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The World Percussion Group

Assembling the world’s elite

Artistic Director: Tim Palmer (Maraca2 Percussion Duo)

What to Expect from WPG 2024





What to Expect from your 2024 WPG Academy Experience:



WPG 2021 and 2023 provided us with a fantastic opportunity to evolve the WPG platform with both artistic development and cultural sharing at the heart of the experience. A two-week long period in October 2021 provided our 11 selected artists with the opportunity to work alongside some of the globes finest most experienced players, along with two weeks in July 2023 with a new set of artists. These daily masterclass sessions included Dame Evelyn Glennie, Colin Currie, Joseph Pereira, Svet Stoyanov, Tim Adams, Tomer Yariv, Steven Schick, John Wooton, Johan Bridger, Pius Cheung, Alexej Gerassimez, Katarzyna Mycka, Mendi Singh and Emmanuel Séjourné. Our specially designed web portal allowed for smooth facilitation of these events. (See examples below). 



WPG 2021 V-Tour Masterclasses:

   

Steven Schick Masterclass                                                  Colin Currie Masterclass




   

Tomer Yariv Masterclass                                                      Joseph Pereira Masterclass



WPG 2021 V-Tour Reviews:





Isaac Harari - WPG 2021 Artist:

"The World Percussion Group V-Tour gave me a range of insights into musicality and playing which I wouldn’t expect to receive over half a year, let alone a few weeks. The roster of coaches is as varied as it gets, and you’ll be able to seek answers to almost any percussion-related questions or doubts you may have, from experts in that particular field. There is ample opportunity for artists to receive personalised advice from their preferred coaches - no one ends up fighting for lesson time. The feedback I received made me alter a lot within my music-making, from my marimba technique to my arranging.

The coaches aren’t the only sources of inspiration on the course, however. I found myself taking notes while watching the other artists perform, aside from being a little bit awestruck! Whoever you find yourself playing alongside, you can be sure that many of them will be leaders in our field in a few years, and I personally found the privilege of being included in the group to be incredibly motivating. WPG’s concerts reach a wide, global audience, and are a great springboard for showing your playing to as many eyes and ears as possible, both within the percussion community and outside of it. I’d highly recommend giving it a shot!






Performances & Premieres:


The 2021 V-Tour presented opportunity for an intensive two-week masterclass schedule, the artists also had plenty of opportunity to showcase their talents both as soloists and in mulitple virtual performances. In some cases, artists were also able to work on smaller ensembles in person where artists were in close proximity with one another. Several premieres were presented and this made for a truly well rounded, diverse set of 4 x 1-hour feature length concerts via Youtube and Facebook. Below are some of the many performances WPG 2021 produced. 





Danzas Argentinas Mvt. 3 - Alberto Ginastera 

Danzas Argentinas by Alberto Ginastera was arranged by WPG 2021 artists Nozomi Hiwatashi (Japan) and Grzegorz Chwalinski (Poland) at the request of WPG. The piece features the 3rd movement of a group of three. Energetic in nature, the arrangement allowed for a polished synergy between the group, displaying both virtuosity and musicality. A real crowd-pleaser, this arrangement was rehearsed in person in Germany and was showcased as an encore for the final Concert of WPG 2021.






Koolish Zein - John Psathas


Koolish Zein (Her Alchemy) was our first virtual percussion project. Prepared and performed by Jose Uzcategui (Venezuela), Fillip Korosec (Slovenia), Nozomi Hiwatashi (Japan), Toril Azzalini-Machecler (UK) and Grzegorz Chwalniski (Poland). John Psathas' trilogy provided a perfect opportunity to work in conjunction with a supported audio track. Featuring soloist Jose Uzcategui, the piece offers a perfect opportunity to showcase an array of percussive disciplines in this holistically breathtaking spectacle.




Marimba Spiritual II - Minoru Miki

Balagan Duo from Israel surely packed a punch in this rendition of Marimba Spiritual! An excellent blend of musical virtuosity, synchronised choreography which is second to none and a sheer powerful presence allowed for a highly successful fireworks display of percussive brilliance! This piece was rehearsed in Israel allowing for both artists to fully prepare prior to WPG.





