One of my favorite things in music is when genres blurred and combined. It’s exciting for me when a performer of classical music has an interest in other cultures and other styles of music. One of the best examples that I can think of as a composer and a performer is Glenn Kotche. Kotche is best known for being the drummer in the Indie Rock band, Wilco. In addition to this he is also an amazingly successful composer writing works for The Silk Road Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird and, Kronos Quartet. Even his compositional work is highly diverse from traditional percussion ensemble to pieces inspired by Gamelan music and Balinese Monkey Chant. He also has helped to promote to works of other composers as well through commissions, including a drum set opera but John Luther Adams.
Kotche’s album Adventure Land made a huge impact on me. It’s a variety show of an album. The instrumentation on each track is incredibly unique and as one might expect given Kotche’s interests, the pieces are stylistically all over the place. He is also a fantastic writer having contributed an essay for The Farthest Place and has published book entitled A Beat a Week.
Drum Kit Quartets
The Traveling Turtle