This album collects works created for or with Drumming GP, a percussion ensemble founded in 1999 by Miquel Bernat, a world-class performer and teacher. Drumming works across styles, from contemporary composition to jazz, from music for theatre and dance, to a timbila orchestra that explores the traditional African instrument in its traditional repertoire and contemporary compositions. Drumming has partnered with dozens of composers to create new works that have significantly contributed to expanding the contemporary repertoire for percussion ensembles. They have released multiple works, from monographic albums to collaborations with composers such as Jesus Rueda, António Pinho Vargas, José Manuel López López, Luís Tinoco, Joana Gama and Luís Fernandes, Vasco Mendonça, or Mark Fell.
This collaboration led to reflect upon and reconsider our working processes. When we make music, we usually do not write for other musicians but rather for ourselves, and for our computers, we program. Perhaps because of that, we tend not to think about what we do as “composing”.
A composition prescribes the results of a process that, in general, it does not detail. A program, on the other hand, is focused on a process. Both are information. The composition is a description and the program is an instruction. But a composition can, of course, contain or be procedural information, information that does. A composition can be a liminal object that is part abstraction and part embodied activity.
When Miquel Bernat approached us with a proposal to compose a piece that could bring us together on stage: our computers and their percussion, our lack of musical gesture and their finely honed stage presence, we had to, for the first time, compose for other musicians. We had to consider how our processes of programming could become processes of composing.
This led us to experiment with several approaches and methodologies, not only for that first commission but also for subsequent collaborations. In this process, we discovered ways to collaborate and to create with Drumming.
Some of the results of this work with Drumming are already published in other contexts: 62, created from recordings with Miquel Bernat, published in 2008 in the album Up, Down, Charm, Strange, Top, Bottom; or 88 (two firsts) published in 2011 in a compilation. Several of these compositions were performed live, and they are now presented in a recorded format for the first time.
See it at Crónica.