“Laptop. Boxes. Mac ‘n’ Cheese.” March Concert at The Block Explores Unique Percussion and Computer Programmed Sounds

Muskegon, Michigan, March 4, 2014 – Percussionist Andrew Spencer will perform music featuring interactive computer programming and compelling percussion sounds for a March performance at The Block.

The former principal timpanist with the West Michigan Symphony, Spencer will perform a series of pieces featuring the computer and percussion, including a new work for five cardboard boxes and playing a card table filled with ‘found’ instruments while reciting nonsensical poetry.

The program starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 15 at The Block, which is located on the second floor of 360 W. Western Ave. in downtown Muskegon. Doors and bar open at 6:30 p.m. Mac ‘n’ cheese will be served.

“We are very excited to host Andrew and his unique percussion sounds,” said Carla Hill, CEO of the West Michigan Symphony. “Andrew’s music fits perfectly with the vision we had for The Block when it opened in June of last year – unordinary and extraordinary music that draws the audience in and makes them part of the experience.”

The evening will feature the following performances:

• “Drum Break” by Justin Merrit: Spencer will play four large drums and four hanging metal pipes with large wooden mallets, with an assist from the computer to add another dimension.

• “Copenhagen Wheel” by Zachariah Zubow: Computers enhance the sounds of cardboard boxes as they are played with sticks and brushes.

• “Canotila” by Mike McFerron: A computer recording is comprised of soft-driving 16th note chatter, while the percussionist finds new and interesting ways to play a simple pair of claves.

• “?Coporel” by Globokar: A study using the body as a substitute for an instrument.

• “Songs I-IX for Actor Percussionist” by Stuart Saunders Smith: Spencer will play a card table filled with ‘found’ instruments while reciting nonsensical poetry.

• “A Different Drummer” by Dave Hollinden: Two drums and a cymbal produce kaleidoscopic shifts in timbre and rhythm.

• “Let’s Leave it That Way” by Jay Batzner, a composer from Central Michigan University: A soundscape of acoustic percussion and computer-alteration of sounds from a workshop.

An active recitalist and clinician, Spencer has performed as a soloist in the United States, Poland, Japan, Canada, and Costa Rica. He believes that “the act of performing percussion music without a ‘percussion’ instrument to be both liberating and intimidating.”

In 1999, he released “Slender Beams,” a recording that features works by composer Dave Hollinden. Spencer has also premiered works by David Gillingham, Mark Polishook, Samuel Adler, Robert May and Henry Gwiazda among others.

Equally experienced in orchestral performance, Spencer is timpanist with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and principal percussionist for the Midland Orchestra. Additional positions have included timpanist/principal percussionist with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Cascade Festival Orchestra, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra and Fargo-Moorhead Civic Opera Company. He has also performed with the Oregon Symphony, Spokane Symphony and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Tickets for the event are $20 and up and available at the West Michigan Symphony ticket office: 231.726.3231 ext. 223; online at www.westmichigansymphony.org; or in person at 360 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon.

The Block: A simple, accessible, inspirational space where honest music can happen…not to you, but with you. Follow us on Twitter @AtTheBlock and fan us on Facebook www.facebook.com/AtTheBlock.

Michigan Arts & Culture Council
National Endowment for the Arts