to remember that the recording of Drumming made by Modular Quartet is the first complete live recording available on CD. As a matter of fact it is possible to find in shops three fundamental interpretations of the piece, all recorded in studio: the first two realized by Reich himself and the most recent one by "So Percussion", four percussionists who use overdubbing.
The Modular Quartet's live performance of Drumming in the Auditorium of the "G. Pierluigi da Palestrina" Conservatory of Music in Cagliari (Sardinia) is the final point of arrival of a pluriannual study, led by David Cossin (percussionist of "Bang of a Can", Steve Reich and Sting). The Modular - whom members are Marco Caredda, Francesco Ciminiello, Roberto Migoni and Roberto Pellegrini - coordinated the entire Drumming workforce (12 elements) taking direct care of the orchestration of the piece. The recording and studio editing of the piece have been worked out by Marcellino Garau, who explained with ductility the idea of a "sound landscape", here conceived as a vehicle to increase the value of the structural changes of the composing process. His participation must be considered like an effective and appreciable interpretative act, like that of all the other musicians involved in it.
Of not less importance is the choice of indexing the execution of Drumming in 33 tracks, because up until now it has only been proposed divided in 4 tracks, one for each main section of the composition. The final result achieved by the Modular Quartet is to have placed another opportunity in detecting a clear structure of the opera that more than four decades after its creation is a rare moment of synthesis in the music of the XX century and, with its idea of complete reinvention, never ceases to amaze us.

Myriam Quaquero


MODULAR ENSEMBLE:
Roberto Pellegrini
Francesco Ciminiello
Roberto Migoni
Marco Caredda
Francesco Belfiori
Stefano Tiesi
Carlo Pusceddu
Stanislas Pili
Sergio Mattana
Francesca Corrias
Stefania Liori
Enrico Di Felice


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