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Sandbox Percussion - Seven Pillars

One of the "best classical music performances of 2023" - NY Times

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Sandbox Percussion - Seven Pillars
Sandbox Percussion - Seven Pillars

Time & Location

Mar 01, 2024, 7:30 PM

Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, 51 Mannakee St, Rockville, MD 20850, USA

About the Event

GRAMMY®-nominated ‘Seven Pillars’

Music by Andy Akiho

Performed by Sandbox Percussion

Stage Direction and Lighting Design by Michael Joseph McQuilken

Constellations is proud to present the DMV-area premiere of Andy Akiho's Seven Pillars performed by Sandbox Percussion, recently hailed by the NY Times as one of the "best classical music performances of 2023."  Seven Pillars is a boldly genre-defying and collaboration for percussion quartet, nominated for two GRAMMY® awards for "best contemporary classical composition" and "best chamber music performance."  The work consists of seven ensemble movements and one solo movement for each member of Sandbox, developed through multiple extended residencies at Avaloch Farm Music Institute. 

This evening-length work is the largest-scale chamber music work that Akiho has written and that Sandbox has commissioned. Akiho and Sandbox’s ongoing collaboration for “Seven Pillars” has spanned on and off for 8 years. It has been a labor of love between friends.  “I’ve never taken on a project this ambitious – it’s nearly 80 minutes of music – but I was inspired by the collaborative relationship I have with Sandbox,” says Akiho. “We’re all close friends, we enjoy making music together, and there is freedom to experiment in that type of environment. The instrumentation includes traditional instruments such as vibraphone, glockenspiel, and marimba, with some found percussion sounds like glass bottles and metal pipes. Creatively, I wanted to limit the instrumentation in order to encourage the opportunity to find unique timbres and playing techniques on each instrument.”

The form of Seven Pillars mirrors the ambitious nature of this multimedia work. The seven main movements function as a palindrome, highlighting the relationships between the various movements, with an accompanying light show designed by famed theater director Michael McQuilken.

Watch the teaser trailer for Seven Pillars here.

WARNING: This performance features strobe lights, and could potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy.

The commission of Seven Pillars has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund, and also by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University.

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