Performance Monday, March 26, 2012 | 7:30 PM

So Percussion

"We Are All Going In Different Directions"—A John Cage Celebration

Zankel Hall
Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 PM in Zankel Hall with members of So Percussion in conversation with Ara Guzelimian, Provost and Dean, The Juilliard School.

No one did more to change how we think about music—how we listen to it, make it, perform it—than John Cage. As part of American Mavericks at Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn-based ensemble So Percussion fetes this challenging composer, who was born 100 years ago in Los Angeles, and whose influence is felt today almost everywhere in American music.


  • So Percussion
    ·· Eric Beach
    ·· Josh Quillen
    ·· Adam Sliwinski
    ·· Jason Treuting
  • Matmos
    ·· Drew Daniel, Electronics
    ·· M.C. Schmidt, Electronics
  • Dan Deacon, Electronics
  • Cenk Ergün, Electronics
  • Beth Meyers, Viola


  • CAGE Credo in US
  • CAGE Imaginary Landscape #1
  • CAGE Quartet for Percussion from She is Asleep
  • DAN DEACON "Bottles" from Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler
  • DAN DEACON Take a Deep Breath
  • CAGE 18' 12", A Simultaneous Performance of Cage Works
    ·· Inlets (Improvisation II)
    ·· 0' 00" (4' 32" No. 2)
    ·· Duet for Cymbal
    ·· 45' for a Speaker
  • JASON TREUTING 24 x 24 (NY Premiere)
  • CAGE Third Construction


  • Sō Percussion

    Eric Beach
    Josh Quillen
    Adam Sliwinski
    Jason Treuting

    Since 1999, Sō Percussion has been creating music that explores all the extremes of emotion and musical possibility. The Brooklyn-based quartet's innovative work with today's most exciting composers and its own original music has quickly helped the members forge a unique and diverse career.

    Excitement about composers like John Cage, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis-as well as the sheer fun of playing together-inspired the members of Sō to begin performing together while students at the Yale School of Music. A blind call to David Lang, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and co-founder of New York's Bang on a Can, yielded their first commissioned piece, theso-called laws of nature.Sō's recording of this work became the cornerstone of the quartet's self-titled debut album. In subsequent years, the ensemble has built a growing catalogue of exciting releases: Steve Reich's masterpiece Drumming; Sō member Jason Treuting's amid the noise; Treasure State, a collaboration with Matmos; and Paul Lansky's Threads.

    Sō's ongoing body of original work has resulted in exciting new projects, including the site-specific Music for Trains in Southern Vermont and Imaginary City,a fully staged  sonic meditation on urban soundscapes commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the Next Wave Festival 2009 in consortium with five other venues. Sō's next theatrical project, where (we) live, is slated to premiere in fall 2012.  

    The members of Sō Percussion are increasingly involved in mentoring young artists. Starting in fall 2011, its members will be co-directors of a new percussion department at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and summer 2009 saw the creation of the annual Sō Percussion Summer Institute on the campus of Princeton University. The Institute is an intensive two-week chamber music seminar for college-age percussionists, featuring the four members of Sō as faculty in rehearsal, performance, and discussion of contemporary music for students from around the world.

    Sō Percussion has performed its unusual and exciting music all over the United States, with concerts at the Lincoln Center Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Stanford Lively Arts, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and many others. In addition, recent tours to the United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Ukraine have brought Sō Percussion international acclaim. 

    Visit for more information.

    Sound Design: Lawson White
    Counter Clock Design: Sam Tarakajian
    Production Manager: Emily Krell



    More Info

  • Matmos

    Drew Daniel, Electronics
    M.C. Schmidt, Electronics

    The Matmos duo formed in San Francisco during the mid-1990s and self-released its debut album in 1997. Marrying the conceptual tactics and noisy textures of object-based musique concrète to a rhythmic matrix rooted in electronic pop music, Matmos quickly became known for its highly unusual sound sources: amplified crayfish nerve tissue, the pages of bibles turning, water hitting copper plates, liposuction surgery, cameras and VCRs, chin implant surgery, contact microphones on human hair, rat cages, tanks of helium, a cow uterus, human skulls, snails, cigarettes, cards shuffling, laser eye surgery, whoopee cushions, balloons, latex fetish clothing, rhinestones, Polish trains, insects, life-support systems, inflatable blankets, rock salt, solid gold coins, the sound of a frozen stream thawing in the sun, and a five-gallon bucket of oatmeal. These raw materials are manipulated into surprisingly accessible forms, and often supplemented by traditional musical instruments played by the duo's large circle of friends and collaborators.

