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James Waterman.

As we gear up for the coming season, we’re excited to be premiering several pieces written by members of Bridge to Everywhere. One of these pieces is Abacus by percussionist and composer James Waterman. Abacus is inspired by mathematically conceived rhythmic compositions found in North and South Indian classical music.

“In writing this piece, I was interested in exploring how adding or subtracting beats from a musical phrase… affects the number of beats of rest left at the end of the phrase,” said James Waterman. “It occurred to me that adding or subtracting beats from a musical phrase within a cycle is not unlike sliding beads along the rods of an abacus.”

The melodic and harmonic material in Abacus is derived from several influences including Ghanaian xylophone music, five-note scales and patterns found in Balinese gamelan music, and the tonal and chordal idioms of American pop music.

James has been a core member of Bridge to Everywhere since 2016. We’re excited to be bringing his talents as a composer to the ensemble. Hear the premiere of Abacus on Friday, August 30 at the Brand Library & Art Center.