REVIEW: Third Coast Percussion’s Mesmerizing Debut of La Jolla Music Society’s ProtoStar Series
November 9, 2020
Metamorphosis, Saturday’s electric online performance by Third Coast Percussion and dancers Myles Yachts and Quentin Robinson at the La Jolla Music Society’s Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, opened an exciting new chapter in that august organization’s story.
The four virtuoso percussionists who comprise Third Coast Percussion—Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore,—offered a bracing program of music by Philip Glass and others that transcended the minimal of musical minimalism to conjure complex, densely textured waves of music. In works such as Glass’s “Metamorphosis” and “Paradigm” that employed marimba, vibraphone, and glockenspiel, the ringing intensity of these malleted instruments proved nothing short of orchestral in scope.
In “Dissonance” from Jlin’s Perspective, the percussion quartet created equally complex textures using only drums of various sizes, creating a contrasting tapestry of dry, discrete sounds that displayed a spectrum of bright, arresting attacks without the halo of resonance the malleted instruments created. Yet the persuasive, hypnotic effect of such drumming was undeniable. In “Perspective” from Jlin’s Perspective, use of the African thumb piano provided its unique, high-pitched ring to the drumming that conjured that work.