red fish blue fish
Directed by Distinguished Professor Steven Schick
The New York Times calls red fish blue fish a "dynamic percussion ensemble from the University of California." Founded twenty years ago by Steven Schick, the San Diego-based ensemble performs, records, and premieres works from the last 85 years of western percussion's rich history. The group works regularly with living composers from every continent. Recent projects include a world premiere of a Roger Reynolds' Sanctuary and the American premiere of James Dillon's epic Nine Rivers cycle with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). In the Summer of 2011, red fish blue fish collaborated with George Crumb, Dawn Upshaw, and Peter Sellars to premiere the staged version of The Winds of Destiny. Eighth Blackbird invited red fish blue fish to join them in performances of works by American icons such as John Cage and Steve Reich at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. The New York Times called their "riveting" performance of John Cage the "highlight" of the program. Recordings of the percussion chamber music of Iannis Xenakis and Roger Reynolds on Mode Records have been praised by critics around the world. Recordings released in the 2012-13 season included the works of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Giacinto Scelsi, and rare works of Iannis Xenakis.
In 2012, red fish blue fish presented four concerts of percussion music alongside Percussion Group Cincinnati at the John Cage Centennial Festival in Washington D.C. where they performed highlights from the 10-disc box set of the complete percussion works of John Cage to be released on Mode Records. See the Calendar of Events for red fish blue fish performances.
Founder Steve Schick will be inducted into the Percussive Arts Society's Hall of Fame in November 2014. He will also serve as Musical Director of the 2015 Ojai Music Festival.
RFBF has had a huge impact on new music percussion performance (premieres), recordings, and education. Successful RFBF/UCSD Music alums include Ross Karre, now with ICE; Aiyun Huang, who heads the percussion department at McGill University; Morris Palter, asst professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks where he is also artistic director of the 64.8 percussion group; and Justin DeHart, Chapman University faculty, member of the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet.
UCTV recently featured Schick in this 6-part series entitled On the Bridge in which he presents the origins and global development of percussion-based composition as a "physical art."