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Percussion duo entertains UWO

Abby Vandermolen

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The Amphion Percussion Guest Recital took place March 30 in the Arts and Communication Center’s Music Hall to entertain audiences with the xylophone, steel drum and other percussion instruments.

Amphion Percussion has been playing together since 2007 when Peter Zlotnick and Sean Connors decided they wanted to continue playing after graduate school.
“Sean and I met at Eastman in 2000,” Zlotnick said. “We started playing as a duo in 2007 after we finished graduate school at Northwestern and wanted to keep playing together.”

The back and forth the music provides for the two members creates a dynamic for the audience to read and interpret.

“I think that our repertoire is open to interpretation and we are absolutely ok with anything that the audience thinks or feels,” Zlotnick said.

Zlotnick said that Amphion Percussion also makes sure they are revealing new compositions to the audience.

“We are playing contemporary music written for two percussionists,” Zlotnick said. “Sometimes people have an idea of what that will be before they come in to the concert. Some things we play will fit those ideas and some will be a little unexpected.”

The recital was put on by UWO’s music department after John Mayrose suggested bringing in Amphion Percussion.

“When faculty want to bring a guest artist, we present it to the faculty in the Music Department who vote to approve it,” Mayrose said.

Mayrose said he is familiar with the members of the group, in particular Zlotnick, whom he knows from years ago at Duke University. Zlotnick even asked Mayrose to write a composition for the group to which he obliged. It’s called Hashlife, and it premiered Monday during the recital.

“I have known Peter for several years,” Mayrose said. “He played marimba in the premiere of my doctoral dissertation at Duke University in 2006. Last year, Peter asked me to write a new composition for the group. I applied for a UW Oshkosh faculty development grant that funded this project.”

Mayrose said the music that Amphion Percussion plays is relatively new so the audience can experience the music of present day.

“Most of the music they will perform has been written in the past 10 years,” Mayrose said. “While many concerts include contemporary music, much of the music in these concerts is over 100 years old. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to hear a concert of music of our time.”

Christine Urbschat attended the event and said she enjoyed the contemporary music.

“My favorite piece that was played tonight had to be ‘Into the Air’ by Ivan Trevino,” Urbschat said. “The way that they, Peter and Sean, played, made the whole piece sound like an adventure. Actually, just like the whole show was.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Percussion duo entertains UWO