2016 Commissioned by Ben Reimer with the generous assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts. The work was premiered on January 23, 2017, by Vicky Chow (piano) and Ben Reimer (drum kit), at the Fox Cabaret, in Vancouver (BC, Canada), as part of the Music On Main concert series curated by David Pay.
Piano and drum kit
Written for acclaimed piano-percussion duo Vicky Chow and Ben Reimer, Kickin’ It is a work that provides two performers the opportunity to showcase their virtuoso skills. There were a number of elements that inspired its creation: Vicky and Ben (of course), the art of improvisation, the music of Squarepusher, jazz, gamelan music, Chinese folk music, and the crime novels of James Ellroy. Compositionally speaking, the work brings together two separate streams I have been developing in my musical language. One is my experience in writing for percussion instruments, and the other is my on-going pursuit in developing my pianistic language – the tactile and gestural elements (or “signatures”) that define my own performance practice. Kickin’ It therefore represents the confluence of the two streams. The two players are featured on equal levels of importance as they maintain their constant dialogue with one another while covering a wide expressive range.