Southern GothicSouthern Gothic
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Southern Gothic

for multipercussion solo
Level: Med-Advanced
Duration: 2:55
State Lists: Missouri | Florida
Release Date: 2022
Product ID : TSPCS22-015
Price: $15.00
Item #: TSPCS22-015

Formats Available:


Description

Southern Gothic by Jason Baker is a medium-advanced multipercussion solo influenced by the literary tradition of the American South. The southern gothic subgenre of literature often contains themes of eccentric, flawed characters and decaying or haunted settings. Drawing inspiration from these literary works, Baker has crafted this piece by utilizing unpredictable, odd time signatures and recurring ostinati and polyrhythmic figures. Coupled with a variety of traditional and found percussion instruments, the piece brilliantly matches the troubled and disturbed tone of southern gothic literature. The piece is perfect for performers looking for a musical and technical challenge with plenty of room for individual interpretation.

Southern Gothic ships as a printed, professionally bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

Bongos

2 woodblocks (high and low)

Large glass bottle

Metal mixing bowl

Reviews

“Southern Gothic” is exactly the kind of piece that I salivate over as a university educator. In a hair under three minutes, Jason Baker packs in an enormous amount of conceptual, technical, and interpretational growth for students who are starting to build a relationship with the field of multiple percussion. Refreshingly (and correctly), “Southern Gothic” subverts the idea that multiple percussion is just concertizing stand-up drum set by bringing things back down to our Cage- and Harrison-inspired origins of sophisticated music for unsophisticated (and therefore accessible) objects. Instead of tin cans, Baker uses a glass bottle and a mixing bowl, but the sentiment is the same: a poverty of means can still lead to a wealth of expression.

This piece seems tailor-made to address the exact concepts that should be the focus of early multiple percussion study: learning which questions to ask before playing a note, exploring and curating the sounds of nontraditional percussion instruments (e.g., those not found in the average five-piece drum set), and building an adaptable and sensitive technical touch suited to playing a set of instruments with differing responsiveness. William Kraft’s excellent and time-tested suites for percussion achieve some of these goals, but the 21st-century percussionist’s need (and really, obligation) to question everything on the page requires the kind of conceptual training that few works can provide at a relatively accessible level of technical demand. I’m delighted to point out that "Southern Gothic” is exactly that kind of piece.

On top of its educational value, “Southern Gothic” is a genuinely charming slice of solo percussion music that checks three important boxes: it’s fun to play, fun to listen to, and fits into a backpack. For all of my focus on the pedagogical side of things, the piece is also a short but impressive technical barnburner that would be equally welcome on a public concert or degree recital. I expect this solo will become a popular option for university juries, but I think it would also be an excellent addition to a school or public concert given by a traveling professional. In any event, I strongly recommend this work to anyone looking for a shorter multiple-percussion solo project that will be both technically and conceptually rewarding.

—Brian Graiser
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 2, April 2023

Description

Southern Gothic by Jason Baker is a medium-advanced multipercussion solo influenced by the literary tradition of the American South. The southern gothic subgenre of literature often contains themes of eccentric, flawed characters and decaying or haunted settings. Drawing inspiration from these literary works, Baker has crafted this piece by utilizing unpredictable, odd time signatures and recurring ostinati and polyrhythmic figures. Coupled with a variety of traditional and found percussion instruments, the piece brilliantly matches the troubled and disturbed tone of southern gothic literature. The piece is perfect for performers looking for a musical and technical challenge with plenty of room for individual interpretation.

Southern Gothic ships as a printed, professionally bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

Bongos

2 woodblocks (high and low)

Large glass bottle

Metal mixing bowl

Reviews

“Southern Gothic” is exactly the kind of piece that I salivate over as a university educator. In a hair under three minutes, Jason Baker packs in an enormous amount of conceptual, technical, and interpretational growth for students who are starting to build a relationship with the field of multiple percussion. Refreshingly (and correctly), “Southern Gothic” subverts the idea that multiple percussion is just concertizing stand-up drum set by bringing things back down to our Cage- and Harrison-inspired origins of sophisticated music for unsophisticated (and therefore accessible) objects. Instead of tin cans, Baker uses a glass bottle and a mixing bowl, but the sentiment is the same: a poverty of means can still lead to a wealth of expression.

This piece seems tailor-made to address the exact concepts that should be the focus of early multiple percussion study: learning which questions to ask before playing a note, exploring and curating the sounds of nontraditional percussion instruments (e.g., those not found in the average five-piece drum set), and building an adaptable and sensitive technical touch suited to playing a set of instruments with differing responsiveness. William Kraft’s excellent and time-tested suites for percussion achieve some of these goals, but the 21st-century percussionist’s need (and really, obligation) to question everything on the page requires the kind of conceptual training that few works can provide at a relatively accessible level of technical demand. I’m delighted to point out that "Southern Gothic” is exactly that kind of piece.

On top of its educational value, “Southern Gothic” is a genuinely charming slice of solo percussion music that checks three important boxes: it’s fun to play, fun to listen to, and fits into a backpack. For all of my focus on the pedagogical side of things, the piece is also a short but impressive technical barnburner that would be equally welcome on a public concert or degree recital. I expect this solo will become a popular option for university juries, but I think it would also be an excellent addition to a school or public concert given by a traveling professional. In any event, I strongly recommend this work to anyone looking for a shorter multiple-percussion solo project that will be both technically and conceptually rewarding.

—Brian Graiser
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 2, April 2023


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