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Branches: So Percussion performances and residency at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College

“NYC experimental powerhouse” So Percussion spends a year in residence at the Fisher Center for new music creation, education, & performance

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In Performance – So Percussion’s “Where (We) Live” at the Fisher Center

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Two performances of “Where (We) Live” were the culminating activity of the spring 2015 portion of “Branches,” So Percussion’s residency at the Fisher Center.  These performances included special guests Emily Johnson, a Minneapolis-based choreographer and dancer; director Ain Gordon; and guitarist Grey McMurray. In addition, a craftsperson from our region “performed” each evening by creating his or her work on-stage with the band. Shown in this video is ceramicist Caroline Wallner.

These multidisciplinary performances engaged enthusiastic attendees with a wide range of interests from across our campus and local area. In addition, this project contributed significantly to the Fisher Center’s contemporary music offerings. We look forward to continuing and developing this residency framework, which features creation, education, and performance.

We are very grateful to New Music USA and our project partners for their support.


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Press for So Percussion’s “Where (We) Live” at the Fisher Center

This article ran in the February 2015 edition of Chronogram, “a Mid-Hudson Magazine of Events and Ideas.” The magazine is distributed in counties abutting the Hudson River, including Ulster, Dutchess, Greene, Columbia, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester.

“Ambitious, beguiling show”—So Percussion’s Where (we) Live on Stage this Weekend

Sō Percussion and Grey McMurray
Where (we) Live

February 14 at 7:30 pm
February 15 at 3 pm
LUMA Theater
Tickets: $25, $10 students

This “ambitious, beguiling show” (New York Times) blends music, video, and storytelling in a theatrical creation that reflects on notions of community and home. Featuring guitarist Grey McMurray and choreographer Emily Johnson, the production is directed by Ain Gordon and presented as part of Branches, Sō Percussion’s residency at Bard.

In Where (we) Live, Sō Percussion opens its life, work, and home(s), and invites the unknown to “come on over.” They’ve invited video artists, songwriters, painters, poets, choreographers, and craftspeople to substantively alter their process. The resulting performances contain a society of possibilities: composed pieces, chance elements, visual associations, and theatrical interactions. The Fisher Center performances feature two local guest artists: musician, instrument designer/fabricator Aron Sanchez (Saturday performance) and artist Caroline Wallner (Sunday performance).

To buy tickets, please follow this link:


In Rehearsal – So Percussion’s “We Are All Going in Different Directions”: A John Cage Celebration

In Rehearsal: So Percussion’s ‘We Are All Going in Different Directions’: A John Cage Celebration from The Fisher Center on Vimeo.

Presented as part of a weekend of Cage performances in September 2014 that culminated in So Percussion’s fall 2014 residency at the Fisher Center, So Percussion’s Jason Treuting prepares the amplified cactus for Cage’s Child of Tree (1975) and Matmos’ collaboration with So Percussion, Needles (2010). Later, members of the Bard Percussion Studio and multidisciplinary scholar Joan Retallack rehearse 18’12″, a simultaneous performance of Cage works Inlets (Improvisation II) (1977), 0’00” (4’33” No.2) (1962), Duet for Cymbal (1960), and 45’ for a speaker (1954).


The next major public component of So Percussion’s residency at Bard College is a weekend of performances of their hybrid music-theater work Where (we) Live on February 14 and 15, 2015, in the Fisher Center’s LUMA Theater. The event is presented as part of a two-weekend look at contemporary cross-disciplinary music-theater work.

Branches: So Percussion Performances and Residence at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College

We’re delighted to announce the first performance of this project at Bard’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, September 21Tickets go on sale Tuesday, September 2. Please join us! We’re very grateful for the support of New Music USA and our project partners.


So Percussion’s residency at Bard College, entitled Branches after the 1976 John Cage album, reflects the project’s many components and collaborators, including the John Cage Trust, New Albion Records, the Woodstock Chimes Fund, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, and the Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Since fall 2010, So Percussion has been on the Conservatory’s faculty, and this project will expand the acclaimed ensemble’s public presence on the Bard campus and in the surrounding community through an experimental year-long residency at the Fisher Center. With Branches, we will strive to develop a model for artist support that re-envisions the relationship between the artist and the academy, combining teaching with public performance, community outreach, and new work creation. Our hope is that this residency program can become a model for other new music ensembles and institutions.

The Branches residency also aims to bring So Percussion’s unique approach to new music to a wider audience; to cross boundaries between contemporary forms of dance, theater, and music; and to create new links in our local music community. The residency has been developed over an 18-month planning period, and is supported by So Percussion’s history of work at Bard College and the mutual familiarity of the collaborating organizations.

In addition to their teaching in 2014-15, So Percussion will offer two weekends of public performances, conduct public master classes, and begin creative research on their next original interdisciplinary work. The residency will open on September 21 with a performance of We Are All Going in Different Directions, a playful celebration of the work of John Cage that includes a chance selection of classic scores such Credo in Us, Imaginary Landscape #1, and Third Construction, as well as original compositions by the group and contributions from electronic artists Matmos, Cenk Ergün, and Dan Deacon. The performance will take place in the Fisher Center’s 800-seat Sosnoff Theater as part of a weekend-long celebration organized by the John Cage Trust that includes a performance of Cage’s Ten Thousand Things (September 20) and a lecture by Cage scholar James Pritchett.

The residency continues on February 13-15 with three performances of So Percussion’s original multidisciplinary work Where (we) Live. The evening-length performance explores the idea of home with a bold experiment in collaborative art-making. Directed by Ain Gordon, So is joined by guitarist Grey Mcmurray, choreographer Emily Johnson, and a different local artisan or craftsperson for each performance. The weekend will include pre- and post-performance discussion with the artists, a collaborative creation workshop, and a dance master class taught by Emily Johnson. These performances take place in the Fisher Center’s 225-seat Theater Two.

While in residence, So Percussion will begin creative research on their next new work with Emily Johnson. The Fisher Center will provide studio space and technical support for an open-ended creative exploration.


Project Media

We Are All Going In Separate Directions
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Recorded at Northwestern University’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall 11/17/2012.

In honor of John Cage’s centenary year, So Percussion assembled the show “We Are All Going In Different Directions,” pairing Cage classics such as “Third Construction,” “Imaginary Landscape,” and “Credo in Us” with works by living composers who are influenced by Cage. This performance features guests Grey Mcmurray, Cenk Ergun, and Loud Objects (Tristan Perich and Kunal Gupta).

This piece will be performed at Bard in September 2014.

Where (we) Live
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Features: So Percussion

Recorded at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis 9/2012

So Percussion’s “Where (we) Live” is a free-form investigation of the places, and states of mind, we call home. The piece features an array of traditional and invented musical instruments and combines video (including a contribution from Matmos’ Martin Schmidt), guitar work, and new compositions by Grey Mcmurray, direction by Ain Gordon, and performances by Minneapolis-area choreographer Emily Johnson, & visual artist Kate Farstad.

This piece will be performed at Bard in February 2015.

Start and End Dates



Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

6 updates
Last update on May 13, 2015

Project Created By

Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, designed by Frank Gehry, embodies the College’s commitment to the performing arts as a cultural and educational necessity. The Center’s adventurous programs and world-class facilities provide an outstanding environment in which to create, perform, learn, and experience. Opened in 2003, the Fisher Center is…

In Collaboration With

Brooklyn, New York
Community Partner/Supporting Partner
Red Hook, New York
Community Partner/Supporting Partner
Annandale on Hudson, New York
Community Partner/Supporting Partner
Shokan, New York


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