About EQ Percussion
EQ Percussion, founded in 2014, has origins that date back several decades. Originally Equilibrium Percussion, founder Michael Udow created percussion products to serve his performance needs within the Santa Fe Opera, as well as the needs of his students during his tenure as Professor of Percussion at the University of Michigan.
It was Michael's goal to create unique products that no one else was manufacturing, and to create them with the best design and sound possible. It is with this goal that we continue with EQ Percussion. We strive to explore and create new products to give percussionists better and diverse options when it comes to creating sounds.
We are very excited to continue the legacy of Equilibrium Percussion, and continue to fill the percussion world with new and unique products.
- Dave Alcorn & Eddie Ricard, co-founders of EQ Percussion Inc.
Remarks from Michael Udow
Nancy and Michael Udow began performing together as a dance/percussion duo in 1970, which continued for thirty-seven years. In 1975 Equilibrium, Inc . incorporated as a not-for-profit when the duo started performing internationally.
In the summers Michael performed with The Santa Fe Opera (SFO). Michael explains:
In those early years in Santa Fe, the keyboard glockenspiel part in Mozart’s The Magic Flute was performed with me playing the glockenspiel melodies and the celeste player outlining the chords. As Tomino implores Papageno to play his magic silver bells, it seemed appropriate to use brass mallets for that silvery effect, but the typical 5/8” mallets were too heavy so I created a 3/8” brass mallet for the Finale of Act I. The excerpts in Act II seemed to need a bit heavier mallet so I made ½” brass mallets.
One summer Alan Abel attended a performance and enjoying the sound, requested a few pairs for his students who were going to be working on the Act I Finale for summer festival auditions. After that first year of festival auditions, the requests began flooding in and as a result, Equilibrium, Ltd. was born. Every mallet and instrument was created on a performance need basis. Another summer we were performing Richard Strauss’s Die Schweigsame Frau, which has an extensive back stage chime part, with the lowest pitch, G2, being well below the standard range chimes. Necessity being the Mother of Invention had me back in the opera’s scene shop with the help of welder Greg Blanke, experimenting and building nine tubes below C4. The experiment worked out so well that I filled in the remaining chromatic pitches.
The two octaves of chromatic woodblocks were designed and constructed for Hans Werner Henze’s Venus and Adonis. The musical saw came into being for Henze’s The Bassarids. I designed the piccolo woodblocks with the idea of emulating the sound of the traditional muksho that occurs in Minoru Miki’s Marimba Spiritual, while making the instruments affordable. The chromatic log drums, road cases, bass chime stands, height adjustable/tilting glockenspiel stand and the marimba and xylophone stands, etc. were all created from a personal need basis either for me or my students at the University of Michigan.
I always thought my mallets and instruments were of first class professional quality and wanted to share these products with others on a wider basis, but working at the SFO in the summers and U of M and touring and composing during the rest of the year left me very little available time to “spread the word” about these percussion products.
My goal in retirement is to focus on composition, in particular symphonic works for orchestras and wind ensembles, as well as my opera compositions. It is with that goal in mind that I approached Eddie and Dave about taking on Equilibrium percussion products as I knew that they would have the abilities to not only keep my little “mom & pop cottage industry” going, but truly advance what little I was able to accomplish and I am so pleased, indeed, thrilled that they have picked up the gauntlet and will do just that with their newly incorporated name, EQ Percussion.