Storytelling is a method of communication that has spanned the ages. Whether the stories serve as oral histories, religious doctrines, or simple bedtime entertainment, they have become an important staple of mankind. Many of these stories are percussive; either in the rhythmic structure of the iambs, or in the onomatopoeia of the words. This project aims to fuse elements of contemporary-classical percussion with elements of vocal storytelling.
The Percussive Art of Storytelling manifested itself one day while Hills was improvising. He found himself drawn to a circular pattern between two woodblocks, two cowbells, and two plastic blocks. The pattern was reminiscent of a bicycle, always pedaling forward into the future. The result: The Lost Bicycle, a story about Mother Earth’s only son, who loses the bike he receives for his sixth birthday. The story involves the boy chasing after his lost bicycle through chance encounters with a cheetah, tortoise, and hippopotamus before discovering that his best friend, the dog, has found the bicycle and brought it home. The simplicity and charm of the story allow Hills to create strong leitmotifs associated with various characters and events that are memorable to a young audience and amusing to an older one.
The program is free and open to the public at the Lamanda Park Branch Library, 140 S. Altadena Drive. For more information call (626) 744-7266.