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With bongos, congos, bass drums, timpani and marimbas, this weekend Synergy Percussion will be sharing the energy, power and rhythmic dexterity of selected rare 20th century works by composers Steve Reich and Iannis Xenakis.

Synergy Percussion was formed in 1974 and has since developed as a vibrant and energetic music group with performance styles that span traditional and contemporary percussion from around the world. They are fresh from headlining the Tuscon Winter Chamber Music Festival in Arizona and will be performing for three nights only at CarriageWorks’ intimate Bay 20 space.

Steve Reich has been heralded by The Guardian in London “as one of the few composers to have altered the direction of musical history.” Exploring slowly changing melodic and rhythmic grooves, he was a pioneer of minimalism and multiple tape loops.

The concert opens with an excerpt from Reich’s Drumming – his 1970 breakthrough piece inspired by his studies of African drumming – and closes with Six Marimbas, a 1986 arrangement of his landmark composition, Six Pianos.

In between will be the 1976 percussion tour de force Psappha, Claviers and Peaux by the late Greek/French composer Iannis Xenakis. With a background in mathematics and architecture, Xenakis was a major force in music modernism. Featuring sweeping rhythms and monumentally constructed sound-blocks, his music is said to evoke a sense of ancient ritual.

Xenakis & Reich by Sydney Percussion
April 23-26, 8pm
Bay 20 at CarriageWorks
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
$27-$52
Bookings: 1300 723 038 or www.carriageworks.com.au