“Omphalo Centric Lecture” by Nigel Westlake
Performed by Sandbox Percussion
VIC FIRTH PRODUCTS USED IN THIS PERFORMANCE:
Robert van Sice Signature (M121)Buy Now
Very soft. Produces a heavy, dark sound. Perfect for use in the bass position.
Ensemble Series (M153)Buy Now
Medium. Great for the middle register. A very versatile mallet. Latex thickness = 1/16"
RUTE (RUTE)Buy Now
Our original. Designed for all-around rock, jazz and combo playing. With 16 dowels (.125”).
ABOUT THE PIECE:
The title comes from a painting by Paul Klee – the direct & centered simplicity of which was an inspiration to me during the writing of this piece. The piece also owes much to African Balofon (or xylophone) music, with its persistent ostinati, cross – rhythms & variations on simple melodic fragments. Like African music it seeks to celebrate life through rhythm, energy & movement. It was originally composed for the Sydney based percussion quartet Synergy.
ABOUT THE COMPOSER:
Nigel Westlake’s career in music has spanned more than 3 decades. He studied the clarinet with his father, Donald Westlake (a prominent Australian musician & principal clarinetist with the Sydney Symphony orchestra 1961-1979) & subsequently left school early to pursue a performance career in music. Nigel toured Australia & the world playing with ballet companies, a circus troupe, chamber music groups, fusion bands & orchestras to the cities of London, New York, Rome, Washington, Tokyo, Beijing, Paris, Amsterdam, Vancouver, Moscow, Hong Kong, Berlin, New Delhi & Singapore to name but a few. His interest in composition dates from the late 1970’s when he formed a classical/jazz-rock/world-music fusion band to play original music. During this time he started to receive offers to compose for radio & circus. Commissions for TV & film soon followed.
Jonathan Allen, Victor Caccese, Terry Sweeney, Ian Rosenbaum
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 New Music Workshop. 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 premiere works by Alex Weiser and Thomas Kotcheff as well as perform the powerful second movement of David Lang’s the so-called laws of nature at the DiMenna Center in Manhattan. Sandbox will also travel to South Carolina to perform one of György Ligeti’s final works, Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel, with mezzo-soprano Elspeth Davis. 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.