Wally Gunn


Roshanne Etezady

Feast or Famine

Jason Treuting

Nine Numbers 5

Sō Percussion & Caroline Shaw

Let the Soil Play its Simple Part

Event Info

No tickets required: please note the change in ticket policy for this concert. No tickets or reservations are necessary for entry.

Sō Percussion, Princeton University’s Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence, perform a FREE concert that explores the incredible range of percussion instruments, with guest artist and Pulitzer Prize-winning Princeton alumna Caroline Shaw and guest percussionist Ji Hye Jung. The second of two free concerts that the ensemble presents annually, this event will feature a new set of songs, Let the Soil Play its Simple Part, co-composed by Sō Percussion and Caroline Shaw. The program also features music by contemporary composers Wally Gunn, Roshanne Etezady, and Jason Treuting.

In 2013, composer, violinist, and singer Caroline Shaw became the youngest recipient ever of the Pulitzer Prize in Music, while she was pursuing a graduate degree in composition at Princeton University. Since that time, she has taken both the pop and classical music worlds by storm. Her latest collaboration with Sō Percussion touches upon a diverse array of influences – including James Joyce, American roots songs, and even the pop group ABBA. The thrill in this collaboration lies partly in the sense that each entity adds dimensions to the other’s music which revitalizes them both. Shaw gives voice and melody to the years of experimentation in rhythm, color, and complexity which defines Sō’s work over two decades and more than twenty albums. Sō opens a world of sonic possibilities and rhythmic virtuosity which dramatically expands Shaw’s palette beyond the vocal and string writing which she is best known for.

This performance is FREE, and no tickets are required to attend. General admission seating is first-come, first-served.

Sō Percussion and Caroline Shaw combine forces for a powerful project: a new original set of songs co-composed by Sō and Caroline. Sō's rhythmic invention and compositional experimentation, combined with Caroline's faultless ear for melody and harmony, make for a world of sonic richness that feels fresh and unique.

About the Artist:

With innovative multi-genre original productions, sensational interpretations of modern works, more than 20 albums, and an “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” (The New Yorker), Sō Percussion has redefined the scope and role of the modern percussion ensemble.

Their repertoire ranges from “classics” of the 20th century, by John Cage, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis, et al, to commissioning and advocating works by contemporary composers such as David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Steve Mackey, and Caroline Shaw, to distinctively modern collaborations with artists who work outside the classical concert hall, including Shara Nova, the electronic duo Matmos, the choreographer Susan Marshall, Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, Bryce Dessner, and many others.

Sō Percussion also composes and performs their own works, ranging from standard concert pieces to immersive multi-genre programs – including From Out A Darker Sea, Imaginary City, Where (we) Live, and A Gun Show, which was presented in a multi-performance presentation as part of BAM’s 2016 Next Wave Festival. In these concert-length programs, Sō Percussion employs a distinctively 21st century synthesis of original music, artistic collaboration, theatrical production values and visual art, into a powerful exploration of their own unique and personal creative experiences.

In 18/19, Sō Percussion collaborates with a range of incredible artists, working to bring original work to audiences around the world. Sō tours a brand-new percussion quartet by the phenomenally talented composer/pianist Vijay Iyer; performs Caroline Shaw’s Narrow Sea with Dawn Upshaw and Gil Kalish at Ravinia; and returns to David Lang’s man made at the Chautauqua Festival. Looking forward, Sō premieres new percussion quartets by Angélica Negrón, Suzanne Farrin, and by Julia Wolfe (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the LA Phil), performs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; at UC-Berkeley, Stanford Live, plays Steve Reich’s complete Drumming for the Celebrity Series of Boston – and much more.

Recent highlights include the New York premiere of David Lang’s man made with Louis Langrée and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra; performances of an acclaimed Trilogy portrait at the Lincoln Center Festival; Narrow Sea, a new work by Caroline Shaw with Dawn Upshaw and Gil Kalish, at the Kennedy Center, San Francisco Performances, UCLA, Penn State, Ravinia, and elsewhere; returns to Carnegie Hall with the JACK Quartet in a program of new works by Donnacha Dennehy and Dan Trueman; appearances at Bonnaroo, the Eaux Claires Festival, MassMoCA, and TED 2016; international tours to Poland and Ireland; man made with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil; Bryce Dessner’s Music for Wood and Strings at the Barbican in London; and an original score for a live performance and broadcast of WNYC’s Radiolab with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich at BAM.

Rooted in the belief that music is an essential facet of human life, a social bond, and an effective tool in creating agency and citizenship, Sō Percussion enthusiastically pursues a growing range of social and community outreach.  Examples include their Brooklyn Bound presentations of younger composers; commitments to purchasing offsets to compensate for carbon-heavy activities such as touring travel; and leading their SōSI students in an annual food-packing drive, yielding up to 35,000 meals, for the Crisis Center of Mercer County through the organization EndHungerNE.

This season, Sō Percussion celebrates its fifth year as the Edward T. Cone Ensemble-in-Residence at Princeton University. Through this residency, Sō presents an annual series of concerts, collaborates closely with University faculty and students, and offer performances throughout the community. They also run the annual Sō Percussion Summer Institute (SōSI, which marked its tenth anniversary in 2018), providing college-age composers and percussionists an immersive exposure to collaboration and project development.


Caroline Shaw - Taxidermy: LIVE Toronto Jan 19, 2019