‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 117, No. 6June, 2017

Mark Katsaounis

I joined 802 because I had the opportunity to sub on the Broadway production of “Tuck Everlasting.” It was short-lived, but fun! My goal is to play with and learn from the best musicians in the world. I love the variety of work that can be found here. One of my favorite recent gigs was playing in a regional production of a Shakespearean play. I was the sole musician on the project and was able to work closely with the composer to realize his vision for the production. Since there was no music director, I rehearsed with the actors to learn the flow of the show. I did a lot of underscoring. Over the course of rehearsals, the music became its own supportive “character.” I was recommended by another percussionist for this production because of my ability to play lots of unique hand drums and my comfort in creating and improvising parts. I’ve found that music has pushed me in directions I never thought I’d go. I was always an “analog” guy, but in recent years I’ve been happily experimenting with electronics, looping and home recording, and some composition for modern dance. My principal instrument is percussion. I have a classical background but also specialize in many different styles of hand drumming, especially Middle Eastern and West African.