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Playing with Water – And Making Music in Fort Worth

by Jerome Weeks 15 Apr 2011 3:16 PM

The Fort Worth Symphony will perform Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun’s Water Concerto, so Think TV talks with splashy master percussionist David Cossin.


In addition to creating Oscar- and Grammy-winning soundtracks for such films as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, composer Tan Dun has written some two dozen orchestral works, including a trilogy of “organic music” concertos — on water, paper and earth. This weekend, the Fort Worth Symphony, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya, will present Tan Dun’s Water Concerto, featuring solo percussionist David Cossin playing such instruments as the water gong and the waterphone. The highly anticipated performances have already led the FWSO to add more seats.

Cossin crosses easily between the worlds of experimental music and pop-rock tours. He’s performed with Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk and the Bang on a Can All-Stars  — as well as with Sting, Bo Diddley and the Blue Man Group. Cossin, in fact, performed with Tan Dun on the Crouching Tiger soundtrack — and has known the composer since they were both students in New York.

Art&Seek talks with Cossin on Think TV about why there are so many compositions that evoke water (Handel’s Water Music, Debussy’s La Mer) yet there have been so few water instruments, does water let him riff much and how does he prepare for getting thoroughly soaked onstage?