Spring 2020 has been unlike any other at the School of Music. Despite the daily challenges associated with navigating the ongoing pandemic, themes that have remained constant are the talent and creativity exhibited by our students, who have persevered and adapted in innovative ways.
With access to instruments limited due to precautionary measures instituted to promote the health and safety of the School of Music community, the UCLA Percussion Ensemble collaborated to develop a performance using household items. Their recent presentation of the aptly titled “Scavenger Music” by Christopher Deane, uses a variety of objects to create percussion sounds such as tissue boxes, pots, bottles and kitchen utensils. The result is an impressive performance that showcases resilience and resourcefulness in the face of unforeseen challenges.
Led by Theresa Dimond, Lecturer of Percussion Performance, the ensemble consists of students representing a variety of programs and majors including performance, music education, global jazz and non-music majors, as well as graduate music majors.
“For percussionists, it is particularly hard to make chamber music together during a COVID pandemic,” Dimond said. “First, many of our students do not own equipment. To add to the challenge, our percussion ensemble at UCLA has grown to an enrollment of 15 students, large by anyone’s chamber music standards. So, I decided to have the students make their own instruments and perform on ‘found’ objects. With a tip of our hat specifically to the innovators, John Cage, and Lou Harrison and to gamelan music, in general, we are proud of our entrée into music for found objects. Please enjoy our rendition of Christopher Deane’s ‘Scavenger Music.’”