Focused on the new music repertoire and with doors open to many other worlds of sound, Drumming is, internationally, one of the leading ensembles of its kind. Founded and directed by Miquel Bernat, it was created in 1999 in the teaching environment of the EPME and the ESMAE in Portugal.
Drumming (the name inspired by the work of the same name composed by Steve Reich) synthesizes the evolution of percussion in Europe and, by divulging reference works of contemporary music, contributes to the never-ending creation of new programs and to constant challenge in the field of sound innovation. The group is progressively reaching a wider public, presenting a variety of performances always backed up by their aesthetic coherence and poetic unity which brings together musical and scenic elements.
The singularity of Drumming’s role on the Portuguese music scene is illustrated by its work and its varied repertoire. Its performances range from contemporary percussion to jazz, via electronics and rock. Drumming has worked in the area of music for the stage, for theatre, opera and dance. Its constant creative activity also includes an educational-pedagogical and social element, developing programmes for these ends and carried out with non-professionals, children and the elderly in culturally disadvantaged areas.
Also linked to this aspect, Drumming is engaged in major research, pioneer in the creation of an orchestra of timbilas, interpreting music from oral traditions (of Mozambican origin) as well as new music especially written for the group by contemporary composers. It also created the first steel drum band on the Iberian Peninsula, based not only on the original traditional element but also on experimental and notated music. It collaborates in the invention and configuration of unique instruments and drumsticks widely recognised internationally, organising seminars, conferences and experimental workshops including choreographic and theatre works, with puppets, video, electronics and fusion music.
The group was honoured to be resident ensemble for “Porto European Cultural Capital in 2001”, and performs regularly in major national and international halls, among them concerts in Spain, Belgium France, Germany, South Africa and Brazil.