Renowned percussion groups NEXUS and So Percussion have joined forces to launch DRUMMINGat50.com, a website examining the immense influence, history, and innovative compositional and performing techniques of Steve Reich’s seminal 1971 work for percussion, Drumming. The new site launch marks the 50th anniversary ofthe piece in 2021, and echoes the year of preparation that preceded its world premiere at the Museum of Modern Art in New York by Steve Reich and Musicians on December 3, 1971.
At the heart of the site are two new films: Drumming, a music video featuring NEXUS and So Percussion, Beth Meyers, Yumi Tamashiro, Daisy Press, and Alex Sopp, filmed and produced by Four/Ten Media; and Drumming in Magic Time: The Oral Tradition, a documentary that shows Russell Hartenberger of NEXUS (and original performer in the world premiere of Drumming) teaching Drumming by rote to members of The National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
The two ensembles represent different generations of percussionists who have connected over this hugely influential work and champion the long tradition of passing the music along to students aurally, from one musician to another.
DRUMMINGat50.com also offers a vast library of multimedia resources, including:
- over 50 filmed conversations with musicians and musicologists who discuss the musical and social impacts of the piece
- a broad range of academic papers about the piece, including contributions by Dr. Louise Devenish, Adam Sliwinski, and Oliver Xu
- a new program note from Steve Reich, offering deeper insight into the influence of Ghanaian drumming on his compositional development in that era
DRUMMINGat50.com is fully available to the public, and was designed and curated by Russell Hartenberger and Ray Dillard, and built by Agile web designer Alex Kessaris.