by Daniel Hathaway
Although Duo Anime, the percussion duo of Mell Csicsila and Andrew Pongracz, have performed together for years, the demise of in-person concerts due to the pandemic has kept them apart for nearly twelve months. That will change on Thursday, January 14, when Local 4 Music Fund streams a live performance by these masters of mallets. I caught up with them for a Zoom conversation last Monday to find out more.
Duo Anime was birthed at Cleveland State University in 1992-1993 when Csicsila was in his second-to-last semester as an undergrad and Pongracz was just starting graduate school.
“It was really kind of forced on us,” Csicsila said. “There was a percussion ensemble program that was a little light on content, and our teacher Don Miller said, ‘I need ten more minutes. Learn these pieces.’ As a matter of fact, we’re playing those arrangements on this program.”
Except for an “impromptu video” of three Christmas songs the Duo posted in December (photo below), Csicsila said the last time he and Pongracz were in the same room was a year ago January or February. [Read more…]