October 27, 2003

Meadows Percussion Ensemble Concert To Feature Improvisational Trio "Gouge," Nov. 12

DALLAS (SMU) - The Meadows Percussion Ensemble of SMU's Meadows School of the Arts will present its fall concert, "An Evening of Percussion," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12 in Caruth Auditorium at the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Special guests will be the improvisational, electro-acoustic trio "Gouge."

In the first half of the concert, the percussion ensemble will perform works by Christopher Rouse, John Cage, Daniel McCarthy and Steve Reich, including Reich's well-known "Music for Pieces of Wood." Gouge joins them for the second half to premiere the percussion ensemble version of "coma concerto" by award-winning SMU faculty composer Kevin Hanlon.

The "coma concerto" is very different from conventional concertos. Gouge performs without any written music. The percussion ensemble's music consists of about 30 sections written by Hanlon, a limited number of which will be spontaneously chosen by conductor Jon Lee during the concert to both stimulate and respond to improvisation from Gouge. Each section varies from sustained and melodic to driving and rhythmic, and some are even comic.

"This concerto is unlike anything we've ever performed," said Lee. "One minute we may be playing soft and slow, the next minute jamming to a groove, the next minute throwing our sticks through the air and shouting. Whatever happens, we promise the audience an adventure!"

"Gouge" includes SMU faculty member Kim Corbet on trombone, keyboard and assorted toys; percussionist Chad Evans; and Hanlon on guitar. The group performs a wide range of music, from "triphop to jazz to the classical avant garde," and has played for more than a decade at such diverse venues as Club Dada, The Undermain Theater, The Dallas Video Festival and The McKinney Avenue Contemporary. Most recently, Gouge was the resident ensemble at SMU's LitFest.

The Meadows Percussion Ensemble performs both new and traditional percussion works and has appeared at numerous national and international conferences. Recent premieres have included Lane Harder's "Circus Plenus Clamor Ingens Ianuea Tensae." The ensemble has two CDs on Gasparo records: "Contact" and "Strike, the Music of Motion.