part two: Splash Percussion


about splash percussion.

James Guest (director), Stuart Rynn, Shane Leviton, Alice Connor, Oliver Brighton, Jack Andrew-Kabilafkas, Nicolas Petit, Jasper Rasmussen, Alice Hu, Naomi Johnson (voice), Hannah Alexander (voice), Niki Johnson (piccolo).

Splash is a percussion ensemble program run by the Sydney University Wind Orchestra (SUWO). Formed in 2013, their vision is to inspire and encourage young percussionists to continue playing percussion and performing music after leaving High School. This is often a challenge due to a lack of performance and development opportunities for amateur percussionists in Australia. Over the last year, Splash has engaged 11 talented young percussionists with events including a collaboration with the Sydney Chamber Choir as well as an incredibly successful performance of Riech’s ‘Music for 18 Musicians’ at the 2015 Sydney Verge Festival. 

Splash Percussion perform Steve Reich's "Drumming"

Drumming was written in 1976 after Reich’s studies of African drumming in Ghana, and maintains a consistent, rhythmic pulse throughout the entire piece. This rhythm is developed harmonically and texturally, incorporating Reich’s famous technique of “Phasing” where one player shifts time slightly to create an entirely new rhythm sequence. The lush harmonies and constant primal rhythm is transformed through colour as each movement features a different set of instruments; first energetic and exciting bongos, to melodious and mellow marimbas, then to the clear, crystal sound of glockenspiels, and lastly combining all instruments together in a spectacular finale. Female vocals, whistling and piccolo solos are incorporated throughout to highlight and enhance the percussion textures and the result is a hypnotic and beautiful work that will delight audiences of any musical tastes.