With the 21C Music Festival about to begin (January 16-20), we are so lucky to be based in Toronto where we can take in its awesome line-up featuring the great Terry Riley and our friends and fellow-percussionists, Sō Percussion. (A NEXUS vibraphone may make its way into that Sō concert! lol ). Editing and production is continuing behind-the-scenes (with the help of so many of you!) on our unique videography with Sō, Yumi Tamashiro, Daisy Press, Beth Meyers, and Alex Sopp of Steve Reich’s Drumming, celebrating the upcoming 50th anniversary of that ground-breaking piece, which coincides with NEXUS’ 50th anniversary, too. If you’ve been following us on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll know of our other exciting collaboration with TorQ, recording Russell Hartenberger’s new 8 movement piece entitled Requiem. Written for percussion octet and voices, Russell says, “Requiem does not follow the traditional setting of a requiem, rather it is a work meant to express my personal reflections on time and timelessness.” The piece draws on Russell’s musical experiences throughout his life: as a small child of 4; his reserch into the extraordinary calls of the 39 species of Birds-of-Paradise; his time as a young drummer with the US Air Force Band playing military funerals; a 1971 summer spent in Ghana; the calls of the loons in northern British Columbia that speak of Eternity. He adds, “The inspirations for the eight movements include tolling bells, funeral drum beatings, Bach chorales, Scottish pipe and drum music, bugle calls, bird calls, West African talking drums, and the timpani motif in “March to the Scaffold” from Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz.” It has been a wonderful undertaking at Noble Street Studios, Toronto, with the members of TorQ. This month we will be going back into Noble Street to add the voices. We will keep you posted on that.
And speaking of anniversaries, we should mention Garry Kvistad’s 2019 anniversary. As you know, Garry is the founder and creator of Woodstock Chimes and if you have heard them, you will know they have an unparalleled purity and variety of sound. That’s why Toru Takemitsu commissioned Garry and Woodstock for the large chimes used in his piece written for NEXUS and the Boston Symphony in Carnegie Hall, From me flows what you call Time…. Congratulations to Garry and everyone at Woodstock Chimes as they celebrate FORTY YEARS of creating beautiful musical instruments! You can give a listen to many of them in the Woodstock Chimes Sound Room by clicking HERE. And you can find out about Garry’s “Sonic Mixes” and wind-chime tuning HERE. Happy New Year, everyone!