Third Coast Percussion on “Perfectly Voiceless” by Devonté Hynes

Peter Martin and Robert Dillon from Third Coast Percussion sit down to discuss the journey between the commission, the composition and the performance of  “Perfectly Voiceless” by Devonté Hynes, including the process of working with the composer, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, arranging the interlude for a limited amount of space and number of instruments, as well as mallet selection and other performance recommendations.

Including excerpts of the performance (courtesy of Third Coast Percussion and FourTen Media)


“Perfectly Voiceless” was composed by Devonté Hynes (b. 1985), a British singer, songwriter, composer, producer, and author, and arranged by Third Coast Percussion.

Hynes composed the music for an entire evening-length program featuring Third Coast Percussion and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, with new choreography created by Emma Portner, Jon Boogz, and Lil Buck, which premiered in Chicago in September 2018. To create this 75-minute opus, Hynes composed music with synthesized and sampled sounds, which he then sent to Third Coast Percussion. TCP experimented with instruments to create a live performance version of the music, which they then recorded and sent back to Hynes for feedback, then eventually to the choreographers to create the dance. Perfectly Voiceless was composed as a musical interlude between choreographed pieces in this larger program.

Third Coast Percussion’s album “Fields,” which includes all of the music composed by Hynes as part of the project with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago was released on Cedille Records in October 2019. The album was nominated for the GRAMMY® Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance in 2021.

This work was commissioned by the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation. The project was supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Third Coast Percussion



Third Coast Percussion is a Grammy Award-winning Chicago-based
 percussion quartet. For over fifteen years, the ensemble has created exciting and unexpected performances that constantly redefine the classical music experience. The ensemble has been praised for “commandingly elegant” (New York Times) performances, the “rare power” (Washington Post) of their recordings, and “an inspirational sense of fun and curiosity” (Minnesota Star-Tribune). Third Coast Percussion maintains a busy tour schedule, with past performances in 38 of
the 50 states and Washington, D.C., plus international tour dates in Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

Visit Third Coast Percussion’s YouTube Channel for more performance and educational videos:



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