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For Immediate Release



Album features world premiere recordings of works by Tyondai Braxton, Missy Mazzoli, Gemma Peacocke, Ayanna Woods, and the quartet itself

CHICAGO (August 7, 2023)—Third Coast Percussion (TCP), the esteemed Grammy Award-winning percussion quartet based in Chicago, presents their latest album, Between Breaths, a musical exploration of meditation and escapism, to be released by Cedille Records on September 8.  

Between Breaths comprises five world premiere recordings of works by four contemporary composers, including Missy Mazzoli’s Millennium Canticles, Tyondai Braxton's Sunny X, Ayanna Woods’ Triple Point, and Gemma Peacocke’s Death Wish; as well as TCP’s In Practice, a collaborative piece by the quartet.  With Between Breaths, TCP continues its groundbreaking artistic trajectory, building on the success of their previous album, Perspectives, which NPR hailed as "pushing percussion in new directions, blurring musical boundaries and beguiling new listeners." 

Sunny X by Tyondai Braxton performed by Third Coast Percussion. Video by Four/Ten Media.

In the booklet’s introduction, TCP’s Robert Dillon sheds light on the ensemble's inspiration for the recording: “The daily rituals that ground us, and the moments of meditative pause that modern life rarely affords, have been top of mind for us and many of our collaborators of late… The general sense of chaos and information overload that has dominated the last few years has pushed us to explore these aspects of our artform even more than usual… Each of the pieces on this album has given us a chance to disappear into another world and emerge slightly changed. We have savored those moments of escape and are grateful for the opportunity to share these journeys with you.”

As one of the most dynamic and innovative ensembles in the percussion world, TCP seeks to make a lasting impact through collaborations with contemporary composers, significantly expanding the repertoire for percussion instruments. The works on Between Breaths incorporate unconventional timbres and tones, acoustic and electronic sounds, and an array of percussive objects and instruments, to form a unique and boundary-pushing listening experience that goes beyond traditional musical norms. Missy Mazzoli’s five-movement Millennium Canticles uses wooden planks, resonant metal pipes, tone chimes, drums, metallic tones, a lion's roar, and vocal expressions to transport listeners to a world where people are striving to recreate rituals and stories after an apocalypse. In Practice, the collaborative composition by TCP, draws on sounds from the quartet's personal day-to-day rituals — from drinking coffee, to rehearsing, to touring — to create an atmosphere of meditation and balance. 

Tyondai Braxton's Sunny X with its steady repetitions, uses otherworldly acoustic and electronic sounds to draw the mind into a trance-like state. Named after the scientific phenomenon where a substance exists simultaneously as a liquid, solid, and gas, Ayanna Woods’ Triple Point (part of TCP’s Currents Creative Partnership) imitates these states in her work with sounds of bubbling, freezing, and melting. Gemma Peacocke’s Death Wish for four players on two marimbas reflects melancholy, devastation, and hope, and pays tribute to Hinewirangi Kohu-Morgan, a Māori artist, poet, and activist. 

Between Breaths was produced by Elaine Martone, Colin Campbell, and Tyondai Braxton (Braxton). It was recorded May 21, 2021 (Peacocke); November 16–17, 2021 (Braxton); December 14–16, 2022 (Mazzoli, Third Coast Percussion, Woods). All music was recorded at Chicago Recording Company.


Photo by Saverio Truglia

Third Coast Percussion (Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, David Skidmore) is a GRAMMY® Award-winning Chicago-based percussion quartet and GRAMMY®-nominated composer collective, and is the first percussion ensemble to ever win the revered music award. For nearly 20 years, TCP has created exciting and unexpected performances that constantly redefine the classical music experience. The ensemble has been praised for “commandingly elegant” (The New York Times) performances, the “rare power” (The Washington Post) of their more than 30 recordings, and “an inspirational sense of fun and curiosity” (Minnesota Star-Tribune) throughout numerous international tours and an annual Chicago season. 

A commission for a new work from composer Augusta Read Thomas in 2012 led to the realization that commissioning new musical works can be — and should be — as collaborative as any other artistic partnership. Through extensive workshopping and close contact with composers, Third Coast Percussion has commissioned and premiered new works by Philip Glass, Missy Mazzoli, Clarice Assad, Gemma Peacocke, Flutronix, Jlin, Tyondai Braxton, Augusta Read Thomas, Devonté Hynes, Georg Friedrich Haas, Donnacha Dennehy, Glenn Kotche, Christopher Cerrone, David T. Little, and Danny Elfman, among others, in addition to many of today’s leading up-and-coming composers through their Currents Creative Partnership program. Third Coast Percussion currently serves as ensemble-in-residence at Denison University.

The four members of Third Coast Percussion met while studying percussion music at Northwestern University with Michael Burritt and James Ross, and formed the ensemble in 2005. Settling in Chicago, the four friends have carefully and thoughtfully built a $1 million nonprofit organization – including full-time staff, office/studio space, and a board of directors – to support their vision and facilitate their efforts to bring new works to life.


Launched in November 1989 by James Ginsburg, Grammy Award-winning Cedille Records (pronounced say-DEE) is dedicated to showcasing and promoting the most noteworthy classical artists in and from the Chicago area. A nonprofit record label, Cedille’s mission is to produce and disseminate audiophile recordings presenting the finest classical music performers and composers in and from Chicago. The recordings further the careers and legacies of these Chicago artists as Cedille invests in not only the recordings but in the artists represented on them. The label’s catalog of more than 200 front-line albums brims with attractive, off-the-beaten-path repertoire from the Baroque era to the present day, including world premieres of more than 400 classical compositions. Works from the classical canon, when they do appear, are usually heard in particularly imaginative pairings. Cedille never removes albums from its catalog and each recording is a permanent documentation of the artist’s work. With more than 180 Chicago artists and ensembles, over 80 making their professional recording debuts on the label, Cedille brings the area’s most significant classical music artists to a worldwide listening public. Cedille recordings are available on CD, as MP3 and hi-resolution FLAC downloads, and on all major streaming platforms. 


Third Coast Percussion

Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, David Skidmore


Millennium Canticles (15:19)

1 Part 1: Famous Disaster Psalm (2:00)

2 Part 2: The Doubter’s Litany (2:33)

3 Part 3: Bloodied Bells (6:12)

4 Part 4: Choir of the Holy Locusts (2:47)

5 Part 5: Survival Psalm (1:47)


In Practice (17:06)

6 Part I (9:00)

7 Part II (8:06)


8 Sunny X (11:15)


9 Triple Point (5:11)


10 Death Wish (9:43)

TT: (58:58)

All World Premiere Recordings

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For review copies please contact: 

Lisa Jaehnig 

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