A thunderous bass drum takes us to other worlds as Joby Burgess headlines this night of percussion and electronics. He performs John Luther Adams’s Qilyaun, written for bass drum and electronic delay. The piece takes its name from the Iñupiaq (Indigenous people of north-western Alaska) word for the shaman’s drum. Translated literally, it means ‘device of power’ – the shaman’s ‘vehicle’ for their journeys, riding the sound of the drum to and from the spirit world. Elsewhere he performs some of Gabriel Prokofiev’s Voyages – taken from their nonclassical release Import/Export.
Kicking off the evening is Reylon, who returns after winning nonclassical’s Battle of the Bands in January 2019. He presents Leaves, an original electroacoustic folk set that integrates augmented yangqin (Chinese hammer dulcimer), found sound, and voice. Stylistically, it synthesizes traditional and contemporary yangqin playing, soundscape composition, and alternative folk singing. The work stems from a contemplation of how transcultural experience fragments identity and the ways we attempt to weave ourselves back together.
DJ sets in between acts come from nonclassical Associate Composer Lola de la Mata.