The USC Percussion Ensemble performs with guest percussionist and composer Joseph Krygier in concert at the School of Music Recital Hall on Sunday, April 3 at 3 p.m. The concert features several of Krygier’s works, including Ennead, Tasmanian Devils and Monkey Mind along with his work for solo percussion, Digits.
Krygier, a Columbus, Ohio-based performer and composer, has a unique voice in the area of percussion composition. He blends his skills as a drum set artist, hand drum specialist and contemporary percussionist to create distinctive works for percussion ensemble and solo percussion.
As a composer, Krygier has produced a diverse body of music for solo and chamber settings, including contemporary dance. Krygier has also served as a music lecturer and dance accompanist holding positions at The Ohio State University School of Music, OSU Department of Dance, Ohio Wesleyan University, BalletMet Dance Academy and Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Camp.
USC Percussion Ensemble Director, Scott Herring, collaborates with Krygier in several ensembles, including the Shiraz Percussion Trio and the Sympatico Percussion Group, for which the concerts closing work, Monkey Mind, was composed. Sympatico performed in 2018 on the UofSC School of Music’s Southern Exposure new music concert series.
Sympatico premiered Monkey Mind in Columbus, Ohio, in 2021. “The inspiration for a piece always starts with sounds,” said Krygier. “When I’m coming up with some of my music, I’m looking for some unique kind of sound combinations.”
In Monkey Mind, those sound combinations come from Western percussion instruments, like marimbas and cymbals, and West African and Indonesian instruments. For additional effect, Krygier throws in a fresh take on the drum set – what he calls a “pseudo drum set.”
The concert also features Krygier’s work Ennead for nine players, each playing two tubes from a set of standard chimes. Tasmanian Devils is a marimba quintet that features the unique sound of devil chasers to compliment the marimbas. A devil chaser is a Southern Asian percussion instrument made from bamboo. The instrument vibrates when struck against the hand, creating a rich buzzing sound originally used by early villagers to ward off the devil and evil spirits.
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