Text by Michael Compitello
In addition to performing with The Percussion Collective, I also serve as Assistant Director at Avaloch Farm. There, I've seen time and time again the transformative value of a focused residency for chamber ensembles, and was delighted to see the Percussion Collective at such a special place this June.
At its core, a residency at Avaloch is about giving ensembles time and space to work on projects in an inspiring and nurturing environment. With beautiful studios, fantastic food, and a lively group of fellow residents, time at Avaloch is a wonderful combination of independent work and shared experience.
We spent our time at the Farm learning Christopher Theofanidis’s Drum Circles, Alejandro Viñao’s Stress and Flow, and working on arranging projects. Because we are a large ensemble which performs in a number of different configurations and often assembles very close to concerts, it was extremely valuable to be able to assemble in one place and work towards a unified interpretation of our repertoire. At the same time, rehearsing and living with a large subset of our group allowed for dense information sharing about the ins and outs of our parts. Since a few of the Collective members were learning the same part to Drum Circles as me, we colluded on making our setup more efficient, sound concepts, and other details. Finally, we took advantage of our time together to work towards some administrative goals. I was inspired each day by what everyone in our group brought to our time together, and can’t wait for our next retreat!