Video Premiere: Michael Compitello Performs Nina C. Young’s Heart.throb

Of all the things one might expect to find at a post apocalyptic dance club, a lonely snare drum probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. And yet, in the Four/Ten Media video for Nina C. Young’s Heart.throb, Michael Compitello stands in a dark, barren room, awash in a faint yellow glow, coaxing deep industrial vibrations, reverberant scrapes, and hollow bursts of rat-a-tats from a single drum.

Unsnared Drum is the debut solo album from Compitello and features new works for solo snare drum by Nina C. Young, Hannah Lash, Amy Beth Kirsten, and Tonia Ko developed over a years-long incubation and collaboration period between performer and composer. Compitello and Young spent their time at Avaloch Farm Music Institute workshopping Heart.throb., and all of the composers lived with a snare drum in their homes as they attempted to write something that would challenge the possibilities for the instrument.

Here’s what Michael had to say about Heart.throb:

Nina Young’s Heart.throb inverts our conception of percussive virtuosity with sly wit. In the piece, the characteristics most associated with percussive skill (quick, crisp, fleet passagework) are largely confined to the rim of the instrument and the drum—outfitted with a transducer and contact microphone—pulsates and throbs with alternating menace and exaltation. Heart.throb is a joy to play, and I’m grateful for Nina’s enthusiastic and patient collaboration.

Unsnared Drum is out now on New Focus Recordings. You can purchase the album on Bandcamp.

About Michael Compitello

Michael Compitello is a dynamic percussionist active as a chamber musician, soloist, and teaching artist. He has developed sustained collaborations with composers such as Thomas Kotcheff, Tonia Ko, Amy Beth Kirsten, and Robert Honstein on new works, in addition to working with Helmut Lachenmann, David Lang, John Luther Adams, Alejandro Viñao, Marc Applebaum, and Martin Bresnick on premieres and performances of new solo and chamber works.

With cellist Hannah Collins as the “remarkably inventive and resourceful” (Gramophone) New Morse Code, Michael has created a singular and personal repertoire through collaboration with some of America’s most esteemed young composers.

Michael is Assistant Professor of Percussion at Arizona State University, and holds degrees from The Yale School of Music and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.

About Nina C. Young

Composer and sonic artist Nina C. Young (b.1984) creates works, ranging from concert pieces to interactive installations, that explore aural architectures, resonance, and the ephemeral. Her work has garnered international acclaim through performances by the American Composers Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Aizuri Quartet, Sixtrum, JACK Quartet, and wild Up. Winner of the 2015-16 Rome Prize, Nina has received recognition from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Fromm Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, and BMI. Recent commissions include “Tread softly” for the NYPhil’s Project 19, and a violin concerto for Jennifer Koh with the Philadelphia Orchestra and LACO. Young holds degrees from MIT, McGill, and Columbia, and is an Assistant Professor of Composition at USC’s Thornton School of Music. She serves as Co-Artistic Director of NY-based new music sinfonietta Ensemble Échappé. Her music is published by Peermusic Classical.


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