Composer: Johan Söderholm
Instrument: Multi Percussion
Duration: 7 min.
Samurai is a mixture of Japanese inspired rhythms and rudimental drumming, combined to create a performance that is both musical and visual. It is a groovy piece that sometimes tricks the listener by obscuring the pulse and then revealing where it is. ...
About the composer +
Johan Söderholm began his musical journey in Strängnäs, Sweden, where he first was introduced to Drum Corps International, a competition he later would compete in three times. At the age of 16 he was admitted to Musikkonservatoriet Falun, Sweden.
Johan took his bachelor degree at The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. He has been a member of Gert Mortensens percussion ensemble Percurama, and played many concerts and recorded a CD with the ensemble. After his bachelor examination Johan was admitted to Malmö Academy of Music, where he now studies for his master degree. During his studies he has taught percussion at music schools and music museeums both in Sweden and Denmark, composed music for percussion and arranged music for solo and percussion quartet.
Johan appeared as a soloist at The Royal Palace in Stockholm with Musikkonservatoriet Faluns orchestra, and he was asked to perform Samurai at the SPIS-event (Percussion Pedagogues in Sweden-event) 2014 by the co founder of Kroumata, Anders Holdar.
Today Johan is a member of GONG Percussion, a quartet he and three friends founded in Falun 2010. The ensemble has played many concerts throughout Sweden on chamber music festivals and in Stockholm Concert Hall, and the quartets repertoire includes pieces written by or arranged by Johan.
Review (Percussive Notes, July 2016)
This 6½-minute unaccompanied multiple percussion solo combines elements of Japanese Taiko drumming with Western rudimental drumming. This combination reflects the diverse compositional styles of Swedish composer Johan Söderholm, whose educational background is from conservatories in Sweden and Denmark, with a fascinating performance background in Drum Corps International. The contrasting timbres in this solo consist of eight membranic instruments, a China cymbal, woodblock, and metal strip. With this compact setup Johan Söderholm achieves a richness of innovative sounds that accomplish his Taiko/rudimental desires.
Opening with a 32-measure introduction that starts softly—yet with increasingly faster tempos—the first large section is in 3/4 at a tempo of quarter note equals 180. Stickings and special effects are clearly notated, as this section transitions through several meter shifts, moving rhythmically from a rudimental style to the Taiko “ostinato” underpinning. A closing section is quite flamboyant, changing from simple meter to compound meter, and concludes this unique multiple percussion solo, which could be suitable for any senior/master’s degree solo percussion recital. Congratulations to Johan Söderholm for his creative, thoughtful compositional effort!
Front Cover graphics and layout: Johan Söderholm
Engraving: CPH Engraving
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
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