BAMA concert at UAB April 20 features Iron Giant Percussion

An ensemble born from collaboration in the Department of Music will perform a concert at UAB as part of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance season.

An award-winning ensemble formed in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Music will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20, 2013, to close the Birmingham Art Music Alliance’s (BAMA) 2012-13 season.

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Sam Herman, Brett Huffman, Seth Noble and Justin Wallace are Iron Giant Percussion (FeGP), an emergent contemporary ensemble based in Birmingham. Hosted by UAB Music, the concert will take place in the Mary Culp Hulsey Recital Hall, 950 13th St. South. Admission is $10, $5 for students and senior citizens and free for students with a valid UAB ID. Call 205-934-7376 or visit www.music.uab.edu.

The members are all students or graduates of UAB Music. The group won the 2013 Clefworks Festival competition in Montgomery and performed with internationally acclaimed So Percussion. 

For this show, FeGP will perform an entire concert of music by Alabama composers, including the premiere of three new quartets created specifically for this event.  

For his quartet “They are Guarded by the Giant,” composer Joseph Landers took inspiration from Iron Giant’s namesake, the Vulcan statue that stands atop Red Mountain. The instrumentation features ordinary objects found in a typical recycling bin which are incorporated in a half ritual/ half impromptu jam session. “Piano-Forte” by Czech composer Jan Vicar is for two players on marimba, bass drums and hanging automobile suspension springs. Beyond the juxtaposition of quiet and loud sounds suggested by the title, the focus is on the contrast of silence and noise. 

Monroe Golden’s “Vestiges” uses ferric folksongs and a jazz standard as points of departure.  The piece is scored for metals, including crotales, cymbals, glockenspiel, steel drums and vibraphone, supplemented with “hank drums” (tongue drums custom-built from propane tanks) and soundfile clips to infuse the equal-tempered instruments into microtonal systems. “The Last Shadow of the Day,” a duet by Ron Wray, combines the complementary tone colors of flute, performed by Sallie Vines White, and vibraphone, to evoke the fading light of day as time passes quickly.  A work by UAB Assistant Professor of Music William Price, D.M.A., “Suckerpunch!” is inspired by the infamous after-concert rants of big band drummer and bandleader Buddy Rich. It begins loud and brash and doesn’t let up until the bitter end. 

Through concerts and collaborative efforts with composers and performers across the nation, BAMA works to promote music by Alabama composers and present concerts of recently created art music to communities in Birmingham and beyond.  BAMA members include local composers, professional performers, students and enthusiasts who wish to preserve and maintain the long tradition of music as a living art form. 

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