Rooted - Brian Blume - WPG 2021 Composer-in-Residence Winner  (WPG Commission)


WPG's new commission paved the way for Elliott Gaston-Ross to explore a unique collaboration between glockenspiel and snare drums. Elliott has subsequently performed this in multiple countries and has commissioned a visual artist to enhance the listening experience further! 

Brian Blume says - "The motivation for Rooted came as a result of much reflection on the many changes my life has seen recently. Yet while many parts of my life may change, some things remain the same and persist through those changes––my marriage, my family, my faith. When we are rooted in the right things, the changes of seasons don’t have to break us; rather, they strengthen us. Musically, I attempted to capture this through the persistence of the pitch G, as well as the G major harmony. We may leave G major, at times straying far away, but we always return. And even when the music travels elsewhere harmonically, the G is still present somewhere, reminding us of our roots. Certain rhythmic motifs occur throughout the piece, as well, sometimes in altered forms, demonstrating change over time, but rooted in the same material. Rooted also acknowledges the musical roots from which it has sprung, including the works of Bob Becker, Brad Mehldau, and Francisco Turrisi, among others. This work was commissioned by the World Percussion Group"






Surreal Moods - Attila Szilvási


Jose Uzcategui (Venezuela) and Ashley Ridenour (USA) presented a spectacular virtual rendition of Surreal Moods by Attila Szilvási.

"Surreal Moods is written for two 5-octave marimbas and electronic background music for a 3-piece musical play. The title refers to the surreal relations of the three pieces. The three moods are represented in three sections in the following order: present, past and future. As the play is polystylistic, each part of this piece may be considered as separate genres though the structuring principles typical of the genres are mixed, emphasising the surreal atmosphere and mood of the play. “In the first part, I drew inspiration from recent and popular musical genres which I enriched with imitations and motifs used in early music. For example, the beginning motif of Dies Irea appears at the peak of the first piece to the accompaniment of a marimba complement. In the second part, the accompaniment is changed to instruments used in classical, symphony orchestras to which the marimbas play a pattern-based layer popular in modern music in addition to the main melody. Here, the music is led to the third part with the development of the pattern appearing in the first piece. I am expressing the mystery and the obscurity of the third time spectrum with a new technique of playing with timbale mallets. Since my aim was to create a cycle with exploring all the three eras, we reach the initial atmosphere and mood by the end of the piece.” - Attila Szilvási.

Surreal Moods is commissioned by Maraca2 for their American tour in 2011.






The New Beginning - Alejandro Coello


Commissioned by WPG, 'The New Beginning' was written by WPG Composer-in-Residence runner up Alejandro Coello. It was intended to not only overcome the challenges of working remotely but also served as a tremendous collaboration between visual art and music.

"This is the last piece belonging to the extensive work “Percussion Opera” by Alejandro Coello. A concept based on the biblical book of Revelations and written exclusively for solo percussion and electronics. Except for this number, written for 8 percussionists, piano, electronics, and video projection, where individuality, separation, the sense of competitiveness (one of the main subjects of this works), and personal interests become one. ?Is the end and at the same time the beginning. It is like starting all over again, but this time altogether, welcomed and motivated by the same goal. In these times we are living, we can also translate this into the need of searching together new ideas for music, new ways to collaborate and help each other but also returning to the basics, to value the raw material, to speak the truth, to love." A. Coello.






Udacrep Akubrad - Avner Dorman


A long standing favourite of the WPG, Avner Dorman's Udacrep Akubrad was executed in style by Filip Korošec (Slovenia) and Tanel-Eiko Novikov (Estonia). The piece rehearsed in Copenhagen was recorded at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen. Eastern spices and raw virtuosity come together in this electrifying performance. Described by Tomer Yariv as "one of the finest performances he has seen of this piece."






Sylvan Fantasy - Jack Ledger-Dowse

Another World Premiere allowed our two talented London-based percussionists Toril Azzalini-Machecler (United Kingdom) and Isaac Harari (United Kingdom) to take us on a musical voyage of tonal colour, interlocking kaleidoscopic textures and an effective exploration of dynamic control. Composer Jack Ledger-Dowse also had opportunity to sit in coaching sessions with Pius Cheung.