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“Vicious Children” by Wally Gunn


“Vicious Children” by Wally Gunn

Performed by Mobius Percussion

Mallet Selection for this Piece:


American Custom® Timpani (T6)

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Larger and heavier than a T1. Produces an enormous sound.


Vicious Children

The schoolyard and the playground can be places of savagery, where each child must nervously navigate the shifting alliances, the ruthless and cruel scheming, and sometimes the unjustified violence of their fellows. It’s not clear whether these behaviours are learned from grown-ups, or whether they are innate. In any case, they are ubiquitous, and no child escapes them. Vicious Children recalls this struggle with a musical and theatrical narrative of brittle stick clicks and driving drumming, dreamscapes of meditative bells, and grim, sinister nursery rhymes whispered, sung and shouted. The piece was composed for Mobius Percussion. — WG


Wally Gunn is from a rural town in Australia’s southeast. He first began making music in his early teens, writing on a Casiotone for his electronic dance band, which never played a gig. After high school, he moved to Melbourne to join rock bands, and spent several years writing songs and gigging around the country, then enrolled in the Victorian College of the Arts composition program. After graduating with honors, Wally worked with friends and fellow composers Kate Neal and Biddy Connor in Dead Horse Productions to stage concerts of their own and other composers’ new music in warehouses, underground parking lots, cinemas, and other unusual spaces. He also composed original music for several Melbourne theatre companies, including The Eleventh Hour, The Shrimp Company, Itch Productions and Platform Youth Theatre, and contributed songs to cabaret star Wes Snelling’s autobiographical show Kiosk. Wally moved to New York in 2008 to begin a masters degree in composition at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Julia Wolfe. Since relocating, Wally has composed original music for Manhattan-based The Actors Company Theatre and has become a company member of Brooklyn-based theater Nothing To See Here, under the artistic direction of Laura Sheedy. Wally’s concert music has been performed in Australia by The Dead Horse Ensemble, Three Shades Black, Speak Percussion, Atticus String Quartet and Silo String Quartet, and in the US by Riley Lee, Mobius Percussion, So Percussion, Dither Guitar Quartet, Roomful of Teeth, futureCities, and Red Shift. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University.


David Degge is an active performer of contemporary solo and chamber music for percussion. His first inclination toward chamber music developed when he attended the Sō Percussion Summer Institute in 2009. An avid improviser and composer, David has recently begun working on a series of short chamber pieces for percussion as well as drawing upon jazz and other influences to write music with open-ended instrumentation.

He received a Bachelor of Music in education from Abilene Christian University, where he gave frequent performances as a jazz drummer and hammer dulcimer soloist. He went on to complete a Master of Music at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, studying percussion performance with Robert van Sice.

A recipient of a Fulbright grant to Hungary for the 2013-14 academic year, David worked as an exchange student at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music under the direction of Zoltán Rácz of the world-renowned Amadinda Percussion Group. He is currently the Teaching Assistant at the Bard College Conservatory of Music under the direction of So Percussion. David’s teachers have included Allen Teel, Keith Lloyd, Robert van Sice, David Skidmore, and Judah Adashi.

Mika Godbole recently completed her DMA at Rutgers University. Her freelance activities include performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Annapolis Symphony, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra in addition to various other groups in the Philadelphia and New York areas. She has also been involved in summer music programs such as the Aspen Music Festival, So Percussion Summer Institute, the Artosphere Festival, and the China International Summer Music Academy. She has collaborated with conductors and artists such as Sir Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, Charles Dutoit, Martha Argerich, Yefim Bronfman, Christoph Eschenbach, James DePriest, David Robertson, James Conlon, Jorge Mester, among other deeply committed musicians. Other musical pursuits include involvement in contemporary music with Mobius Percussion, starting a new music collective, and commissioning new works for various ensembles.

As a teacher, she maintains an active studio of thirty students at various levels of ability at the Westminster Conservatory, York College of PA (as Adjunct Faculty), and other private students. Recent activities include collaborations with So Percussion for a performance of Steve Reich’s “Drumming” at (le) Poisson Rouge, a duo recital with organist Rob Ridgell for a webcast performance at the Trinity Wall Street Church in Manhattan, the Rutgers University premiere of Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians”, her solo recital including the world premiere of Jason Treuting’s new percussion quartet “paper melodies (my music box music), Xenakis‘ tour-de-force “Pleaides”, and Gerard Grisey’s “Le Noir de L’etoile”.

Yumi Tamashiro trained as a pianist but was “converted” to percussion, drawn by the allure of teaching high school drumline. And it was her undergraduate 20th century music history class that turned her on to contemporary music. Yumi, a freelance percussionist based in New York City, has developed a strong interest in performing with electronics and visual media and has begun collaborating with animation artists and dancers.

Yumi has performed at the Tennessee Theater, the Kennedy Center, The Stone, The Bohemian National Hall, and Le Poisson Rouge. She has performed on a range of projects including Big Ears Festival 2014, Carnegie Neighborhood Series, Ecstatic Music Festival and Make Music New York. Her repertoire includes works by Elliot Carter, Steve Reich, Karlheintz Stockhausen, Daniel Wohl, and Iannis Xenakis among many others. She has had the privilege of performing with groups such as Nexus, EnsembleLPR, and Mivos Quartet.

Yumi is the Director of Operations for So Percussion. Her work as an arts administrator includes tour managing, creating travel itineraries, grant writing, and managing the logistical aspects for all concerts and events.

Frank Tyl stems from an expansive artistic background exploring music, visual media, and writing. He is currently an active freelance percussionist based in New York City and specializing in contemporary solo and chamber music repertoire. He has worked with and performed alongside Mobius Percussion, So Percussion, Ensemble LPR, Ensemble sans maître, Tristan Perich, Blind Ear, Nouveau Classical Project, Niia, Circles and Lines, MuSE (Multicultural Sonic Evolution), Cadillac Moon Ensemble and the New York Pops. He has appeared in such projects as Make Music New York, MADE Fashion Week, World Technology Awards Gala, and Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts.

In 2010 Frank became Artistic Director and percussionist of SYZYGY NEW MUSIC—an ensemble dedicated to the curation of innovative new concert works and collaborations. With SYZYGY, Frank has commissioned and premiered many new works and won grants from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the Jerome Foundation.

Frank has performed in venues at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, United Nations, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Galapagos Art Space, Roulette, 92|Y Tribeca, RedBull Space, Milk Studios, and Public Assembly, among others. An alumnus of the Juilliard Pre-College Division, he earned his B.M. at NYU studying percussion performance under Jonathan Haas, James Saporito, and Simon Boyar.

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