INSTITUTIONS FEAT. COLD STEEL DRUMMERS
This is the first single from the 'Music Desegregation' project that features rap over a percussion ensemble and showstyle drumline, all in a 7/8 time signature. The piece is through-composed with the rhythm of the lyrics written into the score. Rap, drumline, marimba, and vibraphone are weaved to create this unique blend of genres, featuring jazz improvisation and classical composition techniques. All instruments used were recorded live in a studio. The lyrics confront racial and wealth inequality
FEARLESS (FEAT. BREVAN HAMPDEN, BASHIR SHAKUR, WILEY SYKES, AND XAVIER WARE)
This selection features five unique styles of percussion: North Indian Tabla, West African Djembe, Afro-Cuban Congas, Orchestral Percussion, and Drum set. Written between 5/4 and 6/4 time signatures, the work features a spotlight on each genre of percussion as the performers set a groove in 5/4 under the lyrics, while soloing alone in between the verses of the rap. The words discuss taking a leap of faith toward your dreams while overcoming the fear of leaving your safety net. The work concludes with a climatic collaboration between all of the instruments.
MASTERPLAN FEAT. XAVIER WARE
A unique blend between contemporary percussion, drum set, jazz, and rap. This genre-morphing piece of music features rhythmically intertwined lyrics that touch on motivation, love, faith, black history, and finding your purpose. The composition is entirely acoustic and includes improvised solos between the drumset player and the rapper on vibraphone. This work is sure to keep your attention from beginning to end.
HUMMING CHORUS (FEAT. GRACE LUDTKE AND JOSEPHUS THOMPSON III)
Built around Puccini’s Coro a Bocca Chiusa (“Humming Chorus”) from the opera Madama Butterfly, this piece integrates hip-hop with percussion ensemble, harp, spoken word, and a small operatic choir. Representing a live-action, acoustic sample, the actual beat drops in the middle of the tune, as the lyrics discuss the possibilities of music desegregation throughout history and beyond. All sounds were created and recorded acoustically by vocalists and instrumentalists.
THE GOSPEL FEAT. ERIC GILES
Hip hop, jazz, classical, and contemporary percussion intersect in this unique collaboration that features lyrics composed in the score. The timpani serve as a substitute to 808's and are accompanied by rap, vibraphone, saxophone, and a multi-percussion setup. The rhythm of the lyrics is used percussively, lining up with the vibes in different contexts. The percussion set-up uses glass bottles to substitute for a snare sound. The piece constantly evolves, building in energy until ending on a surprise...
RACHMANINOFF (FEAT. INDIRIA EVERETTE, ANNIE JENG, AND XAVIER WARE)
Concert Piano and hip-hop clash in this work featuring rap, drum set, and two pianists playing a blend of multiple movements from Rachmaninoff's 2nd and 3rd piano concertos. The lyrics deal with mental health and are inspired by the true story of Rachmaninoff’s rebound from depression. With a drum solo in the middle, this is Rachmaninoff as you have never seen before...
CAGED BIRDS THE MOST HEARD
A minimalistic collaboration between rap and vibraphone that travels the lonely journey of battling mental health struggles while searching for your identity and purpose. The contrast of the complex rhythms in the solo vibraphone versus the whole notes of the harmony creates a musical journey that plays with the expectations of the listener.
REVELATIONS FEAT. JESSICA RONNEVIK
Written for percussion ensemble, viola, and choir, this piece authentically merges classical composition techniques with rap. At eight minutes long, the piece tells a story of what could be, an optimistic version of Revelations from the Bible. The first half features more hip-hop elements, through repetitive grooves and soulful choir harmonies. The second half is an ever-evolving classical duet that plays on the expectations of the audience, as you do not know what will happen next. Over the last 5 minutes, the piece gradually builds in tempo until the climax at the end, finishing with inspiring lyrics that are weaved in with the rhythms in the score.
BOLDEN FEAT. SEAN MASON
Bolden takes a tour through the history of Jazz and pays homage to some of the greatest musicians over the decades, leading all the way back to the father of Jazz, Buddy Bolden. This blues features rap in the style of an instrumental solo and includes Sean Mason on piano, William MoBetta Ledbetter on Bass, Chrishawn Darby on Drums, Andrew Sanchez on Trumpet, Liam Trawick on clarinet, and Charlie Sothcott on Trombone.