Athens, Ga. – Percussion professor Timothy Adams Jr., will give the final recital of the 2013-2014 Hugh Hodgson Faculty Series on March 18 at 8 p.m. in Ramsey Concert Hall. Tickets to the performance, which features three original compositions by Adams, are $10 for the general public and $5 for UGA students with ID.
“Our job as artists is to reflect society in real time, and that guides my work,” Adams said. “The first piece on the program, ‘Stranger In My Own House: East vs. West’ is my commentary—or lack thereof—on rap and hip-hop. It features multiple drums and metallic sounds juxtaposed against an audio soundscape created by television writer Andrew Kubiszewski. The recorded portion features the relentless sound of rattling chains.
“I wanted it to have an uneasy quality. I have a love-hate relationship with rap. There are so many creative possibilities in the genre, yet the artists in the public eye manage to squander that potential and spend their time reinforcing negative attitudes.”
Voice professor Gregory Broughton and guitarist Jacob Powers will join Adams for “Journey to Freedom: Harriett Tubman,” a composition about the famous abolitionist’s Underground Railroad network that delivered hundreds of enslaved African Americans out of bondage. The piece culminates in a hopeful ending, commemorating Tubman’s freedom and lasting legacy.
The recital will conclude with “Trayvon Suite,” a composition Adams collaborated on with pianist and Hodgson School alumnus Gregory Hankins. The piece chronicles the evening in 2012 when Trayvon Martin, a young African-American, was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla.
“It takes you through the entire night, and the ending will depend entirely upon how we feel during the performance,” Adams said. “It may be introspective, or it may be angry, but it will be exactly what we feel in the moment.”
In addition to his own compositions, Adams also will perform “Quicksilver Pieces for Vibraphone,” which was written by Eastman School of Music composition professor David Liptak, and James Romig’s “Second Vibraphone Sonata.”
Prior to joining the Hodgson School in 2010, Adams was principal timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony for 15 years. He also held the same position with the Indianapolis Symphony, Florida Philharmonic and Canton Symphony. Adams has appeared on Terrence Blanchard’s scores to Caveman’s Valentine and Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna. He also has performed under the batons of Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Elliott Carter, Michael Tilson Thomas and John Williams.
“My recital isn’t so much a political statement as it is about my perceptions and feelings and working them out through art,” Adams said. “A lot of music today has moved away from that—I’m trying to return to it.”