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“A Man with a Gun Lives Here” by Steve Snowden

PERFORMANCE SPOTLIGHT:

“A Man with a Gun Lives Here” by Steve Snowden

Performed by line upon line

Mallet Selection for this Piece:

rute

RUTE (RUTE)

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Our original. Designed for all-around rock, jazz and combo playing. With 16 dowels (.125”).

M134

Orchestral Series (M134)

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Medium hard urethane. Dark and bold for xylophone and bells.

tg08

Tom Gauger Signature (TG08)

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Medium head for a full but articulate sound.

ABOUT THE PIECE:

Most prevalent during the Great Depression, hobos were nomads who roamed the United States taking work wherever they could. In their extensive travels, hobos learned to leave notes for each other, giving information about places to camp, where to find a meal, or dangers that lay ahead. This unique Hobo Code was known to the brotherhood of freight train riders and used by all to keep the community of traveling workers safe, fed and in work.

Life as a hobo was difficult and dangerous. These vagabonds developed their own secret pictographic language to help other hobos to food, water and work or to direct them away from dangerous situations. The Hobo Code is a fascinating system of symbols understood among the hobo community. Because hobos weren’t typically welcomed (and were often illiterate), messages left for others in the community had to be easy for hobos to read but look like little more than random markings to everyone else to maintain an element of secrecy. Scrawled in places where hobos were likely to convene, the purpose of the code was not only to help other hobos find what they needed, but to keep the entire lifestyle possible for everyone.

Each movement of this piece is based on one of these symbols and, just like those resourceful hobos, makes use of very limited materials. All activity is centered on a single bass drum. Other items utilized include steel plates, rubber balls, and a paper bag containing 3 lbs of loose buckshot.

ABOUT THE PERFORMERS:

Formed in 2009, line upon line percussion is committed to seeking new ways for percussion instruments to advance contemporary music. To date, the ensemble has commissioned and premiered a dozen new works for percussion. In 2011, the Austin-based trio released a disc of commissioned, homegrown music and premiered their award-winning project, seeing times are not hidden, a site-specific work for custom chimes. April 2013 brought the North American premiere of Hugues Dufourt’s massive, evening-length masterpiece, Erewhon. The group self-presented a three-concert series in Austin for the first time during the 2013-14 season.

In 2013 and 2014, the trio was named “Best Ensemble” by the Austin Critics’ Table and is currently part of the TCA Texas Touring Roster. The Austinist called line upon line “the premier new music percussion ensemble in Texas and the South” and the Austin American-Statesman considers the group “a riveting, always-surprising and delightful trio.”

line upon line maintains educational and outreach roles with the Austin Chamber Music Center and has performed and taught at numerous academic institutions around the United States and in England, Switzerland and Germany. November 2012 marked their first appearance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. The group has previously performed at the Fusebox Festival, SXSW, Fast Forward Austin, the Victoria Bach Festival and the International Festival-Institute at Round Top.

line upon line percussion uses Mapex drums, Remo drumheads, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks and Grover Pro Percussion accessories.