Victor Caccese and Jonny Allen sit down to discuss their latest work for percussion quartet “Seven Pillars,” which consists of 7 ensemble movements and 4 solo movements. This inside look at the composition covers a full range of topics, from the close collaboration with composer Andy Akiho to the commissioning of 11 teams of filmmakers to produce the 80+ minute film anthology. Recently, this monumental work was nominated for two Grammy® Awards in the catagories of Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance and Best Contemporary Classical Composition!
ABOUT “SEVEN PILLARS”
Critically-acclaimed composer Andy Akiho and Sandbox Percussion announce the release of Akiho’s “Seven Pillars,” a boldly genre-defying audio and video collaboration for percussion quartet. The work consists of seven ensemble movements and one solo movement for each member of Sandbox, developed through multiple extended residencies at Avaloch Farm Music Institute. The full album is streaming on all platforms September 24, 2021.
Performed by Sandbox, this evening-length work is the largest-scale chamber music work that Akiho has written and that Sandbox has commissioned. Akiho and Sandbox’s ongoing collaboration for “Seven Pillars” has spanned on and off for 8 years. It has been a labor of love between friends and towards the end of the project, Akiho and Sandbox expanded the collaborative circle.
Akiho and Sandbox Percussion commissioned 11 video artists to create original films for “Seven Pillars” – one film for each movement of the work. These collaborative videos encompass the worlds of dance, animation, experimental narrative film, time-lapse, and more.
“I’ve never taken on a project this ambitious – it’s nearly 80 minutes of music – but I was inspired by the collaborative relationship I have with Sandbox,” says Akiho. “We’re all close friends, we enjoy making music together, and there is freedom to experiment in that type of environment. The instrumentation includes traditional instruments such as vibraphone, glockenspiel, and marimba, with some found percussion sounds like glass bottles and metal pipes. Creatively, I wanted to limit the instrumentation in order to encourage the opportunity to find unique timbres and playing techniques on each instrument.”
The form of “Seven Pillars” mirrors the ambitious nature of this multimedia work. The seven main movements function as a palindrome, with the music and their corresponding films highlighting the relationships between the various movements.
Virtual and in-person performance dates for “Seven Pillars” will follow this fall and winter. The world-premiere live performance will take place at Emerald City Music December 3 and 4, 2021, with an accompanying light show designed by famed theater director Michael McQuilken.
WATCH THE FULL SANDBOX PERCUSSION “SEVEN PILLARS” FILM ANTHOLOGY
Described as “trailblazing” (Los Angeles Times) and “an imaginative composer” (The New York Times), Andy Akiho is a composer and performer of new music. Akiho has been recognized with many prestigious awards and organizations including the Rome Prize, Lili Boulanger Memorial Prize, Harvard University Fromm Commission, Barlow Endowment, New Music USA, and Chamber Music America. Recent engagements include commissioned premieres by the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, China Philharmonic, Guangzhou Symphony, Oregon Symphony with Soloist Colin Currie, American Composers Orchestra, and experimental opera company The Industry.
To learn more about Andy Akiho, visit andyakiho.com.
Described as “exhilarating” (The New York Times), and “virtuosic and utterly mesmerizing” (The Guardian), Sandbox Percussion (Ian Rosenbaum, Terry Sweeney, Victor Caccese and Jonny Allen) has established themselves as a leading proponent of this generation of contemporary percussion chamber music. Brought together by their love of chamber music and the simple joy of playing together, Sandbox Percussion captivates audiences with performances that are both visually and aurally stunning.
To learn more about Sandbox Percussion, visit sandboxpercussion.com
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