Bill Cahn: Blog

(Dan) Fred D. Hinger Remembered

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Dan Hinger and Bill Cahn  (1981)   I first met Mr. Hinger at a rehearsal of the Philadelphia All-City Junior High Band in 1960.  His son, Bill Hinger and I were budding 8th-grade percussionists in the Band, and Dan was there at one of our Saturday morning rehearsals at Girls High School on North Broad… Read more »

‘Another Story for Virgins’

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The following poem is dedicated to Warren Benson. It was composed after hearing a performance of Warren’s “Danzon” for wind ensemble.     Another Story for Virgins (Warren’s DANZON)   marimba [?] . . . blossoms into . . . ubiquitous NOW awash in a swirl of amorphous sound virgin ears spread to beckon a penetration… Read more »

My Rowan Residency – April 24 through 27, 2009

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It has been said that professional careers consist of three distinct phases: 1) the acquisition of skills from the preceding generation; 2) the application of the acquired skills in the chosen profession, and; 3) the passing along of those skills to the next generation.  Each phase has its rewards, and one of the most satisfying… Read more »

Happy Birthday to Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

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Our friend, the distinguished American composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, is  celebrating her 70th birthday in April and we wish her the happiest of  birthdays.

Happy Birthday Ray!

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  Last night – April 4, 2009 – was the time for us to celebrate Ray Dillard’s birthday at “The Host”, a Toronto Indian restaurant that has been a favourite of NEXUS for years.  It was quite a gathering of about 25 of Ray’s and Lorrie’s friends and family.  Joining the party all the way… Read more »

Bass Drums Anonymous

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I admit it . . . I’m a bass drum.  I am a concert bass drum and I have a problem; I get no respect.  Everyone uses me . . . but that’s not the problem.  The problem is that I am sooo carelessly used.  I am used – without thought about how beautifully I… Read more »

Raga No. 1 for Solo Timpani – 9 Questions – March 17, 2009

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“Raga No. 1” for solo timpani was first published in 1978 by Wimbledon Music, and since then it has been performed by timpanists and percussionists all over the world.  It continues to be among the most selected of works in the repertoire for percussion recitals, juries, and competitions.  I have occasionally received inquiries about various… Read more »

A Chat with Valery Gergiev – March 12, 2009

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  One of the wonders of the new digital age is the ability to have live interactive events that are shared by individuals and organizations scattered throughout the world.  I first experienced ‘Internet-2‘ two years ago during the Steve Reich 70th birthday year in which I actually had a brief long-distance conversation with Steve – I… Read more »

Marimbaphone / Vibraphone Questions – Feb. 20, 2009

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The following questions were emailed to me by Jim Clanton, who teaches percussion at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and is finishing his DMA from the UMKC Conservatory.   Q.  Blades mentions in PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS AND THEIR HISTORY that the marimbaphone was used as a solo instrument by stage artists.  Are there any recordings that… Read more »

John Wyre Interviewed by Bill Cahn

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The following interview took place at John Wyre’s home in Norland, Ontario on August 2, 1996. This is the first time it has ever been published. Bill: What do you see as the current musical environment? What kinds of things are going on that are likely to influence the course of music? John: In my… Read more »

George Hamilton Green Question – Feb. 10, 2009

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  From time to time I have received requests from percussionists asking for information about George Hamilton Green and Joseph Green.  (I know that Bob Becker has also received many such requests – see his blog.)   Here is a sample.   Question: I am very interested in your personal role in bringing the Green… Read more »

Grace-note Questions – Feb. 9, 2009

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Questions from a student: I am curious about your interpretation regarding the following figures: A. B.   1. What terminology do you use to identify figure A? Cahn: drag; ruff; 3-stroke-drag; 3-stroke ruff; appoggiatura 2. What terminology do you use to identify figure B? Cahn: 4-stroke ruff, (4-stroke drag), ruff, appoggiatura 3. How do you… Read more »

Mock Orchestra Audition at Eastman – December 2008

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    In December 2008, at the end of the fall semester, my first semester at the Eastman School of Music as a part time Associate Professor, I held a mock orchestra audition for the four graduate students with whom I had been working.   They had all expressed an interest in taking orchestra auditions. … Read more »

Marimba Question – Jan. 27, 2009

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  I recently received an email from a student at Florida Gulf Coast University asking, 1) What marimba music should be in every musician’s library? and 2) What do you consider to be a work that has helped the Marimba become more accepted in the music community and why?   Here is my reply.  … Read more »

In the State of Flow – Toronto: January 22, 2009

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    What do NEXUS, Phil Nimmons (clarinet), David Braid (piano), Suba Sankaran (voice), Parmela Attariwala (strings) and Mark Laver (saxophone) all have in common?   Maybe it is their eagerness to go to that place no one knows – the place where music is born – and to do so accompanied for the first… Read more »

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