Zs and UCF Percussion Ensemble in Orlando Sunday, March 17th

Iannis Xenakis
Iannis Xenakis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Orlando’s thecm5:

CM5 presents
Zs and UCF Percussion Ensemble play Iannis Xenakis’s Persephassa
Timucua white house
2000 S. Summerlin St., Orlando
7:30 pm concert, free admission, all ages welcome

After seeing a pair of UCF-TV concerts featuring the UCF Percussion Ensemble and their director Thad Anderson, we’ve been angling to include their consistently creative offerings somewhere west of their Alafaya/University outpost. They come downtown to present the Iannis Xenakis spatially-arrayed Persephassa for six percussionists. The Xenakis biography is singularly more rich than most genealogy reports. Persephassa draws in the influence of the Greek goddess Persephone; goddess of the underworld and spring growth, telluric energy coursing near the earth’s surface, Fibonacci system-derived rhythmic notation and the composer’s complementary passion for architecture. Persephassa was commissioned by the Shah and Empress of Iran for the 1969 Shiraz Festival held on the ancient ruins of Persepolis. Xenakis created the composition as part of his architectural critiques of the formal concert hall with its perceptible boundaries separating performers from audience.

Our pitch for New York’s Zs is that however admirable their recorded output and performance aesthetic, they are less interested in sharing what has happened during their decade-plus existence than they are in building upon those events. The static and comfortable embrace of nostalgia- including their own earlier work- gets discarded for the celebration of evolution and perpetual motion. A present tense example is presenting site-specific multi-media shows as ambitious live remix events inviting outsiders to use the band’s decade celebration Score box as source materials. Attend their performances at Timucua and Lil’ Indies to likely hear none of that material from the current trio version with Zs veteran Sam Hillmer joined by new guys Patrick Higgins and Greg Fox. Our booking of this version of Zs is more an exercise in unknowns than knowns.