Legendary American percussionist Jan Williams joins forces with UWA’s Piñata Percussion ensemble and the percussionists of the Australian National Academy of Music (VIC) for American Legends, an amazing journey of contemporary American masterworks.
Jan Williams is one of the most significant figures in the world of contemporary percussion. His collaborations with leading twentieth century composers John Cage, American maverick Lou Harrison and Pulitzer prizewinner Elliott Carter have influenced contemporary music worldwide.
American Legends Program
The concert includes John Cage’s quicksilver Third Construction (1941), from his series of works using unorthodox percussion instruments. Tintinnabulation (2007) by the grandfather of modern American composition, Elliott Carter, astoundingly composed when he was 99 years old, features six classical percussion instruments in three sections – wood, metal and skin – and “…exudes Carter’s brand of immaculately choreographed rhythmic chaos, like an explosion in a clock factory” (The Boston Globe).
To celebrate the centenary of the birth of Lou Harrison, we present the WA premiere of Labyrinth, inspired by the hypnotic sounds of the Javanese gamelan, which Harrison helped introduce to the United States.
American Legends concludes with the minimalist masterpiece Coming Together (1973) by Frederic Rzewski, a musical meditation on the brutal suppression of the 1971 Attica prison riot, underpinned by extracts from a poetic, ruminating letter by Sam Melville, one of the riot’s leaders.
ANAM, Melbourne, is acclaimed for its rigorous program training selected new graduates for careers as leading soloists and musicians. Piñata Percussion, based at the UWA School of Music, is acclaimed for its bold contemporary repertoire and championing of the music of our time. This is their first performance together at FAC.
American Legends is presented by Fremantle Arts Centre, the Australian National Academy of Music and the University of Western Australia. Jan Williams’ residency is supported by the U.S. Consulate General Melbourne.