Notes & Reviews:
Percussion music is likely the oldest there is: the impulse to make sound by scraping, scratching, tapping and striking is primal, one of the first things a child does consciously with his or her hands. Yet, in spite of its primacy to our human experience, percussion is underrepresented in classical music, with a repertory dating back mostly to the 1950's. With her generous triple album Eos, percussionist Patti Cudd demonstrates her commitment to expanding it while opening new doors for future exploration. Cudd commissioned 16 new compositions for the album and the works span a breathtaking variety of approaches from composers including Cort Lippe, Paul Elwood, Per Bloland, Jeff Herriott, Barry Moon and others. The album also features works by Morton Feldman, Brian Ferneyhough and Christian Wolff - the only ones here without the use of electronics. All the pieces make use of electroacoustic and interactive techniques, and many use the software Max/MSP, which was deisnged to offer tools for composers and performers to develop real-time interactive music. The software can track and analyze sound, refracting it and reimaginging it as the performer plays. "By extending the world of physical percussion with virtual computer objects and processes," Cudd writes in the liner notes, "I am excited to enter new sonic and mental territories in the company of these many remarkable composers." Patti Cudd is active as a percussion soloist, chamber musician and educator. She teaches percussion and new music studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University.