How much can a two-man percussion group do? You'll be surprised after listening to Batterie, the debut disc by Brooklyn-based Loop 2.4.3. Formed in New Haven, at Yale's School of Music, the duo emerges from the rarefied New Music realm, performing their own compositions as well as pieces by the likes of John Cage, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
The music on Batterie -- entirely composed by the duo of Lorne Watson and Thomas Kozumplik -- is reminiscent of many familiar percussion staples: Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, works by Terry Riley and Steve Reich, steel bands, Indonesian gamelan, and even a bit of prog-rock. Another big influence on the pair is American maverick composer Harry Partch, who built many of his own instruments.
In the course of a set, Loop 2.4.3 can roam through all of the colors of the percussion world, from marimba and steel drums to gongs from Asian temples and Chinese opera. "We work in the New Music scene, but we're also playing some club dates, like the Empty Bottle in Chicago," says Watson. "So we'll do chamber-music concerts, educational master classes and residencies, and then go out punk-rock style and rock a club, while playing the exact same music."
Batterie gives the pair a chance to display their impressive chops, as on the piece "Chickchi," recorded as a live improvisation at Seattle radio station KEXP. "We can write for four or five parts, using all of our different limbs much like a drum-set player would," Watson explains. "It's the independence of those parts that gives the feeling of more than two guys playing."
Loop 2.4.3. 8 p.m. Sun., Mar. 9. Your Inner Vagabond, 4130 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $8. All ages. 724-506-2025 or www.yourinnervagabond.com
- Say "Chickchi": Loop 2.4.3