Left Edge Percussion, Tower Music Premiere - Nov.8

Thursday, November 8, 2018
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Music Recital Hall
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Performing Arts
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Left Edge Percussion presents: Tower Music Percussion 5tet World Premiere

 (Ashland, Ore.) — Terry Longshore will lead Left Edge Percussion, a contemporary percussion group in residence at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, in the premiere of New York composer Joseph Bertolozzi’s percussion arrangement of “Tower Music.” The work features 82 percussion instruments played by five performers and will be premiered November 8, in the Music Recital Hall at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University.

The idea behind “Tower Music” grew out of Bertolozzi’s “Bronze Collection” project for solo percussion. Everything vibrates and drummers like to bang on things! Why not play the Eiffel Tower? Never thinking he would get permission to do so but liking the concept, Bertolozzi pursued the New York State Bridge Authority to create another piece, “Bridge Music,” on the Mid Hudson Bridge over the Hudson River. Bertolozzi says, “I didn’t think I’d get permission for that either, but at least I didn’t have to learn French just to ask!” “Bridge Music” is now in its 9th year as a public sound art installation.

Using “Bridge Music” as a proof of concept, Bertolozzi approached the French government (six times!) and received permission to “sample” (record)  the surfaces of the Eiffel Tower. Bertolozzi and his team of audio and video engineers sampled over 10,000 sounds of the Eiffel Tower, narrowing those down to around 2,800 “usable” sounds. He then constructed scales and “instrument sets” out of those raw recordings. Seven years of planning, fundraising and sweat later, “Tower Music” became a reality, reaching  #11 and #16 respectively on the iTunes Classical and Billboard Classical Crossover charts.

The score for “Tower Music” on the Eiffel Tower itself is written out in standard notation so it can be performed live by c. 100 percussionists, its intended objective; a live performance directly upon the Eiffel Tower is currently in development for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but is far from a “done deal” at this point. The audio files of the music are electronically realized “studio” versions of the music played back by Finale Music Notation linked to the samples. This new arrangement faithfully reproduces the music within the context of a percussion 5tet, i.e.: cymbals standing in for fence crashes, bass drums for booms on the Tower legs with a log, glockenspiel for pings on a pipe, etc.

Bertolozzi says, “this arrangement is important to me as it will bring live performances of the work into the concert hall, since live performance on the Eiffel Tower itself will be an extremely rare (if ever) event. It gives longevity and presence to the music by allowing live audiences to enjoy live performances in an authentic, composer-created arrangement.”

Joseph Bertolozzi, joined by Terry Longshore and Left Edge Percussion, will also give a free talk about “Tower Music” on Tuesday, November 6, from 12:30-1:20 PM, in the Music Recital Hall at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University.

Left Edge Percussion is a contemporary percussion group in residence at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, led by artistic director Terry Longshore. The group tours and performs throughout the Northwest and actively collaborates on innovative projects with composers and artists of various media. The members of the group have been featured around the globe at prestigious festivals, competitions, conferences, and workshops and bring a diverse array of influences and collective energy to the ensemble.

Recent Left Edge Percussion performances include the Center for New Music in San Francisco, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University, Gold Lion Arts in Sacramento, Northwest Percussion Festival (Ashland, Eugene, Salem, and Bellingham, WA), Britt Music & Arts Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Shows, Hipbone Studio in Portland, Ashland World Music Festival, the Oregon Fringe Festival, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), in addition to regular performances at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University. 

WHAT: Tower Music – Percussion 5tet by Joseph Bertolozzi. Originally for the Eiffel Tower, arranged for Percussion 5tet by the composer.
WHEN: Thursday, November 8, at 7:30 PM.
COST: FREE for full time students and SOU faculty, $10 regular admission, $5 for Seniors (65+)

Works to be performed include:

“Tower Music” by Joseph Bertolozzi. Movements include:

  1. One Thousand Feet of Sound

  2. The Harp that Pierced the Sky

  3. Continuum

  4. Prelude

  5. Ironworks

  6. The Elephant on the Tower

  7. Glass Floor Rhythms

  8. Evening Harmonies

  9. Tower Music


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