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“Extremes” by Jason Treuting


“Extremes” by Jason Treuting

Performed by Sandbox Percussion

Mallet Selection for this Piece:


Orchestral Series (M134)

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


Orchestral Series (M140)

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Medium nylon makes this a full sounding, general mallet on xylophone and bells.


Extremes (2009)

Extremes was composed by Jason Treuting, member of So Percussion, and is part of a larger, evening length work called Imaginary City. Jason is fascinated with patterns that are found in language, and the usage of words as a platform for form and rhythmic structure. For example, certain rhythmic values may be assigned to consonants and vowels to form different grooves. In the case of Extremes, a series of cities in the United States are used to compose the form and rhythmic structure. These cities are grouped together in different ways to create a four-part canon. This canon results in a highly intricate composite groove within the ensemble.

As in much of Jason’s music, there is limited conventional notation, but rather a series of processes to be followed. These processes can be used as a tool for understanding how the piece was conceived as well as how each performer can add his or her own ideas and variations.

Though understanding how the rhythms are composed is rather simple, how they are organized to create the form is very complex. Sandbox Percussion member, Victor Caccese spent a great deal of time working with Jason to compile a complete score for Extremes. This score utilizes both conventional notation as well as a thorough explanation of Jason’s unique compositional process. This will help the performer fully understand how the piece is played and how new interesting ideas can arise from Jason’s original intention. Victor’s score for Extremes is available for purchase at www.goodchildmusic.com


Jason Treuting has performed and recorded in venues as diverse as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Walker Art Center, the Knitting Factory, the Andy Warhol Museum, Zankel Hall, Lincoln Center, DOM (Moscow) and Le National (Montreal). As a member of So Percussion, he has collaborated with artists and composers including Steve Reich, David Lang, John Zorn, Dan Trueman, tabla master Zakir Hussain, the electronic music duo Matmos and choreographer Eliot Feld. In addition to his work with So, Jason performs improvised music with Simpl, a group with laptop artist/composer Cenk Ergun; Alligator Eats Fish with guitarist Grey McMurray; Little Farm, with guitarist/composer Steve Mackey; QQQ (a quartet consisting of hardinger fiddle, viola, guitar and drums); and Big Farm (a foursome led by Rinde Eckert and Steve Mackey).

Jason also composes music. His many compositions for So Percussion include So’s third albumAmid the Noise, and contributions to Imaginary City, an evening length work that appeared on the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2009 Next Wave Festival. Recent commissions for other ensembles have included Oblique Music for 4 plus (blank), a concerto for So Percussion and string orchestra for the League of Composers Orchestra; Circus of One, music for a video installation in collaboration with Alison Crocetta; and Diorama, an evening length collaboration with the French choreographers in Projet Situ.

Jason is co-director of the So Percussion Summer Institute, an annual intensive course on the campus of Princeton University for college-aged percussionists. He is also co-director of a new percussion program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where So Percussion is ensemble-in-residence beginning fall of 2011, and has taught percussion both in masterclass and privately at more than 80 conservatories and universities in the USA and internationally.

Jason received his Bachelors in Music and the Performer’s Certificate at the Eastman School of Music where he studied percussion with John Beck and drum set and improvisation with Steve Gadd, Ralph Alessi and Michael Cain. He received his Masters in Music along with an Artist Diploma from Yale University where he studied percussion with Robert Van Sice. Jason has also traveled to Japan to study marimba with Keiko Abe and to Bali to study gamelan with Pac I Nyoman Suadin.


Brought together by their love of chamber music and the simple joy of playing together, Sandbox Percussion captivates audiences with performances that are both visually and aurally stunning. Through compelling collaborations with composers and performers, Jonathan Allen, Victor Caccese, Ian Rosenbaum and Terry Sweeney seek to engage a wider audience for classical music.

Sandbox made their New York debut in 2012 on the Concerts on the Slope series in Brooklyn. Following that performance, they accepted an invitation to become artists-in-residence of the series and have returned in each subsequent season. Later that year, Sandbox worked closely with composer James Wood on his masterpiece Village Burial with Fire at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. While at Norfolk, Sandbox played alongside the great Hungarian percussion quartet Amadinda – Aurél Holló, a member of Amadinda, later said about Sandbox: “With an array of skills, talent and freshness, these young artists seem to be pushing their limits up in the skies, as I realized listening to them at the Yale Summer School of Music. Sandbox Percussion is the promising group of the near future, battering right on your door.”

Last season, Sandbox gave a TEDx talk in Brooklyn with the composer collective Blind Ear Music that showcased a computer program that enables a composer to compose music for live performers in real-time. Through a collaboration with the Yale School of Drama, Sandbox premiered composer/sound designer Palmer Hefferan’s effervescent multimedia piece, Forming the Year’s First Sky – a multi-movement work that combines intricate movement and lighting with music in a live concert setting.

This season, Sandbox will work closely with composers Alex Weiser and Thomas Kotcheff on two new works for percussion quartet. Both works were premiered at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Manhattan on September 13th. On this program, Sandbox also performed the powerful second movement of David Lang’s the so-called laws of nature – a classic of the percussion repertoire. Also in September, Sandbox travelled to South Carolina while collaborating with mezzo-soprano Elspeth Davis on one of György Ligeti’s final works, Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel. Other highlights include performances and clinics at New Haven’s Festival of Arts and Ideas, The Curtis Institute of Music, Cornell University, the Peabody Institute, the Yale School of Music and a return to Brooklyn’s Concerts on the Slope series, where Sandbox will premiere a new work by Robert Sirota. Sandbox Percussion endorses Vic Firth sticks and mallets.

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