Summer Nostos FestivalSummer Nostos Festival

Sō Percussion

Classical and Contemporary-Classical Music

June 23, 2019, 20.00, Stavros Niarchos Hall GNO

Sō Percussion

As far as recommendations for the Sō Percussion quartet are concerned, one needn’t go further than The New Yorker magazine, which described an evening with them as “an exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam.” At the Summer Nostos Festival, this quartet’s unbridled imagination and impetuous creativity leads to new sound experiences and will make the audience smile in the way the New York Times describes: “Υou found yourself smiling in a quiet amazement that could verge on disbelief. Sometimes this had to do with a sound whose origin you simply could not determine.”

Their repertoire covers a very wide range and includes seminal 20th century works by Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, and Steve Reich, as well as their own compositions. Sō Percussion have essentially redefined the role and scale of a percussion ensemble through their 16 albums, world tours, pioneering collaborations and the ambitious educational programs in which they participate. The members of Sō Percussion say: “We no longer need or want to locate ourselves as part of a tiny niche of classical music. Nearly twenty years after our first rehearsal, we are limited only by our imaginations—and by gear.”

Sō Percussion’s stage presence is marked by irresistible energy and intensity. The New York-based quartet’s members are Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, Jason Treuting, and Eric Cha-Beach. They often collaborate with artists who perform their work in places other than classical music halls, such as the singer Shara Nova, the electronic music duo Matmos, legendary drummer Bobby Previte, choreographer Shen Wei, and The National’s composer and guitarist Bryce Dessner, who will be presenting his latest work at the Summer Nostos Festival a few days later. For the fifth consecutive year, Sō Percussion are the Edward T. Cone Ensemble-in-Residence at Princeton University.

The quartet believes that music is an essential factor of life, a social bond, and an effective tool that creates relationships and promotes the concept of citizenship. This is why they are enthusiastically involved in activities that have social impact. According to members of the quartet, their recent work transcends the limits of what was considered, until now, percussion chamber music. They are a mature form of art that activates a rich and solid consciousness of humanity’s experience with music.

“We are finding stories to tell and songs to sing, and along the way the word ‘percussion’ in our name stands for an ideal of the widest universe of possibilities,” they say. “We are taking a particularly close look at how we can help serve and create more equitable communities, where gender balance, acknowledgement of Indigenous communities, ethnic diversity, and economic equality matter.”