The Smoke & Mirrors percussion ensemble was created in the fall of 2009. The name, Smoke and Mirrors, reflects the aim of our group: to use the simple tools of rhythm, pitch, and timbre in a complex manner to create intensely effective experiences; and, in the process, expand the public’s literacy in the percussion repertoire.
While Smoke & Mirrors has champions the work of percussion masters such as John Cage, Lou Harrison, and Steve Reich, we also work with composers who are just beginning their careers. Our debut album, Smoke & Mirrors Percussion Ensemble, features the signature piece of the group, Happenstance, written by ensemble member Derek Tywoniuk. On our second album, Vanish, we worked with Argentinian composer Diego Schissi on the premiere recording of Juego de Relojes (Game of Clocks). We have also premiered pieces by Kyle Werner and Joe Beribak. On December 4, 2011 SME performed Toru Takemitsu’s masterpiece for percussion quintet and orchestra, From Me Flows What You Call Time, with The Colburn Orchestra and Gerard Schwarz. We have performed with The Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Trudl Zipper Dance Studio, the Colburn Contemporary Players, and the New West Symphony. In 2013, Smoke and Mirrors Ensemble was part of a co-commission with Teage Ensemble in New York and Sonore Ensemble in Toronto for the percussion trio An Index of Possibility from New York Composer Robert Honstein. We gave the West Coast premiere on March 10, 2013.