Here's part of a note I wrote to Judy, who can't make the Fourth performances, so hasn't been coming to rehearsals, explaining how the lack of percussion really makes a big difference:
>>It adds great energy to the music. One friend of mine I've known for 40 years and who is very musical, kept drumming and dancing his fingers in time to the Butterfly Music the entire time the CD played. Another old friend from Shenandoah talked about how "happy" that CD is. And when she first put on the Doris Music CDs, she says she got up and danced to them.
Having you take care of the rhythm allows everyone else to ease into the flow and be more musical in other ways. It makes the rhythm more solid, but it also allows it to be more complex as we all react to it in different ways. I want to say it's like framing a painting, but it's way more than that. More like the armature in clay.
Not having you here was a revelation that the tubas and baritone weren't getting their instruments to speak with good tone right at the instant of the downbeat, because with you there's no need as you've been filling that instant with various percussive sounds. They're picking up the slack nicely, and it's good practice for them, but with you, it's all much easier.<<