Swiss drummers Pierre Favre and Fredy Studer brought their duo, Drum Orchestra, to the States for a rare four-date tour this past November (including a stop at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Dallas). While Fredy is a frequent visitor to this side of the Atlantic, it’s been fifteen years since Pierre was last here.
In the duo, Pierre writes most of the music, though Fredy has contributed one piece. “It’s a lot of unison playing,” Pierre says. “But whereas a singer and pianist have different voices, that’s difficult to achieve on drums. So we work to play the unison parts and find the space to allow us to improvise more. We have to listen so the theme stays with us when we improvise. This creates a stream in the music, especially with the phrases’there’s a tension and dynamic.”
“We learn the parts by ourselves,” Fredy offers, “and then play together, which is so different. You have to listen to how the other guy plays and listen to yourself. We play as physically close together as possible. We did a concert in Switzerland last fall where the stage was large. We set up one meter apart, and it was too much! We’re always watching and feeling each other.”