Since the fall of 2004, concert audiences across the United States, Europe and Asia have been brought to their feet by a pairing of musical personalities as improbable and winning as Organized Rhythm’s combination of the pipe organ and multi-percussion.
British organist Clive Driskill-Smith, trained at Eton and Oxford, whose solo performances around the world have earned him recognition as one of his generation’s star organists, is wry and reserved—until he lets loose an astonishing battery of effects at the keyboard. He’s complemented in Organized Rhythm by the athletic movement of Joseph Gramley, a physically towering Oregon native whose own crowd-pleasing solo concerts and work with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble have made him one of the leading multi-percussionists performing today. This powerful and harmonious duo presents what has been described as “...an exciting two-hour musical adventure, [offering] startling clear insight into what makes a live performance good, and why good live performances are important for us...passion, technical mastery, and precision...two young musicians doing what they clearly love--making music, not just for themselves, but for us as well." (The Granite State News, Wolfeboro NH)
Trumpet and organ: it’s been done before. Flute and organ: it’s been done before. But the “symphonic-orchestral” pairing of organ and percussion remains a rarity, making Organized Rhythm the only full-time, duo of its kind anywhere in the world. Clive and Joseph take every opportunity to deeply explore the lyrical and powerful tonal aspects of thunderous and dulcet wood and metal organ pipes married to the visceral, arresting, and delicate aspects of a wide array of percussion instruments from around the world through a collection of new works as well as transcriptions of recognizable classical compositions. Their repertoire spans from the music of J.S. Bach and Camille Saint-Saens to that of Aaron Copland, John Williams and celebrated and innovative 21st century composer Nico Muhly, with the duo’s adaptation of Gustav Holst’s The Planets being their signature, and most frequently requested, performance piece. Committed to collaborating with the leading composers of today the Duo commissions and premieres new works each season. Listeners to the duo’s first CD recording, Beaming Music, will hear dozens of world drums, cymbals, multi-keyboard melodic percussion, orchestral percussion and timpani breaking through the full organ’s sound as satisfyingly as any trumpet, and the duo has found balances in which even the soft bars of the marimba meld seamlessly with the organ’s softest registers. The creative ease that exists between the two – developed not only during travel and concerts, but while finding and shaping repertoire – is instantly evident to anyone watching them rehearse, perform, and now record. Recent sold-out performances include the Bartok National Concert Hall in Budapest, All-Saints in Fort Worth, and Taipei’s stunning and legendary National Performing Arts Center.