Watch Wilco’s Glenn Kotche at Work on ‘Adventureland’ Album
Celebrated composer/percussionist shares insights on LP featuring Kronos Quartet
You likely know Glenn Kotche as the drummer of Wilco. (Alternately, the guy who played faucets in that commercial.) But he’s also a composer whose credits include pieces for So Percussion, Silk Road Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird, and Bang on a Can All Stars, to name a few. And today, March 25, Cantaloupe Music releases Adventureland, a 14-track album collecting Kotche’s work for ensembles. Anchoring the set is the seven-movement “Anomaly,” written for and performed by San Francisco’s mighty Kronos Quartet in 2007.
“For the string quartet, I was banging my head against the wall for ideas,” Kotche says via statement. “The solution didn’t really come to me until I sat down at the drums. I realized, ‘Hey — four voices, four limbs!’ So I made the cello my right foot, the viola my left foot, and took it from there. When I transposed that, I had the first three movements of Anomaly.”
The man is prone to very inventive solutions to creative predicaments, as can be seen quite clearly in the documentary footage above. Therein, we witness Kotche experimenting with springs, toys, and automated machines in order to produce the sounds and compositions that he hears in his mind.