Man Forever with So Percussion
John Colpitts, drums and composition
Noah Hecht, snare drum + voice
Matt Evans, bongos + voice
Clara Warnaar, hi-hat + voice
Brandon Lopez, bass
+ So Percussion
Man Forever is an exploratory percussion project helmed by John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions), one of New York’s most versitile and critically lauded collaborators and a founding member of Oneida. Since its inception in 2010, Man Forever has hosted an impressive list of guest performers, but few have been as specially qualified to perform Colpitts’ technically challenging meditative workouts as So Percussion, the United States’ premiere contemporary percussion ensemble. So Percussion has commissioned and premiered new compositions by Steve Reich and their interpretations of John Cage have revolutionized the legendary composer’s cannon. Following a collaborative performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in June of 2013, So and Colpitts entered the studio together to record Ryonen, two pieces that combine the former’s precision and ingenuity with the latter’s restless punk spirit. While previous Man Forever records were inspired by blissful, overwhelming confusion, Ryonen derives its power from its clarity and immediacy.
The two pieces on Ryonen are rhythmically seductive and instantly exciting while retaining the experimental legacy that Man Forever has cultivated over several albums and relentless touring. “The Clear Realization” is an exploration in polyrhythm performed on two drums sets, two sets of bongos (an instrument Colpitts rediscovered while performing with Yo La Tengo on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), a concert bass drum, snares, crash cymbals, and vocals. Each instrument is performing in a different time signature at the same tempo, creating a beat that is both propulsive and nonpredictive. “Ryonen” is more chaotic on the surface, but repetitions and rhythms hidden beneath the surface emerge with close listening. The drums are tuned to resonate with each other, creating a series of overtones that hover over the music and provide a baseline drone for the ensemble to harmonize with during the piece’s dramatic climax.