Russell Greenberg

New York-based percussionist Russell Greenberg enjoys exploring the creative and unclassifiable music of our time. Internationally sought-after for his singular approach and interpretation, he strives to share his passion for the musical experience with a wide variety of audiences.

As a founding member of the piano and percussion quartet, Yarn/Wire, Russell has collaborated with many of today’s leading composers to craft a body of new, wide-reaching and vital repertoire. At the vanguard of contemporary music, Russell frequently tours the world, having appeared at the Ultima (Oslo), Tectonics (Glasgow), Lincoln Center (NY), Barbican (UK), and Rainy Days (Luxembourg) festivals among others, and is a regular visiting artist at universities including Columbia, Brown, and Stanford.

performance May, 2015

Michael Gordon’s Material

Outside my window on Desbrosses Street, a giant piledriver is rhythmically knocking a metal column into the earth. From my studio I hear the resonance, a complex palette of ringing overtones which linger in the air for a few seconds and then disappear. The city’s symphonic landscape, made up of a random clash of ephemeral noise, was the entryway into Material.

All four players are stationed at the grand piano—a spectacular machine with sound production controlled by levers and hammers. The piano extends higher than the piccolo and lower than the contrabass. Inside the piano, the range and timbre extend even further, the notes becoming pliable and mysterious. Placing fingers at points on the wires reveals upper harmonics, part of an infinite pile of tones that give each note its distinctive character. With the excellent musicians of Yarn/Wire I have explored hidden nooks and crannies inside the instrument. With hammering, strumming, and pounding Yarn/Wire performs a construction site of industrial harmonies and rhythms. To illuminate the performance, director/designer Jim Findlay has created an intimate theater on the Miller Theatre stage, a chance to be up close with the musicians and the nine foot Steinway D.

My deepest thanks to Melissa Smey and everyone at the Miller Theatre for their support through the process of creating Material.

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