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Composer: Alexej Gerassimez

Instrument: Body Percussion

Level: Intermediate

Published: 2020

Price: €16.00

Item details

  • Description +
    • As a percussionist I have always been fascinated by discovering as many different tone colors in each instrument as possible. In this case, using just my own body as the instrument was a difficult, but inspiring challenge. The first step was to find the right colors for my "paint box“. All sounds flow into the color palette used to create my music.
      Performing as a percussionist is a very physical experience and therefore has a great overlapping with the art of dance. Creating sounds and expressing music through movement with nothing more than one's own body is a very pure way of performing where music and dance come very close together.
      It’s a very intimate and almost meditative work.
  • Instrumentation +
    • Body Percussion (no instruments)

  • About the composer +
    • His enthusiasm for music and rhythms, always searching for new sound effects, his feeling for structure – all these qualities led the young percussion soloist Alexej Gerassimez to begin to compose. His main aim is to enlarge the solo and chamber music repertoire for percussion. He has already published several works in collaboration with the publishing company “Edition Svitzer”.

  • Reviews +
    • Review (Percussive Notes, October 2021)
      Whenever I come across a piece for body percussion, I jump to two assumptions: the piece must involve a high degree of “show-andtell,” most likely to the detriment of any actual musical development, and that the piece will fail to meet the bar set by Vinko Globokar’s “?Corporel.” I am therefore happy to report that Alexej Gerassimez’s solo, “Cosoni,” has proven me wrong on both counts: the solo is more enamored with developing a musical narrative than it is with any Vaudevillian sense of “Look what I can do,” and from start to finish it is as engrossing as Globokar’s work. I feel that “Cosoni” bears as much resemblance to Javier Alvarez’s “Temazcal” as it does to “?Corporel,” particularly in regards to its rhythmic language and not-quite-dance choreography.
      It’s a shame that there isn’t any performance media available on the publisher’s website for “Cosoni.” Simply looking at the score will give you about as much insight into the piece as looking at a weather map will give regarding the experience of being caught in a tornado. Fortunately, a quick Google search reveals that the composer has posted a full performance video of the undersix-minute work on his YouTube channel, and anyone even remotely interested in performing the piece should give it multiple viewings.
      The attractive thing about body percussion is that everyone already owns the necessary instrument, and “Cosoni” leans heavily upon the percussive elements that we take for granted in everyday life: snapping, clapping, patting our stomachs, stomping our feet, and more. There are moments of bodily exploration akin to “?Corporel,” but they only serve as a counterpoint to the primary sections driven by rhythmic snapping, clapping, and stomping. At times the piece teeters on the precipice of Hambone/Juba dance, but the musical content is decidedly more sophisticated and, dare I say it, virtuosic. In particular, there are a couple of techniques (such as multiple-finger snapping and rapid back-and-forth clapping) that I would certainly need to work on before attempting a performance!
      One potential obstacle to performers might be the unintentional discrepancies in the English translation of the performance instructions (which, for a body percussion solo, are critically important). For example, the composer’s instruction to “flip” is actually an instruction to snap one’s fingers, rather than to perform gymnastics, and the instruction to “Wipe over your body parts” is much more innocent than it sounds. Fortunately, an attentive viewing of the composer’s performance video will provide easy answers to any such questions that performers might encounter.
      “Cosoni” is engaging, challenging, and interesting from beginning to end, and I highly recommend it to any college student or professional recitalist looking for a rewarding project for body percussion — that is, if they can absorb the loss of cartage-fee income!
      —Brian Graiser
  • Credits +
    • Front Cover graphics and layout: Ronni Kot Wenzell
      Engraving: Johan Svitzer
      Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
      Copyright © Edition SVITZER