Sō is an exciting percussion ensemble that explores the world of music and sound with a wonderful openness and enthusiasm.
What is music?
Such a simple question has many answers in the minds and ears of listeners.
One thing that every great composer has done throughout the centuries is to REDEFINE what music is. Composers introduce concepts which open up the very possibilities of music. Think what Perotin alone did for music.
When exposed to a non traditional approach to music, musicians and listeners alike may get all riled up and proclaim, "That's not music!"
After all, where's the melody? People of this persuasion have a point, but they limit what might be an really interesting listening experience. Art is limitless as the imagination is limitless, but the world is not such an open-minded place.
I feel that there is the traditional world of music making and then there's the infinite world of sound. Composers work in both. It's as simple as that. There are people for whom an amplified cactus is simply a ridiculous notion, while others cheerfully accept this as something really cool. The act of performing or composing on timpani is no more "serious" than it is on a cactus as long as the intention of the performer/composer is true to the artistic vision.
Revered or hated, John Cage split the world in two when his seminal (and sometimes outright wacky) ideas entered the musical world.
I am so pleased that this young percussion group draws on Cage as inspiration. I also hear a bit of Steve Reich as well.
Sō Percussion Tiny Desk Concert. Check out all the other Tiny Desk Concerts while you are there.
An excellent documentary on Cage. There's a part where Cage is playing an amplified cactus. The sound is very nice.