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Tom Bates discusses his preparation for the world premiere of PRIMAL

WHO WE ARE

 

EXTREME RHYTHM is an extraordinarily tight-knit ‘family’, or ‘brotherhood’ of 10 manic yet scrupulous percussionists, most of whom have been performing together now for almost 10 years, at home and abroad, in a huge variety of musical settings. In our daily lives, many of us eat together, work out together, socialise together, and of course, rehearse and perform together to a very high standard, which has given us opportunities to perform at the most amazing venues and events, at home and all around the world.


We believe that the ‘tightness’ of our unit, the bond that we all share, takes what we do onstage to a different level.  This ‘trust’ allows our performance to go places (musically) that bands or ensembles will rarely venture.

Our performers come from a variety of musical and theatrical backgrounds, including rock bands, symphony orchestras, tv and movie acting, electronic music, and music production.  Of course, there is also a very strong physical element to what we do, which is reflected in the players’ hobbies;  MMA fighting, Athletics (at international level), Skating, Kayaking, Parkour, and Cross Country Running. 

Such is the physical nature of our stage performance, that each of our rehearsals commence with one hour of gruelling physical exercise, before we cool down and THEN begin to rehearse!

What we do takes a huge level of commitment from each individual performer - learning new music, group rehearsals, and a huge amount of individual rehearsal at home, as we perform many different styles of percussion - Conventional Drums and Drum Kits, Celtic percussion, Japanese Taiko Drumming, African and Afro-Cuban - the list goes on; keeping standards high in all these areas is definitely a full-time job.