What could bring Zappa, Rubinstein, and a NEXUS premiere together in one blog post? Gordon Stout! Percussionists certainly know Gordon Stout, but some of our presenters may not. Gordon Stout is a percussionist, composer, and educator specializing in the marimba.
Peggy Feltmate: Blog
NEXUS has always been interested in creating their own instruments and using “found” instruments. At NEXUS concerts perhaps the most noticeable are Garry Kvistad’s sound sculptures. Today I stumbled on Oddmusic.com. Along with the Sea Organ built in Croatia in 2005, and the Symphonic House that is one large musical instrument, I made some fabulous… Read more »
From time to time I will give you a peek into the NEXUS archives. Here are some great excerpts from a 1999 New York Times article by Leslie Kandell entitled A Percussion Ensemble That Keeps Marching to a Different Drummer. It provides a neat snapshot of NEXUS and mentions a couple of pieces that NEXUS… Read more »
NEXUS always has interesting cover art on their CDs. Two of the most striking covers are on the recent Drumtalker and Wings, created by award-winning Canadian artist Bonnie Sheckter.
NEXUS’ most recent CD Wings features a number of songs by NEXUS’ friend Toru Takemitsu who is recognized as one of the world’s great modernists. But Takemitsu also had a great appetite for and vast knowledge of Western popular music and he drew on this in much of his work, creating film, radio, TV and… Read more »
And now for something completely different: Every now and then we run into bloggers who are blogging about NEXUS. Most of these blog entries are written by human beings, but not long ago we ran into one that was posted by a cat. I’m serious. His name is Simon Teakettle and his blog is called… Read more »
If you have been intrigued by Robin Engelman’s postings about Ruffs, Drags, and Poing Strokes, you’ll be interested in his workshop concerning the Music for Drums and Fifes. What makes Robin’s workshop particularly valuable is that participants can experience history by actually playing replicas of 16th to 19th century rope and rod tensioned field drums…. Read more »
In my last post regarding Japan, I mentioned the special piece written for NEXUS (with orchestra) by Toru Takemitsu entitled “From me flows what you call Time”. If music is the international language then Takemitsu had a hand in making it so. He is known for intergrating the western and eastern musical palettes, which is… Read more »
As you have doubtless noted, when looking at Bill Cahn’s busy schedule, JAPAN jumps out – home of taiko, kodo, the okedo daiko, kumi daiko, and a huge variety of bells and gongs. (Patrick Graham gives a nice look at Japanese Percussion here – scroll midway down the page).
What an energized time here in the NEXUS studio! Not only have we received word from Gordon Stout that he has completed a new work for NEXUS but we have just received wonderful news from The Eternal Dance of Life (written for NEXUS and wind ensemble) and rewritten them as solo pieces for NEXUS alone…. Read more »
I just got home from the NEXUS concert at U of T’s New Music Festival. It was terrific. If you were there tonight, we would welcome your comments. Some of the NEXUS members might be posting their own thoughts, but they are in a recording session all weekend so we may have to wait. For… Read more »
Bob Becker has a busy travel, teaching and performing schedule. If you’ve seen him play mallets you know he’s a virtuoso. But his expertise extends beyond mallets. Two of Bob’s workshops explore West African Drumming and North Indian drumming.
I promised to look at Creative Programming Ideas from time to time, and here is an event that had some great ones: the details in his blog. A number of ideas and combinations from this symposium could make a regular concert series performance into something very special. For example there was a demonstration of the… Read more »
The holidays are over, school’s back in session, and Nexus is performing at the University of Toronto, so I’ve been thinking about the ensemble’s educational work. It’s no surprise that the first comments that came in on our new website were from students. NEXUS’ compositions are performed in schools all over the world, the “NEXUS… Read more »
In a couple of weeks NEXUS is performing at the University of Toronto. As “Ensemble in Residence”, NEXUS has had a long and fruitful relationship with the University, and a great many percussion students come to U of T specifically for the opportunity to study with NEXUS members. Russell Hartenberger is the Dean of the… Read more »