Andy Akiho’s 80-minute, percussion-themed “Seven Pillars” aiming for Seattle premiere

Posted on: December 3, 2021

“Sandbox [Percussion] quartet had put in earplugs to rehearse Andy Akiho’s clangorous ‘Seven Pillars,’ a lush, brooding celebration of noise,” writes Zachary Woolfe in Thursday’s (12/2) New York Times. “Aikho, 42 … has written substantial works for steel pan … even a concerto for onstage Ping-Pong players and orchestra. But ‘Seven Pillars’ is a breakthrough for him…. It is being unveiled as a live theatrical event staged by Michael McQuilken, with striking lights synchronized with the music, in Seattle on Friday, and will tour … Because of the pandemic, it was first released in September as a recording, with accompanying short films…. A few years ago, he moved to Portland, Ore., where he [has] a friend who plays timpani with the Oregon Symphony…. That grounding has helped … as Akiho tries to get more of a handle on a booming career… ‘I had an email from Jon Batiste for, like, months, and I didn’t even see it…. And I was like, I need to get my life together.’ … The pandemic [changed] Akiho’s usual practice of rushing works to completion, and allowed for the communal development with Sandbox.”