The beat goes on
By Tokie Brideaux
"How many percussion instruments can one musician handle at a time? Michael Burritt tests the limits.
As part of the Celebrity Series at the University of Calgary, the percussion soloist will play xylophone (an arrangement of wooden bars of various length that is struck by a mallet), vibraphone (similar to a xylophone but with metal bars), tom-tom (a cylindrical drum with no snare), crotales (antique cymbals), almglocken (tuned cowbells), water gong (a musical gong that is dipped into a tank of water for a glissando effect) and shekere (a large Latin instrument like a gourd with beads woven into a net covering).
In the first half of performances on Nov. 17 and 18, Burritt will display his talent on marimba. In the second half of the program, he will perform American composer Joseph Schwantner’s Concert for Percussion with the U of C Wind Ensemble (with director/conductor Dr. Glenn Price).
Burritt is also an active composer—one of his concertos premiered in Paris this year and he has written numerous solo and chamber works for marimba and other percussion instruments.
U of C audiences will hear two of his works, as well as pieces by J.S. Bach, Argentinean composer Alejandro Vinao and American experimental music composer John Cage.