Hit and fun: Percussion Ensemble to take a whack at Keaton film

NAU percussion ensemble

You’ll get a bang out of the NAU Percussion Ensemble when it provides a live soundtrack to Buster Keaton’s silent comedy The Balloonatic during a free concert on Friday.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. April 23 in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium.

The performance will feature the 22-minute film with the ensemble providing a xylophone, a four-voice marimba band and a small traps drum set. Two sound effect specialists also will complement the 1922 film’s comic sequences.

Musical selections are drawn from historic styles of Charleston dance, light classical, novelty fox-trots and the ragtime march—includingYes! We Have No Bananas.

Other highlights will be Nathan Daughtrey’s Adaptation, Michael Burritt’s Shadow Chasers, performed by junior performance major Drew Worden, and a newly composed sextet for world percussion instruments by Hemphill called Global Integration.

The sextet will provide glimpses into various cultures including Brazil, Cuba, Peru, Trinidad, Indonesia, Nigeria, Egypt and West Africa, with Middle Eastern influences. The piece includes rhythms from the darabuka, pandeiro, tantan, caxixi, angklung, cajón, donno, shekere, congas and dun-duns.