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  • Miles Hedley


Any concert featuring three drum-kits is unusual, so one set in a church must be close to unique. But that’s the beauty of the free Thursday lunchtime performances at St Alfege’s – you never know what you’re going to get. The kits formed the centrepiece of a recital by Trinity Laban Percussion Ensemble, directed by Mick Dorian, who gave as memorable a performance as I’ve ever seen in Hawksmoor’s wonderful building. The septet began with the world premiere of To Blue, a composition by student Mikey Parson which brilliantly contrasted punky, thunderous drums with the mellifluous, ringing tones of two marimbas. The three kits were also at the heart of Brian Booth’s Rudimental Rock, a deceptively simple piece with an infectious groove. In a change of mood, Gosia Kepa was sensational on four-mallet solo marimba in Anna Ignatowicz’s Toccata, a tear-jerkingly lovely work that required amazing reach. Leonard Salzedo’s five-movement Concerto for Percussion Op74 featured all seven players – Kepa, Rory Clark, Dom Daggett, Tom Daley, Rhys Davies, Isis Dunthorne and Tom Plumridge – who gave bravura performances of this magical piece. I particularly loved the interplay between the four tuned timpani and the other drums. The recital closed with the first movement of JS Bach’s magnificent and world-famous Brandenburg Concerto No2 in F major played on six marimbas. It was hypnotic, offering not only a new take on a familiar work of genius but also helping to give us a new perspective on the way music has developed over the past 250 years.

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