Chamber Music

Third Coast Percussion Comes To Town

Rob Dillon of the recent Grammy-winning percussion group talks about their upcoming Houston concert and the music of Steve Reich.

Third Coast Percussion
Third Coast Percussion

“Surreal” is how Rob Dillon described Third Coast Percussion‘s recent Grammy Award for “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance” for their album Third Coast Percussion | Steve Reich. And part of that Grammy success will be presented on stage when the ensemble performs in Houston presented by the Society for the Performing Arts this weekend! On the concert will be one of the pieces from the CD, Reich’s Mallet Quartet. In describing the piece, Dillon says that it has “that rhythmic drive that comes from a lot of Reich’s earlier works,” but it is different from the process-driven minimalism the composer was known for in his early career. 

As percussionists, the group greatly benefits from twentieth and twenty-first century composers like Steve Reich: “As a percussion quartet, we’re a fairly young art form within the classical music world… Beethoven didn’t write percussion quartets, unfortunately! But there are a couple of composers particularly who featured percussion so prominently in their works that it’s helped us come into our own… and I think Steve Reich is one of those composers.”

The concert will also feature works by members of the group, including Dillon himself. “Part of the joy of composing for your own ensemble, is you have this captive group of performers that you have access to on a regular basis,” says Dillon.

Hear my conversation with Rob Dillon above where we talk about Steve Reich, his Mallet Quartet, the logistical struggles of being a touring percussion ensemble, and more.

Third Coast Percussion will perform at the Wortham Theater Center on Saturday, March 4th at 8 PM. More information can be found here!

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