Donnacha Dennehey

So Percussion Summer Institute

At the beginning of August I got back from the So Percussion Summer Institute (SoSI) at Princeton University. I’d applied to the course not really knowing what to expect. I’d never written for percussion before, been on a course in the States or worked with American musicians. There was a lot of unknowns. At the very least I’d certainly never expected to be performing blindfolded with Matmos in a Brooklyn bar…

The course was a mix of performance, lecturers practice and demonstrations and the theme of the course was percussion and electronics. The faculty and speakers were peppered with people who are straddling the electronic and acoustic worlds. Princeton composers such as Dan Trueman showed us examples of the electronics playing an active role in the musical performance. Each of his piano etudes causing the performer to work within the framework of the electronics and adapt to them in a different way. Read more