John Liberatore composer
Seunghee Lee composer
Hilary Tann composer
Ciro Scotto composer
Matt Barber composer
McCormick Percussion Group
Robert McCormick director
Eunmi Ko solo piano
Juxtaposing the loud and abrasive with the soft and subtle, the McCormick Percussion Group balances tumult and tender in KID STUFF. Led by director Robert McCormick, Professor of Music at the University of South Florida in Tampa, the percussion orchestra re-imagines original compositions from five key contemporary classical composers.
The first series of compositions come from John Liberatore. Titled This Living Air, the four-movement composition is a collage of percussion instruments played with the sort of delicacy and innocence that is reminiscent of childhood. The experimental compositions feature the circular frolic of glockenspiel and marimbas with Ko’s piano melodies dancing in the center.
Seunghee Lee composed the second track, Pung-Kyung. Experimental in nature, Ko’s piano treads curiously along as the percussion group accentuates sudden strikes of sound in the xylophone, hand drums, and wood blocks. The next track Solstice, originally penned by Hilary Tann, features five acts, starting with the solemn, melancholic “Breakup ‘Imperceptible Dissolution’” following through three acts to the epic conclusion of the ‘Freeze-Up “Icy Silvers and Darts.”
The McCormick Percussion Group rounds out their album with the moody, sullen Dark Paradise by composer Ciro Scotto, followed quickly by the erratic chaos of Matt Barber’s Kid Stuff: Five Figments for Piano and Percussion. Like all children, KID STUFF can seem rough around the edges, but inside there is a big heart.
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Track Listing & Credits
|01||This Living Air: I. For Scraps of Manna||John Liberatore||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano||4:18|
|02||This Living Air: II. Mandrake||John Liberatore||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano||3:12|
|03||This Living Air: III. This Light That Pours||John Liberatore||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano||6:03|
|04||This Living Air: IV. It Is Not the Mold||John Liberatore||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano||3:10|
|05||Pung-Kyung||Seunghee Lee||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano||6:39|
|06||Solstice||Hilary Tann||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano; Michael R. Skillern, marimba||14:23|
|07||Dark Paradise||Ciro Scotto||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano; Jordon Houk, celeste||13:06|
|08||Kid Stuff: No. 1, Chimera||Matt Barber||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano||5:23|
|09||Kid Stuff: No. 2, Night Owl||Matt Barber||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano||4:55|
|10||Kid Stuff: No. 3, Quench||Matt Barber||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano||5:43|
|11||Kid Stuff: No. 4, Cuddleys||Matt Barber||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano||2:04|
|12||Kid Stuff: No. 5, Goofball||Matt Barber||McCormick Percussion Group | Robert McCormick, Director; Eunmi Ko, solo piano||4:42|
McCormick Percussion Group Personnel
Robert McCormick, Director and Conductor
Jordon Houk, celeste; guest performer on Dark Paradise
Recorded at the Springs Theatre in Tampa FL
Recording Engineer John Stephan
Executive Producer Bob Lord
Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Chris Robinson
Audio Director Jeff LeRoy
Mastering Shaun Michaud
Engineering Manager Lucas Paquette
Design & Marketing Director Brett Picknell
Design Ryan Harrison, Jordan Taylor- Hayward
McCormick Percussion Group
The McCormick Percussion Group is recognized by critics and composers throughout the world for their unique recordings and interpretations of music decidedly outside of the mainstream. MPG often collaborates with other non-percussion musicians to explore and develop new trends of compositional thought. Among the most recorded ensembles of the genre, MPG has recorded many award winning albums for Ravello Records (dist. by Naxos). To ensure the original intent of each work, composers are often invited to rehearse with the ensemble and supervise recording sessions. Under the direction of Robert McCormick, MPG is a resident ensemble at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Robert McCormick is currently Professor of Music at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He served as principal percussionist/assistant timpanist with the Florida Orchestra for 20 seasons. He is a former member of the Harry Partch Ensemble and often performs and records with high profile artists of all genres. In 2010, he conducted the premiere performance of Chan Hae Lee’s Korean folk opera Simcheongga at the National Center of Performing Arts in Seoul. In March 2014 McCormick performed the world premiere of Baljinder Sekhon’s Double Percussion Concerto at Carnegie Hall with percussionist Lee Hinkle. McCormick was the 2006 recipient of the Florida Music Educator of the Year Award; the 2007 Grand Prize in the Keystone Percussion Composition Award; the 2010 University Distinguished Teacher Award; and the 2015 Percussive Arts Society Lifetime Achievement in Education Award. He has also received several Global Music Awards for his albums, many of which are published on the Ravello Records label and distributed by Naxos. McCormick proudly endorses Encore Mallets, Grover Pro Percussion, and Zildjian Cymbals.
Welsh-born composer Hilary Tann lives in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York where she is the John Howard Payne Professor of Music Emerita at Union College, Schenectady. Her compositions have been widely performed and recorded by ensembles such as the European Women’s Orchestra, Tenebrae, Lontano, Marsyas Trio, Thai Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Recent composer-residencies include the 2011 Eastman School of Music Women in Music Festival, 2013 Women Composers Festival of Hartford, and 2015 Welsh Music Center. Praised for its lyricism (“beautiful, lyrical work” – Classical Music Web) and formal balance (“In the formal balance of this music, there is great beauty …” – Welsh Music), her music is influenced by a strong identification with the natural world.