LUPE to beat the hell out of the Chapel

Paul Karner

Of all the groups in the conservatory, one group in particular always seems to offer a refreshing break from the typical Harper Hall scene. Under the direction of acclaimed percussionist Dane Richeson, the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble will perform this Friday night in the chapel with what’s sure to be an unusually astounding program.
Throughout the years, LUP has made a number of recordings and has been nationally recognized as an outstanding group in college music. This weekend will undoubtedly prove to be a testament to their growing reputation.
The concert will feature mostly modern works including a marimba quartet by Nigel Westlake entitled “Ompholo Centric Lecture,” and Allan Blank’s “Knock on Wood,” a piece for four percussionists on a dozen different wooden instruments. Dan Welcher’s “Chameleon Music” is sure to be a rare experience. Based on a true story, “Chameleon Music” is essentially a musical vignette about a group of lizards residing in the jungle with a strange affinity for Mozart. Welcher was fascinated with the effect that music could have on uncivilized creatures, and he displays this by weaving melodies from a number of Mozart sonatas into this fairly abstract work.
One of the premiere pieces is Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic’s “Uneven Souls,” featuring sophomore Mike Truesdell. The piece is scored for a solo marimba accompanied by three multi-percussionists and untrained male vocalists. Utilizing odd meters played beneath haunting modal melodies, “Uneven Souls” is a unique display of Macedonian rhythm and melody, deriving many of its rhythmic motives from traditional Balkan folk dances. Truesdell states “this piece is pretty much an all-out flourish of emotion from the opening xylophone tremolo to the last bass drum blast.”
Of course, no percussion showcase would be complete without a couple people banging the hell out of some drums, so the Sambistas will be there to finish off the concert with some traditional Brazilian drumming. In the words of Mike Truesdell, “this concert is gonna be fucking raw.” So come to the Memorial Chapel at 7:30 p.m. tonight and witness some great fucking music.