John Cage's Bacchanale. A reconstruction for percussion ensemble. (2017)

Gorka Catediano Andrade
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Name: Gorka Catediano Andrade Main Subject: Classical Percussion Research Supervisor: Karst de Jong Title of Research: John Cage´s Bacchanale - A reconstruction for percussion ensemble Research Question: John Cage's piece Bacchanale (1940) was written for prepared piano. However, this was likely because of logistical restraints. Is there an instrumentation for percussion ensemble possible, and if so, how would it sound? Summary of Results: After researching about different prepared piano pieces by John Cage, we can realise that Bacchanale is the most suitable to be rewritten for percussion instruments due to its sonority and circumstances of composition. The piece was conceived for percussion instruments but there was not enough room in the theater to set up all these instruments. Therefore, Cage composed Bacchanale for a piano with different found objects placed into strings. For this research, a set of percussion instruments, similar to the ones that Cage´s ensemble had, imitates the prepared piano´s sonority. All the original sounds have been distributed in its corresponding drums and the composition has been transcribed to be played by four percussionists. During the presentation, both the reconstruction procedure and video recordings of the transcription will be shown to the audience. In this way, the audience will be able to understand why this piece can be perfectly played in a concert using percussion instruments, how can we came up with this result and what is its sonority. Biography: Gorka was born in 1992 in Miranda de Ebro (Spain), where he started his music studies. He continued developing his knowledge in the Conservatory of Vitoria- Gasteiz, “Jesús Guridi”. Later, he graduated from the Music Conservatory of the Basque Country (with prof. Javier Alonso, Lorenzo Ferrandiz, José Trigueros and Antonio Domingo). He is currently completing a master in percussion at Koninklijk Conservatorium (The Hague, The Netherlands) with Hans Zonderop, Theum van Niewburg, Pepe García, Niels Mefieste and Rob Verhagen. He has collaborated with many instrumental groups including Symphony Orchestra of The Basque Country, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Slagwerk Den Haag and AskoSchoenberg among others. He has also won prizes in different competitions, as the 2º prize in the Italy Percussion Competition in 2014 and he has played as soloist in prestigious festivals as “Quincena Musical Donostiarra”. Chamber music is an essential aspect in his professional career. He is part of IKKO percussion quartet and Trio ZUKAN (percussion, txistu and accordion). Both ensembles collaborate with several contemporary music composers.
typeresearch exposition
keywordsBacchanale, Percussion ensemble, Prepared piano, John Cage, Transcriptio
last modified11/09/2017
affiliationRoyal Conservatory in The Hague
published inKC Research Portal
portal issue1. Master Research Projects

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