Sunday, April 7, 2019
Concert audiences across the United States have been brought to their feet by a pairing of musical personalities as improbable and winning as Organized Rhythm’s combination of the pipe organ and percussion. British organist Clive Driskill-Smith,whose solo performances in England and America earned him recognition as one of his generation’s star organists, is wry and reserved—until he lets loose an astonishing battery of effects at the keyboard. He’s complemented by the athletic movement of Joseph Gramley, a physically towering Oregon native whose own crowd-pleasing solo concerts and work with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble have made him one of the leading percussionists performing today. This powerful and harmonious duo presents what has been described as “…an exciting two-hour musical adventure, [offering] startling clear insight into what makes a live performance good, and why good live performances are important for us....passion, technical mastery, and precision. " (The Granite State News, Wolfeboro NH)
Organized Rhythm takes every opportunity to explore the lyrical and powerful tonal aspects of thunderous and dulcet wood and metal organ pipes married to the visceral and delicate aspects of a wide array of percussion instruments from around the world through new works as well as transcriptions of recognizable classical compositions. Their repertoire spans from the music of J.S. Bach and Camille Saint-Saens to that of Aaron Copland and the innovative 21st century composer Nico Muhly, with the duo’s adaptation of Gustav Holst’s The Planets being their signature performance piece. Listeners to the duo’s first CD recording, Beaming Music, will hear cymbals and drums breaking through the full organ’s sound as satisfyingly as any trumpet, and the duo has found balances in which he soft bars of the marimba meld seamlessly with the organ’s quietest registers. The duo’s March/April tour in the U.S. took them to Sarasota, Washington, D.C., Scottsdale, and Eureka, CA and a July 2017 concert invitation took them to Taipei to perform at the National Performing Arts Center.
Critics have praised Clive Driskill-Smith’s "blazing technique" and "unbelievable virtuosity" (American Guild of Organists). He is Professor of Organ at the Royal Academy of Music in London and Organist at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. Prior to his work at Christ Church, Oxford, he was organ scholar at Winchester Cathedral and assistant organist at Winchester College. Mr. Driskill-Smith was the 2002 winner of the Calgary International Organ Competition. He regularly performs throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. In the United States, he’s performed numerous solo recital tours and has been featured at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists. His most recently-released CD recording on the Herald label, Fiat Lux, received critical acclaim: “the technique is brilliant, the interpretation flawless.” (The Organ, England).
Called the “Heifetz of the marimba” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) Joseph Gramley is associate professor of music and director of percussion studies at the University of Michigan. An invitation from cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 2000 led Gramley to join Yo-Yo Ma's multiple Grammy Award©-winning Silk Road Ensemble. In addition to participating in the group's extended residencies in cities across the globe, Gramley has toured with the Ensemble throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Along the way, Gramley studied percussion styles and instruments from around the globe, collaborating with internationally renowned musicians from numerous countries. His first solo recording, American Deconstruction, an expert rendition of five milestone works in multi-percussion's huge new modern repertoire, appeared in 2000 and was reissued in 2006. His second CD, Global Percussion, was released in 2005. He has appeared on several top-selling albums with Yo-Yo Ma on the SonyBMG label, and with other members of the Ensemble.
Organized Rhythm is represented in North America exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.