Saturday, December 01, 2012

Calypso Band and Percussion Ensemble in the Groove

Humboldt State Calypso Band performs a steel band classic and the HSU Percussion Ensemble features dramatic rhythms of a Balinese chant in their joint concert on Saturday December 1 in the Van Duzer Theatre.

The world-famous composition Ketjak by Akira Nishimura is the Percussion Ensemble’s featured work. “Nishimura’s composition is based on the famous Balinese ‘Monkey Chant,’ said Percussion Ensemble director Eugene Novotney,” where 100 men sit in a concentric circle and chant ‘Ketjak’ in complex interlocking rhythm while characters play out the dramaturgy of the famous Ramayana. This virtuosic piece captures the deep emotion of the Monkey Chant in a dramatic percussive orchestration that pushes the 17-player ensemble to the limits of their technique and musicality.”

The Ensemble also plays works by John Cage, Michael Udow and Lynn Glassock. The first half of the show concludes with traditional Mandeng drumming of West Africa, presenting a classic from Ghana using only indigenous instruments.

Then the Calypso Band takes over with its high-energy dance music, emphasizing Panorama compositions of the Caribbean Carnival in Trinidad and Tabago. The evening includes the Panorama steel band classic, “Pan in A Minor.” “This piece has driving rhythmic energy with a distinct minor key harmonic foundation,” Novotney said, “which makes the piece both unique and infectious in its energy and its groove.”

The HSU Percussion Ensemble, HSU World Percussion Group and the Humboldt State Calypso Band perform on Saturday December 1 at 8 p.m. in the Van Duzer Theatre on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets: $7/3, with first 50 HSU students free, from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Directed by Eugene Novotney and Howard Kaufman, produced by HSU Music Department.    

Media: Humboldt State Now , Tri-City Weekly

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