“Music for Wood and Strings” by Bryce Dessner
Performed by So Percussion
Audio/Video by Evan Chapman
SOUNDS USED IN THIS PIECE:
Most of the time Sō Percussion’s videos display the versatility and expressiveness of Vic Firth’s sticks and mallets. One of our favorite things about Vic Firth is the fact that they are just as interested in creativity as they are in selling sticks. We see this investment time and time again in their many educational activities and fantastic online resources for percussionists.
Music for Wood and Strings combines the sound world of an electric guitar and dulcimer with the percussionist’s toolkit. As you can probably gather from this video, the main implements are simple #2 wooden pencils. These pencils actually started out as placeholders as we searched for a “better,” more permanent solution. They turned out to be perfect, mainly because a fully amplified string needs very little to get it going! For this piece, we decided not to use any pedal effects such as distortion or delay. By wrapping the writing side of the pencil with soft moleskin and striking with the metal eraser-holder on the other side, we created two distinctly different timbres with each pencil. Beyond that, we explored all manor of bowing, plucking, and using the legno (wooden) part of the bow. For bowing, we used smaller sized violin bows that were created for children.
– So Percussion