TERMINALS by Bobby Previte, written for the legendary percussionist and educator Jan Williams, premiered at Merkin Hall, New York City, on March 28, 2011 as a joint production of John Schaefer’s “New Sounds Live” for WNYC and the Ecstatic Festival, and featured SO PERCUSSION and soloists John Medeski, Zeena Parkins, DJ Olive, Jen Shyu, and the composer. The piece has also been performed at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston, and has been on tour in Austria and Hungary with STUDIO PERCUSSION GRAZ. In November 2013 TERMINALS will make it’s French debut with LES PERCUSSIONS DE STRASBOURG.
TERMINALS exists in two iterations: the concerto version and the pure percussion ensemble version. The concerto version consists of five separate pieces for four percussionists and soloist: one for harp/guitar, voice, turntables/electronics/drum set, and piano/organ. TERMINALS for percussion ensemble only, without the soloists, has as yet never been performed.
Using an large array of instruments, these works are a perfect vehicle for students as they require not only exacting reading and performing skills but also some degree of improvisation, an awareness of feel, and theatrical presence. Students and professionals alike love to play Terminals: here are a few quotes about the piece from SO Percussion and Jonathan Haas.