    Since their debut, Matmos has released over 11 albums, including Quasi-Objects, The West, A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure, The Civil War, and The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast. In 2001, Matmos was asked to collaborate with Icelandic singer Björk on her Vespertine album, and subsequently embarked on two world tours as part of her band. In addition to musical collaborations with such artists and ensembles as Sō Percussion, Terry Riley, Kronos Quartet, Leprechaun Catering, Antony Hegarty, Marshall Allen, David Tibet, David Serotte, the Rachel's, Zeena Parkins, and the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, Matmos has also worked with a wide range of artists across disciplines, from visual artist Daria Martin (on the soundtrack to her film Minotaur) to playwright Young Jean Lee (for her play The Appeal) to a new project with Berlin-based choreographer Ayman Harper.

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  • Dan Deacon

    Dan Deacon attended the Purchase College Conservatory of Music in Westchester County, where he studied under composers Joel Thome and Dary John Mizelle and earned his master's degree in electro-acoustic composition. While at Purchase, Mr. Deacon experimented as a composer-performer, realizing some pieces entirely electronically, and scoring others for live chamber ensembles.

    In 2011, Mr. Deacon composed a piece for acclaimed percussion quartet Sō Percussion entitled Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler, which premiered at Merkin Concert Hall as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival; it was later performed at the Barbican for the Steve Reich Reverberations festival. Sō Percussion also premiered a piece by Mr. Deacon for 27 percussionists, Purse Hurdler, at (Le) Poisson Rouge. That same year, he composed two pieces premiered by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Fiddlenist Rim and Song of the Winter Solstice for orchestra and electronics.

    Mr. Deacon has performed his solo music at several leading art centers, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, Getty Center in Los Angeles, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC.

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  • Cenk Ergün

    A native of Turkey, Cenk Ergün is a composer and improviser who produces music for chamber ensembles, live electronics, dance performances, and sound installations.

    Mr. Ergün's composed music has been performed by artists such as Sō Percussion, Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Laboratorium, and cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, and at venues that include Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Merkin Concert Hall, Symphony Space, and Zurich's Tonhalle.

    As an improviser using auto-harps, circuit-bent electronics, and computers, Mr. Ergün has collaborated with various artists, including Jason Treuting, Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, and Fred Frith, performing at events such as the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, the International Symposium of Electronic Art, and the Akbank
    Jazz Festival in Istanbul.

    Mr. Ergün's recent activities include the release of The Art of the Fluke, a laptop duo record in collaboration with Alvin Curran, and Proximity, an amplified percussion quartet commissioned by Sō Percussion. He holds composition degrees from Eastman School of Music and Mills College, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Princeton University.

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  • Beth Meyers

    Violist Beth Meyers is a founding member of the flute-viola-harp janus trio, whose debut album i am not was released in 2010. In addition to her work with janus, she is a member of the band QQQ (viola, Hardanger fiddle, acoustic guitar, and drums), whose album Unpacking the Trailer was also released in 2010. Both albums have received critical acclaim. Ms. Meyers has performed with many ensembles and artists, including ACME, Alarm Will Sound, Antony and the Johnsons, Chromeo, Clare Muldaur Manchon, Da Capo Chamber Players, Meredith Monk, Pierre Boulez, Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf, Signal, Regina Spektor, Sō Percussion, Steve Reich, Sufjan Stevens, and Theo Bleckmann. Ms. Meyers is a graduate of Eastman School of Music, where she studied with George Taylor and John Graham. She currently lives in Brooklyn and enjoys teaching pilates, riding her road bike, and fiddling on fiddle.

    More Info


Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 PM in Zankel Hall with members of So Percussion in conversation with Ara Guzelimian, Provost and Dean, The Juilliard School.


Cage Third Construction
So Percussion
Audio Clips and Excerpts - Carnegie Hall's 2011-2012 Season

At a Glance

John Cage’s artistic legacy is formidable.

His innovations and accomplishments are truly staggering: He wrote some of the first electric/acoustic hybrid music; he wrote the first significant body of percussion music; he wrote the first music for turntables; he invented the prepared piano; and he had a huge impact in the fields of dance, visual art, theater, and critical theory.

Somehow Cage’s prolific output seems not to stifle, but rather to spur creativity in others. He certainly deserves surveys, tributes, and concert portraits during the centenary of his birth, but Sō Percussion wanted to do him honor by allowing his work and spirit to infuse our own.

We have chosen some of our favorite Cage pieces to present on this celebration concert. We believe that although they are historical in fact, each is stunningly present and even prophetic. The pieces are woven in with new music—some by our close friends, and some of our own creation.

For our Carnegie Hall show, we are joined by wonderful musicians—electronic sound artists who have wild and Cage-ian spirits of adventure: Matmos, Dan Deacon, and Cenk Ergün. Violist Beth Meyers rounds out our cast of special guests. 

Sō Percussion 

Program Notes



So Percussion performs John Cage's Third Construction.


So Percussion discusses John Cage's Third Construction.

The National Endowment for the Arts is the lead donor of American Mavericks at Carnegie Hall.

Part of