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Metamorphosis – Third Coast Percussion

Third Coast Percussion passing instruments to each other

GRAMMY Award-winning, Chicago-based quartet Third Coast Percussion return, bringing their impressive arrangements and sweeping sounds to Milton Court.

This performance is a meeting of fearless and generous collaborators from unique artistic backgrounds, creators deeply rooted in their own tradition but whose branches reach curiously into the broad expressive world surrounding them. Lil Buck and Jon Boogz founded Movement Art Is to explore how their virtuosic street dancing abilities, rooted in popping and Memphis jookin’, could tell the important stories of modern life. Third Coast Percussion has carved its own special place in the cultural landscape by showing the incredible flexibility of percussion chamber music to give voice to expressions from a diverse range of artists.

At the heart of this collaboration is a celebration of each individual’s expressive language and the experiences that shaped it, as well as a curiosity to see each artist’s energy translated into the vocabulary of another. Just as the choreography created by Buck and Boogz is set onto different bodies — the movement artists Cameron Murphy and Trent Jeray — for performance, tonight’s program highlights how music is also transformed as it is passed from one artist to another. The innovative producer Jlin (whose roots are in Chicago’s 'Footwork' style of dance music) composed her Perspective as a series of electronic tracks, with the intent that Third Coast Percussion would reimagine this music on acoustic instruments for live performance. The music of minimalist icon Philip Glass that appears on this program is an arrangement of an arrangement, music finding its third incarnation in TCP’s distinctive sound world.

This project was created in 2020, a year of isolation, and the opportunity to make art together took on a new value. The full creative team — choreographers, dancers, TCP, stage director Leslie Danzig and lighting designer Joe Burke — had planned to come together in Seattle for a residency in the summer of 2020 to build this project on the stage of the Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington. When the residency could not take place, this determined team found ways—connecting via rehearsal videos shared on the cloud, simulated mock-ups of stage set-ups and light renderings, and of course, many Zoom meetings—to build this project together across long distances, and have since continued transforming the project into versions for audiences to experience through a screen, and finally, in person.

© Robert Dillon

Programme and performers

Philip Glass (arr Third Coast Percussion) Metamorphosis No 1 (1988/1999/2020)
Jlin 'Obscure' and 'Dissoance' from Perspective (2020)
Philip Glass (arr Third Coast Percussion) Amazon River (1993/1999/2016)
Jlin 'Paradigm' from Perspective 
Tyondai Braxton Sunny X (2019)
Jlin 'Embryo', 'Fourth Perspective', 'Duality' and 'Derivative' from Perspective

Third Coast Percussion:
Sean Connors 
Robert Dillon 
Peter Martin 
David Skidmore

Movement Art Is:
Lil Buck co-founder and choreographer
Jon Boogz co-founder and choreographer
Trent Jeray movement artist
Cameron Murphy movement artist

Artist biographies