The monographic CD Archipelago with music by Portuguese composer Luís Tinoco is the fourth in a series of monographic recordings that Drumming has been working on over the last few years, fulfilling the mission of creating a collection of Portuguese music for percussion. Many of these works are commissioned by the group itself. Archipelago was launched in November 2019 and had the best reviews. Andrew McGregor chose this CD for his BBC Radio 3 program Record Review marked that “Drumming is one of the best percussion groups I listen to in a long time!”.
Archipelago features vibrant and colourful works for percussion ensemble, including Short Cuts, originally written for the Apollo Saxophone Quartet and then rearranged by the composer, and Mind the Gap for solo marimba, a work inspired by travelling around London. Genetically Modified Fados and Zoom in – Zoom out were both commissioned by Drumming Grupo de Percussão. Genetically Modified Fados features pre-recorded sounds as well as exploring the elemental Fado style of Portugal, while Zoom in – Zoom out subtly evokes the rhythms and melodies of Brazilian popular music. Ends Meet is a cyclical work for marimba and string quartet, and the eponymous recent work Archipelago, dedicated to the album’s skilful conductor, Miquel Bernat, combines vibraphone with partially-tuned wah-wah tubes, creating fascinating microtonal effects. Steel Factory is a thrilling work for steel drum ensemble, and is dedicated to Drumming Grupo de Percussão, a group established 20 years ago in 1999, since when it has become one of the most original and dynamic contemporary music projects on the Iberian Peninsula. In Portugal, the group quickly became popular with audiences, musicians and cultural centres, playing in theatres and music festivals all over the country. This popularity soon spread to reach an international audience.