CRASH is a vibrant and energizing ensemble that embodies the concept of music in motion. Performing the visual percussion works of Mary Ellen Childs, the ensemble’s bold, visceral style combines the power of drumming with an elegant sensibility. Their performance integrates music and dance and theater in fresh and unexpected ways, in pieces that find their dramatic expression through movement, visual image and rhythm. The union of sight and sound creates an impact that audiences have responded to with tremendous enthusiasm.
Mary Ellen Childs, the founder of CRASH, is a composer for whom the creation of music involves more than the notation of symbols on a page, adds visual imagery and movement to the composer’s traditional palette of rhythm, tone and color. She is involved in the creative process from conception through composition through staging, often working much like a stage director or choreographer, as well as a composer to create musical pieces that incorporate visual media. Childs has created numerous visual percussion pieces for CRASH, including Click, a fast-paced gamelike work for three stick-wielding performers; the eponymous Crash, a rousing work for six crash cymbal players on roller stools, roller blades and other rolling modes of transportation; DrumRoll, for drummers on wheels; and Sight of Hand, a body percussion piece based on clapping games, hamboning, and baseball coaching signals.