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Press Release



April 19, 2004

Percussion ensemble to present new, experimental music


The Temporal Mechanics Union, the percussion ensemble at Cowley County Community College, will present a program of new, rarely performed and experimental music April 29. The concert will be presented at 7:30 p.m. in the Robert Brown Theatre inside the Brown Center on Cowley’s main campus in Arkansas City. Admission is free, and the concert is open to the public.


This program represents a new artistic direction for the Temporal Mechanics Union, according to Chris Mayer, Social Science Department instructor and founder and director of the group.


“To date, we’ve concentrated on various ethnic music and rhythms from around the world,” Mayer said.


The process began when Mayer placed a call for works on a composers’ society web site last June. Other web sites picked up that notice, and the result was a deluge of inquiries and submissions from all over the world.


“I’ve received about 300 e-mails and packages total,” Mayer said, “including works from Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Croatia, and a host of other places, including, of course, the U.S. We’ll never lack for material again!”

Mayer said the review and selection process was on-going.


The April 29 concert presents the first selections from those submissions. The program includes “Claptrap,” by Jonathan Siskind; “Journey for Percussion,” by Jim Theobald; “hmmm…an overture,” by Steven Paxton; and “Bass Drum Dance” by Todd Harper. Journey and Bass Drum Dance will have their debut performance at the concert. Future Temporal Mechanics Union concerts will continue to present the best new and experimental music submitted, as well as traditional styles.


The concert also will include “Tharks’ War Dance” and “The Music of Bharam Chak,” a five-movement experimental suite, both by Mayer. This will be the premiere of both pieces.


Todd Harper, from Minnesota, composed Bass Drum Dance especially for the Temporal Mechanics Union, and has preliminary plans to attend the concert.


Mayer hopes this will become a tradition, as other works by other composers are preformed.


“It is a very unique experience for members of a musical ensemble to work directly with the composer,” Mayer said. “The interaction really elevates the music and the players, and serves to further inspire the composer.”


Members of the Temporal Mechanics Union: Floyd Abang, Stephanie Davidson, Mike Fell, Jim Gibson, Todd Goldsmith, Kelly Johnson, Bryan McChesney, Will McKown, Amy McWhirt, and Dallas Roths.