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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

arts

Drum ensemble plays new beat

Loud, overwhelming and powerful are the three words to sum up the first selection played by the Percussion Ensemble in Auer Hall Monday night. The ensemble, consisting mostly of drums and xylophones, was an awesome new sound. It was a different and fun type of concert compared to the sounds of a symphony band or orchestra that I was used to hearing.\nWith anywhere from seven to 10 drummers playing at once, each type of drum had its own unique sound. Beats, tones and textures sounded by snare, bongos, bass drums, etc., produced their own glossy, rough edged or silky notes. \nIn the first piece, "Skin Rituals for Seven Drummers," by Don Freund, the drum ensemble created a mounting tension that crescendoed to an explosion of noise. With drummers pounding furiously, I was given the impression that each musician was randomly hitting whatever they could as fast as possible. The phenomenon came about when this barrage of random noise all meshed together to form an incredible sound. \nIn contrast to the pounding, the second selection, "Slavonic Dances No. 2, Op. 46," by Antonin Dvorak, had light articulated notes. Consisting of all xylophones, it was a piece that made you feel as if you were floating around in a bubble throughout the slower sections. When the music sped up I was reminded of being on a carousel at a fair. It was the type of piece that would bring a smile to your face.\nMy bubble was burst though on the third piece by Sven-David Sandstrom called "Drums for Percussion Quintet." Back to using all drums, the beginning of the song sounded like rolling thunder. For the entire fifteen-minute piece, the five drummers were only in union for two of those minutes. It was an incredibly hard piece to play because there was no real beat so the drummers had to really concentrate to know where they were in the piece. This was not my favorite piece for because it was a difficult piece to play it eventually became monotonous. \nThe conductor of the ensemble, Anthony J. Cirone, was also the writer of the last selection "Symphony No. 2 for Percussion." Throughout this piece I was given the impression of being inside a cartoon, possibly "Fantasia." The song had a lot of call and answer in it which Cirone explained as one instrument telling a joke to another instrument and hearing it laugh. The ensemble added chimes and a bong to array of drums and xylophones creating a fuller sound. \nThe concert produced a diverse crowd, with an even turn out of parents, students and professors. It was fun and enjoyable for everyone.

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