Featured Composition: Maleza for Percussion Trio - Javier Diaz

Afro-Cuban percussion specialist Javier Diaz's trio Maleza (the Spanish word for "forest" or "wilderness") is a through-composed (two movement) work, blending urban beats and world percussion. Grooves in the piece are inspired by drum-and-bass, Afro-Cuban Abakua and Rumba patterns, and West African agogo bell rhythms, and are highlighted by constant shifts in rhythm and timbre. This trio, premiered by the NYU Percussion Ensemble, has (in the words of the composer) "an intense rhythmic drive and a very colorful sonic landscape." For a fresh new world percussion-inspired trio, check out Maleza. Click HERE to purchase.

Featured Book: The PAS MassChap 2008 Snare Drum Collection - compiled by Samuel Solomon

The PAS MassChap 2008 Snare Drum Collection (compiled by Samuel Solomon) is a collection of forty new snare etudes. Eleven of the etudes were written by commission, and the others were selected as winners of the first annual PAS MassChap Etude Competition (in which there were nearly 50 submissions from across the country and even overseas). Check out this great new collection with etudes written by forty different composers and percussionists of various musical backgrounds and skill levels. All proceeds from the book's sale benefit the Massachusetts Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. A wonderful addition to every snare drummers' collection. For more information, click HERE.

Featured Composer: Duncan Patton

Duncan Patton is the Principal Timpanist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and co-chair of the Percussion Department at the Manhattan School of Music. Before performing with the Met, Duncan played with a number of orchestras and chamber ensembles and he performed in a duo with marimba soloist Mayumi Sekizawa. Bachovich publishes two marimba-timpani duets by Duncan--Gemini Return and Primordial Variations--written for Mayumi and Chris Lamb, respectively. These are challenging works that both contrast and blend the timbres of the instruments and require a high level of technical ability and ensemble playing. Duncan also has a short timpani solo [6 minutes] entitled Two Interludes, taken from his larger work, Fierce Murmurs, for timpani and percussion ensemble. For exciting timpani and percussion writing from a great timpanist, look to Duncan Patton.

Featured Media: (CD) From The Earth: Drumming with the Hang - Rolando Morales-Matos

Rolando Morales-Matos is a prolific composer (in addition to being a busy performer!) and is a mainstay in the BMP E-News Features section. This time, we feature Rolando's CD From the Earth: Drumming with the Hang. The CD consists of all original solo percussion works (by Rolando) and featues Rolando performing on hang drum (a metal, tuned drum, played with the hands, that is acoustically similar to a steelpan). His compositions and performance on the CD have impressed musicians of all backgrounds, like legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter:

"I was stunned by the musicianship, the compositions, the fantastic recorded sound, the performance. Bravo Mr. Morales-Matos!!"

and percussion guru Bob Becker:

"Either the Hang Drum was made for Rolando Matos, or he was made for it. The songs on From the Earth are lovely and Rolando's playing is scintillating."

The hang drum, the newest rave on YouTube, is finally featured on a studio album. This is a must-have solo and world percussion CD. Take our word for it, but the music speaks for itself. For more information, click HERE.