Thursday, January 15th, 2015 · 7:30PM · red fish blue fish, directed by Steven Schick

Bread & Salt
1955 Julian Avenue
San Diego, CA 92113
7:30PM - opens in new window
$15.00 and $10.00 students

red fish blue fish

This critically-acclaimed San Diego-based ensemble performs, records and premieres works from the last 85 years of western percussion's rich history. Fifteen years ago, Professor Steve Schick started the group at UCSD. He is currently the Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. In a delightful coincidence, he was also the very first artist presented by Fresh Sound in 1997.

The New York Times calls red fish blue fish a "dynamic percussion ensemble from the University of California." The group works regularly with living composers from every continent. Recent projects include a world premiere of a Roger Reynolds' Sanctuary and the American premiere of James Dillon's epic Nine Rivers cycle with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). In the Summer of 2011, red fish blue fish collaborated with George Crumb, Dawn Upshaw, and Peter Sellars to premiere the staged version of The Winds of Destiny. Eighth Blackbird invited red fish blue fish to join them in performances of works by American icons such as John Cage and Steve Reich at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. The New York Times called their "riveting" performance of John Cage the "highlight" of the program.

Timber, by Michael Gordon, will be performed by red fish blue fish members Steve Solook, Christopher Clarino, Dustin Donahue, Fiona Digney, Leah Bowden, and Ryan Nestor.


Timber, an evening-length tour de force by Michael Gordon, will be performed on this concert. Scored for six graduated, amplified, wooden Simantras (2x4s), the work brings the physicality, endurance and technique of percussion performance to a new level. In this work, Gordon shapes the music in both polyrhythmic and dynamic waves of textures; often each players' hands are in separate rhythmic 'worlds', each traversing a different dynamic contour from loud to soft to loud.

Much of Gordon's music demonstrates a deep exploration into the extreme possibilities and stunning nature of rhythm, as well as the enriching, yet disturbing, multidimensionality of polyrhythmic layers. Many of his works point to Gordon's interest in complex rhythmic and textural territory. Timber takes these elements and explores the extreme possibilities of rhythm and texture to a beautifully intense degree. The evening-length work is indeed a unique and exciting addition to the world of percussion.



Percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For forty years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning or premiering more than one hundred-fifty new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000-2005). Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, red fish blue fish. Currently he is Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. In 2012 he became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Schick founded and is currently Artistic Director of "Roots and Rhizomes", a summer course on contemporary percussion music held at the Banff Centre for the Arts. He maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including appearances in this season with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Nova Chamber Ensemble and the Asko/Schsnberg Ensemble. Schick will be music director of the 2015 Ojai Festival. Among his acclaimed publications are a book, "The Percussionist's Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams", and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a 3 CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode). Mode released a companion recording on DVD of the early percussion music of Karlheinz Stockhausen in September of 2014. Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego.