Mantra Percussion

Mantra Percussion, Inc. is a future-focused arts organization committed to a lasting influence on percussion music, developing equitable music communities, fostering high-level musicianship for underserved youth, and engaging international audiences by challenging the standard concert format through evening-length events that look toward a grander artistic vision.

Our flagship ensemble, Mantra Percussion, founded in 2009, has been featured around the world and has commissioned/premiered over 70 new works for percussion ensemble. Recap, a quartet of alumni from Mantra Youth Percussion, releases their debut album “Count To Five” on Innova Recordings this Fall. Mantra Youth Percussion, our free tuition youth ensemble has been featured at Carnegie Hall and the New Music Gathering and The Necessary Noise Festival has programmed over 100 ensembles from around the region.

  • Topography

    Soloist: Ashley Bathgate, cello
    Duration: 45 minutes
    cello and percussion sextet
    Topography, a 45-minute septet for Mantra Percussion and cellist Ashley Bathgate, consists of 6 individual movements ranging from textural, ambient slow-movements focused on sound design, to pattern-based, contrapuntal fast-movements anchored by interlocking rhythms in the drums. The movements of Topography are made of big gestures and gradually changing patterns that accumulate to evoke open spaces and natural landscapes. It is the terrestrial companion to McBane’s composition Bathymetry. The piece at times functions as concerto with the cellist in a solo role and at other times as a septet with all players given equal weight. In addition to the cello, the percussion ensemble consists of both standard and found percussion instruments as well as analog synthesizers (played live), piano and drum set, all played by the 6 percussionists. This instrumentation allows for a tremendous range of timbres and textures as well as the intersection of acoustic and electronic sounds to explore, in addition to all of the sonic potentials of the cello.
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  • Emma [in development]

    Composer: Annie Gosfield
    Duration: 70 minutes
    solo vocalist and percussion sextet
    Emma Goldman was a pivotal figure in the early 20th Century. Her work as an activist for women's rights, sexual freedom, political freedom, workers' rights and more, paved the way for generations of activists and social change to follow. In this new opera, a concert-length work for female vocalist and percussion sextet, composer and librettist Annie Gosfield ties the many radical threads of Goldman's life together into an inspiring, thought-provoking, and powerful work.
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  • Paula Matthusen Portrait

    Soloist: Jamie Jordan (soprano)
    Duration: 55 minutes
    vibraphone quartet + solo vocals; percussion sextet + electronics
    Rome-prize fellow, Paula Matthusen creates intimate, subtle works often using very DIY electronics and processed audio. In this program we feature an entire concert of Matthusen's music beginning with candle-powered electronics, to processed vibraphones with solo soprano, and ending with percussion sextet and tinfoil-inducted electronics and lights.
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  • Siegel, Perich, Flanigan

    Soloists: Lesley Flanigan (Vocalist), Christa Van Alstine (clarinets)
    Duration: 70 minutes
    concerto for clarinet + percussion; 1-bit electronics + percussion; layered vocals + percussion
    This program features some of our collaborators over the years. Here we present a riveting concerto for clarinet (Christa Van Alstine) with percussion — composed by Aaron Siegel; an innovative work for 1-bit electronics (created and composed by Tristan Siegel) with ringing metals; and solo vocalist and composer Lesley Flanigan layering her voice in a kaleidoscopic blanket of sound over pulsing drums and percussion.
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  • Timber

    Composer: Michael Gordon
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Concert-length work for 6 amplified wooden two-by-fours
    Recognized by the New Yorker Magazine as one of the most memorable NYC performances when it premiered, Timber is a mesmerizing and unique concert-length work. Scored for six graduated, amplified, wooden simantras (2x4s), Gordon shapes the music in both polyrhythmic and dynamic waves of textures.
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