Percussion group Warehouse 5 Drum Theatre’s latest production aims to combine two things they say the people of Utah love: Halloween and drums.
“Paranormal Percussion,” onstage next week at the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo, features a 10-person crew performing percussive interpretations of favorite Halloween songs such as “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” the “Jaws” theme and “This is Halloween” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
“It’s all drums and percussion. Halloween-themed music played only by drummers, only on percussion instruments,” founder and creator Matt Nickle said in an email. “People have never seen or heard anything like this.”
The show also includes original compositions performed using knives, instead of drumsticks, on a coffin, instead of a drum. Spooky special effects like fog and flashes of light also help to set the scene for audience members.
“They can expect loud noises, intense moments, familiar Halloween melodies played on beautiful melodic percussion instruments, knife drumming, crowd interaction and even a lot of funny moments,” Nickle said.
Nickle, also known as the creator of Tummy Talk from “America’s Got Talent,” said his “lifelong passion for performing led to years of musical training to master a wide variety of instruments, from drum sets to xylophones, marimbas to crash cymbals.”
“Most musicians specialize in one instrument. Percussionists master over 100,” Nickle said. “Where most musicians get to fully explore their musical talents in a symphony or orchestra, percussionists spend their careers standing in the back row, wearing a penguin suit and counting rests to hit a triangle once every 50 measures.”
This motivated Nickle to learn how to play more than 100 instruments and spend the last three years working on “Paranormal Percussion,” composing, arranging and recording the Halloween show “to give percussionists like him the chance to showcase the full spectrum of their talents.”
Warehouse 5 Drum Theatre sees “Paranormal Percussion” becoming “a staple of Utah” and “a fun annual drum show that family and friends can come to each year” in the future, according to Nickle.
“Once ‘Paranormal Percussion’ becomes a popular yearly event in Utah, Warehouse 5 Drum Theatre hopes to eventually create similar shows for each season of the year. Spring, summer, fall and winter,” Nickle said.
“People go to the theater to be entertained,” Nickle said, so the group’s No. 1 priority for its “Paranormal Percussion” performances at the Covey Center for the Arts is to entertain the crowd.
“We also hope that people gain a better perspective about what percussionists are really capable of as well as the different instruments that they can play,” Nickle said.