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Press Release



August 19, 2009

Percussion ensemble makes recording debut


Temporal Mechanics Union, the percussion ensemble resident at Cowley College, spent the summer recording selections for their debut album entitled All Hands.

The recording features original works that combine the two main elements of the ensemble’s repertoire: traditional rhythms and experimental music. The title track and “Drum Dance Song” are built around traditional rhythmic structures from West Africa. “Place of Fire” is an interpretation of classical Persian rhythms and dastagah, a melodic mode of classical Persian music.

On the experimental side, selections include “Cookin’” which is played entirely on kitchen utensils, appliances and pots & pans. “Earth Tones” is another improvisational piece played on ceramic instruments made by members of the ensemble. One of the most ambitious works in the collection is “Technocacaphanon.” This is in the art of noises style of composition, using machine and mechanical sounds instead of more common instruments. The piece features drills, air compressors, metal grinders, sounds of a vintage video game and an air raid siren.

To officially launch the album, TMU plans a reception and performance on Tuesday, September 29, from 4:30 – 6 PM in the Wright Room of the Brown Center at Cowley College. Members of the ensemble will perform selections from the recordings and other works. This event is free and open to the public, and the CD will be available for sale. All proceeds from the sale of CDs and downloads will go to support the ensemble’s activities, in particular travel and construction of new instruments.

After the official release of All Hands, the CD will be available directly from the ensemble via their web site and at performances, and downloads will be available at iTunes, Rhapsody, Lime Wire and many other sites. The CD will also be available from and Amazon.

Temporal Mechanics Union is a community-based, multigenerational, all-ability percussion ensemble. Anyone may join, with or without previous musical experience. There is no audition required.  TMU is currently seeking new members, and every interested community member in Arkansas City and Cowley County is encouraged to contact musical director Chris Mayer. The group meets Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. in the band room in Galle-Johnson Hall.

Members of the ensemble who appear on the recording include current and former Cowley College students Jessemine Baker, Brandi Berntsen, Lacy Brown, Justin Douglas, Wayne Farley, Mike Fell, Katie Grimm, Thomas Govert and Phillip Vinson, and former Cowley staff member John Virden. Current Cowley faculty and staff members Mike Fell, Bryan McChesney and Chris Mayer are also featured on the recording. Videos of TMU performances can be found on the ensemble’s YouTube channel. For more information contact Mayer at 620-441-5229, or go to