Rhythm Magic is a rudimental-style snare drum solo written by Australian master drummer and percussionist David Jones. It features many interesting sticking patterns and rhythmic groupings and my mate Lachlan Hawkins and I arranged it last year for his honours recital.
What we have done is expanded the solo, playing the piece three times – each time with some changes:
Is played as written. I mirrored Locky’s stickings and some movements as well. We both learnt percussion from David Adelt in high school and one of the similar things in our high school experience was that he was very wary of the audience and gave a lot of attention to performance presentation. Working on this piece, we thought we’d reference that and put our twist on some of the staple music visualisation moves. In the first time, we did basic movement mirroring and played it cleanly. In the third time through, we decided to make it a little more interesting.
Is sung as a vocal dialogue. This was inspired by our high school days of singing through entire percussion ensemble pieces before concerts. At my high school, I remember one year, in the QPAC dressing room, we closed the door, turned the lights off and sang through our entire concert for the evening. The people outside must have thought we were a bit crazy!
This bit was also inspired in part by the South Indian ‘Konnakol’ concept of singing a rhythm with words or syllables. Our modern twist was that a rhythm made up of a number of notes could be spoken with a word that has that number of syllables in that group. For example pineapple’ (three syllables), ‘cappuccino’ (four syllables), ‘hip-po-po-ta-mus’ (five syllables) etc.
We added choreography, playing the piece with pedals, added solo sections and ornamenting existing rhythms. Basically, we put a bit of ourselves into the piece.
Lachlan and I met many times since grade 9 at competitions and music festivals that our schools performed at. I respected (and still respect) Lachlan very much as a percussionist in high school because he was insane musician in the competitions and always really relaxed about it.
Over the years we got a chance to work together on two MOST camps to share ideas, jam out and have some fun. We have worked together through all of our uni degree on a bunch of projects together and riffing off each other. Working on this recital together was really important to me because he has been a great friend and colleague for a very long time and just an all round legend!
Playing starts at 2:00