NEXUS at Fifty: PART 26: 2007

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DANCE MUSIC FOR ELFRID IDE   HERE is a radio show aired of Garry and Russell in conversation with Laura Kuhn, Exec.Dir. of the John Cage Trust at Bard College. They had fun talking about Cage and sundry related topics. You will also hear 2 movements of our recording of Cage’s Dance Music for Elfrid Ide,… Read more »

Bill Cahn on new Canadian Brass album

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New Release! The latest Canadian Brass album, “Canadiana”. The title says it all. This is an album that celebrates exceptional Canadian song-makers.  Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is here along with works from popular artists Joni Mitchell, Drake, Daniel Caesar, Shawn Mendes, Rush, Deadmau5, k.d.lang, Lara Fabian, and Bruce Cockburn.  Bill was invited by the Brass to… Read more »

Honours for Garry and Russell

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At this month’s Percussive Arts Society International Conference in Indianapolis, Garry Kvistad and Russell Hartenberger received high honours. Russell received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Education, and Garry was inducted into the PAS Percussion Hall of Fame. Russell actually received the honour in 2020, along with co-recipients F.Michael Combs and William Moersch. But due to… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 25: 2006

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TIKI TIME AND MOZART   We opened the inaugural season of the Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival (TSMAF) in Summer ’06 with four world premieres! Following its recent preview, Bill Cahn had been able to put the finishing touches on his new work “Night Ride” so it received its official premiere here. The piece was… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 24: 2005

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THE ABILITY TO BREATHE TOGETHER   We were honoured to have our Drumtalker album nominated for a Juno, the Canadian equivalent of the Brit Awards of Great Britain or the Grammy Awards in the USA. The reviews were in:   Payton MacDonald (American Record Guide) said,  “Nexus remains one of the great percussion groups in the world…. Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 23: 2004

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A KID IN A CANDY STORE: ELLEN TAAFFE ZWILICH    In March 2002 Ellen Taaffe Zwilich agreed to write a piece for NEXUS and chamber orchestra. We premiered the new work, “Rituals”, at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre in Tennessee with the IRIS Orchestra under Michael Stern in March 2004. Zwilich said that working with our… Read more »

More from Bob’s Archive (Part 10) – Bruce Mather, Tallbrem Variations and Steel Pans

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In 1993 The Esprit Orchestra commissioned the distinguished Canadian composer Bruce Mather to write a concerto to feature the five members of NEXUS (Bob Becker, Bill Cahn, Robin Engelman, Russ Hartenberger and John Wyre). Mather’s piece, Tallbrem Variations, was completed in 1994 and premiered by NEXUS and Esprit (Alex Pauk conducting) on March 29, 1996… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 22: 2003

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AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION   In 2003 we commissioned a new work from the distinguished Canadian composer Christos Hatzis, thanks to a Laidlaw Foundation grant. We premiered his piece “Four rituals for Percussion Quintet, Chorus and Audience in Dec.2004 in Toronto, and you can hear a 2005 performance at the Baie des Chaleurs Chamber Music Festival in Dalhousie,… Read more »

Experimental Music – Questions and Responses (August, 2021)

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When an unexpected email arrived from a student I had met only one time two-years earlier.  Here was the student’s question: “For my music course, we have a unit called “Experimenting with Music”, which contains exploration and composition using a variety of musical instrumentation, techniques, or theories. I am amazed by how you and contemporary… Read more »

Bowls, Bells, Brake Drums and Lou Harrison

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In the early days of NEXUS many of our “instruments” were various found objects – things not originally designed to be used in musical contexts. At that time I particularly enjoyed browsing for unusual-sounding implements in hardware stores and kitchenware departments. During the 1970s many common household items were still manufactured using quite high-quality materials…. Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 21: 2002

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WHEN KRONOS MET NEXUS   The Globe & Mail: “Thirty years ago, 2 ensembles were born – one American, one Canadian – as avant-garde music moved its locus of operation from Europe to North American. The Kronos Quartet from San Francisco soon became one of the leading new-music ensembles in the world…At almost exactly the same… Read more »

1983, Virgin Islands

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My wife, Diane, and I had been living in the Woodstock, NY, area for over three years in 1983. We had founded our company, Woodstock Chimes, just a few years before, in 1979, and our tuned windchimes were steadily gaining in popularity. We had a two-year-old daughter, Tasa, and another one on the way. On… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 20: 2001

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DINING AT THE RITZ    We had a short July trip to Hong Kong and Singapore!  In Singapore we performed again in the Victoria Concert Hall as we had 6 years prior. In Hong Kong we gave a masterclass at the University and performed in Sha Tin Town Hall. Here’s Bill Cahn’s snapshot of Robin Engelman… Read more »

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