Percussion ensembles tend to be populated by white men. So the four young women of color who founded the group Recap in 2020 are, by definition, shifting the percussion paradigm. Their distinctive debut album, Count to Five, features works by six women composers and is anchored by Hedera, a mesmerizing, 20-minute piece by Lesley Flanigan.
Thunderous bass drums and tom-toms predominate, delivering an oscillating groove over which the composer's voice floats like "clouds of pitch wrapping around the line of unrelenting beat," as she told NPR. Like ivy, to which the word "hedera" refers, the music's tendrils slowly wrap themselves around the listener, warping time such that 20 minutes flies by like only a few. Hats off to Mantra Percussion, the ensemble whose tuition-free program for young musicians has nurtured the members of Recap.
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