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“hammer/ring” by Thomas Kotcheff


“hammer/ring” by Thomas Kotcheff

Performed by Sandbox Percussion

Mallet Selection for this Piece:


Robert van Sice Signature (M124)

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Medium. The most popular mallet in the series. Extraordinary range of color, which is easily manipulated by the performer.


Robert van Sice Signature (M125)

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Medium hard. This is the most expressive mallet of the series and is an ideal choice for the modern marimba repertoire.


The primary musical material of hammer/ring is derived from the two timbres that are implied by the title of the work: a hammer-like percussive attack and a ringing bell-like sound. It is from these juxtaposed sound worlds that the opening section of the piece is built and the mix of these two elements continues throughout the piece as additional material gradually becomes integrated into the music.

hammer/ring was workshopped at the 2012 Norfolk Chamber Music Festival then revised for and premiered by Sandbox Percussion on September 8, 2013.


A native of Los Angeles, Thomas Kotcheff (b. 1988) has been establishing himself in Southern California as a successful composer and pianist. He has received commissions from The Aspen Summer Music Festival and School, The Los Angeles Philharmonic Committee, Peabody Camerata, Trio Appassionata, The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Alpha Walker Music Studios, and Sandbox Percussion.

Recently, Thomas was the recipient of funding from a Presser Foundation Award for the commission of his piano trio gone into night are all the eyes. Trio Appassionata’s recording of this work has been released by Odradek Records.

Thomas was won numerous awards and honors including Aspen Summer Music Festival’s 2014 Hermitage Prize, multiple awards from the National Association of Composers USA, a selected winner of the 2012 J. Dorfman International Memorial Competition in Germany, recipient of a Subito Grant from the American Composers Forum, and his Piano Concerto was selected as a winner of The University of Southern California’s New Music for Orchestra competition and was premiered with Thomas at the keyboard.

Thomas has been a composition fellow at the Aspen Summer Music Festival and School, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and attended the MusicX festival with new music ensemble eighth blackbird. He is looking forward to upcoming artist residencies at The Hermitate Artist Retreat, The Byrdcliffe Art Colony, The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and The Studios of Key West.

In addition to concert music, Thomas has composed music for both theater and film. His recent work on the short film Fearless has been showcased at the Galway Film Fleadh in Ireland, Lumiere Film Festival in France, The Chicago International Film Festival, and The Boston Film Festival amongst others.

Thomas holds degrees in composition and piano performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and The University of Southern California where he is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Music in music composition.

As a new music pianist, Thomas has dedicated himself to commissioning and premiering new piano works. He is currently the pianist in Southern California’s USC Thornton Edge, What’s Next? Ensemble, and the piano duo HOCKET.


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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