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“Rogosanti” (1986) by James Wood


“Rogosanti (1986)” by James Wood

Performed by Victor Caccese

Mallet Selection for this Piece:


Orchestral Series (M132)

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Medium rubber. Dark sound with clarity on xylophone.


Orchestral Series (M134)

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


Orchestral Series (M61)

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Hard. 11/8” Lexan® ball offers excellent projection for all around use. Two-step design features rugged plastic handles for gripping and control, and fiberglass shafts for maximum rebound, response and durability.


James Wood writes:
In most early civilizations percussion instruments were (and to a certain extent still are) considered sacred, and to possess the power of magic. In Sri Lanka the Kandyan Drum is used in religious rituals and is considered to possess healing powers. In Java and other parts of South East Asia and China the gong has been credited with healing sickness, expelling evil spirits and defending against ghosts. It is even said that bathing from a gong gives health, and to be touched by a gong strengthens the soul and creates strength and happiness.

Rogosanti is the Sanscrit word for ‘healing’ or ‘quietening of disease’. Here the evil spirit is represented by a rhythmic cell from Northern India called Ata Trisra ( and is associated with the drums and wooden instruments – the good spirit by a cell from Southern India called Dhamar tala ( and is associated with the metal instruments. If healing is to be achieved, the evil spirit must become possessed by the good spirit.

Rogosanti was written in November 1986 for my good friend, Steven Schick.


James Wood studied composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, read music at Cambridge where he was an organ scholar, and later studied percussion and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music. Today he is known for his wide ranging activities as composer, conductor and virtuoso percussionist, and for a close association with an exceptionally broad spectrum of music from the middle ages to the present day.

He was Professor of Percussion at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses from 1982 to 1994, and during that time was a regular visitor to contemporary music festivals around the world as a solo percussionist. He is the founder/director of the highly acclaimed New London Chamber Choir with whom he has built up a huge repertoire and has made several CDs – he is also founder and director of London’s Centre for Microtonal Music and its ensemble, Critical Band. As a guest conductor, he works regularly with musikFabrik, Champ d’Action, Netherlands Radio Choir and Berlin Radio Choir, and has also worked with the BBCSO, Belgian Radio Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Symphony, Krakow Radio Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble InterContemporain, L’Itinéraire, Ensemble 2e2m, Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Percussion Group the Hague, Swedish Radio Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, Flemish Radio Coir and Tokyo Philharmonic Choir. In November 2002 he conducted the world premiere of Stockhausen’s Engel-Prozessionen with the Netherlands Radio Choir at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and which has now been released on CD by Stockhausen-Verlag.

As a composer his interests have led to a wide range of works for almost every conceivable genre. He has realised commissions from such diverse sources as the Arditti String Quartet, Electric Phoenix, IRCAM, Amadinda Percussion Group (Budapest), Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, the Royal National Theatre (London), the BBC and the ARD (Association of German Radio Stations). He has twice been commissioned for the Proms – the first time (1989) for the orchestral work, Oreion, in which he conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the second time (1995) for the Percussion Concerto, Two men meet, each presuming the other to be from a distant planet, for Steven Schick and Critical Band. Since 1996 he has become increasingly involved in the world of electronics and electro-acoustic music, as demonstrated both in his IRCAM commission, Mountain Language, for alphorn, MIDI-cowbells and computer, premiered in Paris by soloists of the Ensemble InterContemporain with the composer in June1998, and Jodo, a 40-minute music theatre work based on a short story of Yukio Mishima, for solo percussionist, high soprano and computer. In January 2005 Jodo enjoyed a highly successful tour of Japan in a new production by Satoshi Miyagi, and plans are under way for a further Japanese tour in 2006.

Between 2002 and 2005 he produced his largest work so far, a two-act opera based on the life and visions of Hildegard of Bingen. Jointly commissioned by Percussion Group the Hague, New London Chamber Choir and Champ d’Action, Hildegard is scored for soprano and baritone soloists, chamber choir, large ensemble and electronics. The first production of Hildegard took place in May 2005, with Sarah Leonard and Omar Ebrahim as principal soloists, conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer, and was received with enormous enthusiasm by capacity audiences in the cathedrals of Norwich, St David’s and Salisbury, as well as St. John’s, Smith Square, London.

Major awards include the 1993 Gemini Fellowship, the 1995/6 Arts Foundation Fellowship for electro-acoustic composition, and a Holst Foundation Award.


Percussionist Victor Caccese was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, in 1989 and at age nine began studying piano. In high school he began to develop an interest in the art of percussion. In 2005 he started percussion lessons with Walter Rohrich at the Wilmington Music School. His percussion training led him to audition for admittance to The Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in 2007.

Mr. Caccese holds an intense love for chamber music and has even attended the So Percussion Summer Institute for three consecutive years. He was also accepted into the Norfolk New Music Workshop as part of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Connecticut. In the summer of 2011, during the So Percussion Institute, Mr. Caccese worked closely with electronic artist Dan Deacon on the world premiere of his piece “Purse Hurdler” performed at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.  In 2010 he performed James Wood’s “Village Burial with Fire” at The Percussive Arts Convention as a finalist in the PASIC chamber music competition.

Mr. Caccese has played in master classes for Chen Zimbalista, Alan Abel, former percussionist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Tom Freer, of the Cleveland Orchestra, Svet Stoyanov, percussion chamber group So Percussion and marimba virtuoso Robert Van Sice. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree from The Peabody Conservatory in the Spring of 2011 and was a faculty member for the Peabody Preparatory program during his senior year. Mr. Caccese is currently pursuing his Master’s degree from the Yale School of Music under the tutelage of Robert van Sice.

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