Classical Music

3G Percussion: Brotherly Love And Unusual Instruments

An interview with Jacob and Zach Gutierrez, members of 3G Percussion, about their group and an upcoming concert of contemporary percussion music.

Jacob and Zach Gutierrez
Jacob and Zach Gutierrez

This weekend, 3G Percussion puts on a concert (with repeat performance) of works with some unusual instrumentation… which is exactly what they asked for! “It actually grew out of a request that we gave for more portable percussion instruments, because in school we have these very large instruments like the marimba, vibraphone, and timpani, that cost thousands of dollars that we don’t have right now!” says group member Zach Gutierrez. “We’re doing things from hitting books, tearing pages, and pouring water,” about the work Recyclable by Houston composer Mark Buller. Contrasting that is John Paddie’s Shakr Hymn, for djembe, shaker, and tambourine, which uses instruments regular to percussion repertoire as well as spoken word. Another work, Mathew Campbell‘s Fluid Architecture, also has spoken word elements as well as three triangles, a far cry from traditional instrumental trios. I also contributed a piece for this concert, currently titled 3 Block Groove (very much subject to change…), which asks the players to perform on three wood slats of varying length. Also on the program are works by Joseph Tompkins, John Cage, and James Romig.

Hear Catherine Lu’s conversation with Jacob and Zach Gutierrez, who founded the group with their older brother Sarek as both an opportunity to educate local percussionists and continue performing after acquiring their academic degrees. Information about their upcoming performances at Gray Contemporary can be found at the group’s website.  

Here’s a clip of 3G Percussion performing at the Moores School of Music: