For most PAS members, it will have been at least two years since they’ve been able to set foot inside the Rhythm Discovery Center to experience the collection that PAS has been gathering for 40 years. In this brief entry, I’d like to go over some of the new things to see at RDC and what to expect when you visit.
Leading up to our reopening this past April, we revamped our Drums and Drummers exhibit, which features drum sets both from contemporary bands as well as drums from the past that have a peculiar or unique design. New this year are drum sets including a Wilco kit from Glenn Kotche, Aaron Spears’ kit from Ariana Grande’s Sweetener tour, and Keio Stroud’s kit from Big and Rich.
The Legends stage at RDC will be featuring a new addition to the collection, one of two full drum sets built by Billy Gladstone known to still exist. This drum set in particular is in immaculate shape and features attention to design that is on par with the snare drums Gladstone was known for. This drum set will be the anchor piece for an upcoming exhibit featuring Billy Gladstone’s work coming to RDC in 2022. This acquisition of this set was made possible through the generosity of David and Colette Wood.
Evolving Sounds will also have two new stages up featuring a bevy of instruments from the PAS collection. Our mallet stage has been updated to display a unique collection of vibraphones in alignment with the 100th anniversary of their invention. The stage includes an original 1921 Leedy vibraphone, a mid-century Deagan, and Musser’s own Canterbury Vibraphone among some other items.
The other stage in Evolving Sounds is focused on unique invented instruments of the 20th century. On display will be two instruments by the inventor William Loughborough and three early Waterphones from Richard Waters, among a few other wild sounds. My personal favorite of this part of the exhibit is Michael Udow’s Timbrack, which was originally built to effectively play one piece by Herber Brün, but went on to be used by Udow for a variety of pieces.