so percussion / Trollstilt

Called “astonishing and entrancing” by Billboard, “brilliant” by the New York TimesSO PERCUSSION was created to give a fresh voice to what co-founder Jason Treuting calls “funky contemporary music.” Coming together in the green pastures of New Haven at Yale’s graduate program, the ensemble formed as devoted to the conceptual dreamscapes of Reich, Xenakis, Cage, and others. In 2004, realizing Steve Reich’s nine-part “Drumming” as a quartet, they made one small step for music, one radical step for a percussion group: they overdubbed — and to great success. Having explored the past, in the form of Reich’s classics, and the present, in the form of Lang and Ziporyn’s freshest, it was time for So to start exploring the future.

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Albums by Artist

So Percussion has performed their unusual and exciting music all over the United States, with concerts at the Lincoln Center Festival, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Stanford Lively Arts, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and many others. In addition, recent tours to the United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the Ukraine have brought them international acclaim.


TROLLSTILT composes and performs new music inspired by the folk traditions of Norway and America. Combining the diverse musical interests of Dan Trueman (Hardanger and electric fiddles) and Monica Mugan (Classical and steel-string guitars), this duo derives its name from a traditional tuning used by Hardanger fiddlers, also known as the “Devil’s Tuning.” Trollstilt’s original compositions are un-notated, co-composed, and often open form, involving improvisation.


The duo has performed widely (in concert and on radio) in the United States and in Norway, and has been featured on both contemporary art and folk festivals, including the Bang-on-a-Can Marathon, Den Norske Folkemusikkveka, and the Chamber Music America National Conference in NYC; their performances in Norway have been supported by the Arts International “Fund for US Artists.”


Five (and-a-half) Gardens (New Amsterdam, 2008) represents the multidisciplinary fusion of these two dynamic ensembles, along with a DVD accompaniment of motion paintings and vocals/spoken word by Treuting’s sister Jennifer Treuting alongside Pulitzer Prize Finalist Rinde Eckert. The album features found materials such as flower pots, plumbing tubes, and cell phone microphones, as well as traditional percussion instruments, fiddles, and guitars, all combined with electronic samples, processed sounds, and voice, to created a multi-layered sonic effect. The album received a five-star review from Steve Smith in Time Out New York.


So Percussion/Trollstilt’s Five (and-a-half) Gardens composed by Dan Trueman: