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John Cage / "Credo in Us", performed by Third Coast Percussion

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Uploaded on Oct 27, 2011

A performance of John Cage's "Credo in Us" (1942), performed by Third Coast Percussion (Clayton Condon, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin and David Skidmore).

About the piece:

Credo in Us is a musical composition by the American experimental music composer, writer and visual artist John Cage. It was written in July 1942 and revised in October of that year. In the wake of Pearl Harbor, this piece avoided the populist tendencies of fellow American composers at the time, while the piece's title is thought to be a call to collective unity.

Styled as "a dramatic playlet for Two Characters", Cage described Credo in Us as a "a suite with a satirical character". It was composed to accompany a piece of contemporary dance choreographed by his partner and collaborator Merce Cunningham and choreographer Jean Erdman, who performed the piece at its premiere in Bennington College, Vermont in August 1942. After the first performance the subtitle of the piece was changed to A Suburban Idyll.

About the performers:
Praised by Time Out Chicago for "chops, polish, and youthful joy in performing," Third Coast Percussion uses an impressive array of percussion instruments to create a performance experience like no other. With exceptional talent and dedicated artistry, this "sonically spectacular" (Chicago Tribune) quartet combines the driving intensity of drums, the beautiful warmth of marimbas and vibraphones, and the surprisingly exotic sounds of everyday objects to make music that is playful, memorable and profound. In performances around the country, the Chicago-based ensemble has swiftly gained national attention for effortlessly combining the energy of a rock concert with the precision and sophistication of classical chamber music.

Third Coast Percussion presents concerts for all audiences, from the percussion novice to the contemporary music aficionado. Third Coast has introduced percussion music to chamber music series in Chicago (Rush Hour Concerts, Millennium Park, Chicago Cultural Center), Virginia (Garth Newel Music Center), Pennsylvania (Dickinson College), and Wisconsin (Taliesin), securing immediate invitations to return to each of these series. TCP has also championed some of the most formidable repertoire for percussion including the music of Luciano Berio, Philippe Manoury, Wolfgang Rihm, Louis Andriessen, Martin Bresnick, George Crumb, Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich, Frederick Rzewski, Toru Takemitsu, Tan Dun, and Iannis Xenakis. The ensemble is constantly adding new works to this already expansive repertoire.

Third Coast Percussion also has the distinction of being the only professional percussion ensemble in the country to self-present a full season of concert percussion music. In their hometown of Chicago, the group performs 4 to 5 concerts each season. The ensemble is dedicated to performing the greatest concert percussion music alongside lesser-known and rarely performed master pieces.

Highlights of the upcoming 2011-12 season include a major focus on the percussion music of John Cage in celebration of his centenary in 2012, and an exploration of the relationship between percussion and architecture through a new commissioned piece from ensemble member David Skidmore, in commemoration of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin. Third Coast is also active in developing new works. Future premieres include commissioned works by Glenn Kotche and Augusta Read Thomas.

The members of Third Coast Percussion—Owen Clayton Condon, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore—hold degrees in music performance from Northwestern University, the Yale School of Music, the New England Conservatory, and Rutgers University.

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