Faculty Artist Brady Harrison in Avant-Garde Electroacoustic Concert Percussion Program

Program Highlights Live Interactions between Classical Musician, Computer, Music Concréte, Lights, and Video with Cutting Edge New Works and Traditional Repertoire | March 25, 2013

April 2, 2013- Concert percussionist and Xavier faculty member, Brady Harrison, will perform solo at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, center stage at Xavier University’s Gallagher Theater. Admission is free and open to the public.

With an eclectic yet concise array of instruments on stage, ranging from a marimba to “malletkat”, and marching snare drum to maracas, Brady Harrison will perform literature from the late 20th and 21st centuries with special emphasis on new electroacoustic percussion works and new versions of classic literature.

The program will open with Brian Blume’s “Strands of Time” for two Kevlar headed drums accompanied by a riveting digital recording created by the composer. Coordinated through a computer controlled click track, Blume’s scoring echoes in perfect synchronicity the deeply colorful and brutally powerful soundscape in a merging of two seemingly foreign worlds.

This will be followed by Australian composer Nigel Westlake’s “Fabian Theory”, for solo percussionist and digital delay. “Fabian Theory” features a marimba and three toms that use both digital delay and live looping to weave a polyrhythmic web that resembles the size and intricacies of a small percussion ensemble. Mr. Harrison achieves these effects through the application of a performance-based software that is commonly used by DJs, called Ableton Live.

The most theatrical piece of the evening is “Temezcal” by Xavier Alvarez. This groundbreaking work for soundscape and maracas soloist exploits the highly virtuosic roots of Venezuelan Joropo music in an incredibly evocative setting. Mr. Harrison has coordinated the showing of a video that was created for a recording of the work’s dedicatee, Luis Julio Toro, to be viewed simultaneously with this performance. This truly avant-garde work, which uses a graphic score, is a visceral piece that pushes artistic boundaries, bridging the gaps between the ethereal, violent, and folk song.

Rounding out the evening will be a performance of Steve Reich’s classic, “Violin Phase”, originally written for four violins, as realized using an electronic mallet instrument called a malletkat. In this new realization, Mr. Harrison will use a series of pedals to control different aspects of the layering and sound with his feet while playing the nearly 20-minute work with his hands. Beyond that though, Mr. Harrison again uses Ableton Live to assign each “violin” part to a different part of the physical space as he is performing, resulting in a complete surround sound environment that fully complements the score. The result is a mesmerizingly beautiful collaboration between man and machine.

Brady Harrison is a concert percussionist that is dedicated to performing works from a diversity of styles and composers. Admission is free and open to the public.


For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Brady Harrison at 513 745-3842 or harrisonw@xavier.edu.