Never in Word – more questions from Lan KaiPo

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In July, 2021 I received an additional series of questions from percussionist Lan KaiPo regarding my composition Never in Word, as well as some general questions about my compositional method. LKP is currently continuing research for his doctoral dissertation “An Analysis and Performance Guide of Bob Becker’s Never in Word” at James Madison University. His… Read more »

Beethoven’s 5th, Eurythmics Style

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Here’s something that is fun and amazing but strange. It’s the 1st movement of Beethoven’s 5th symphony performed on body percussion by school children. The conductor is using a piano reduction score (which means that it has been simplified and condensed, making it more easily playable on piano) and when s/he opens to the music,… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 16: 1997

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RUNE We seemed to hit some kind of perfect constellation for CD recordings in 1997. February took us to California where we performed with the Pacific Symphony Orhcestra under Carl St. Clair in preparation for recording Takemitsu’s “From me flows what you call Time…” the following days. The reviewer of the performance said, “You listen… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 15: 1995-1996

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1995   CATHEDRAL SONGS, PEEPERS and COLGRASS   CBC Producer David Jaeger had asked the Winnipeg Symphony’s composer-in-residence Glenn Buhr “to compose a piece that would be an expression of musical community building. The work would be designed as a surround-sound symphony for performance in the Barbara Frum Atrium at the new CBC Centre: on the ground… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 14: 1993-1994

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1993   KROUMATA AND AMADINDA IN BUDAPEST   In Spring’93 the New York Times pointed out that “Canada takes the spotlight at this year’s Budapest Spring Festival”. We were honoured to represent Canada along with the Canadian Brass, Trio Lyrika, flautist Robert Aitken, pianist Katja Cerovsek and violinists Corey Cerovsek and Erika Raum. (In ‘92, Erika had… Read more »

NEXUS at 50: Part 12: 1989-1990

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#NEXUSat50   1988-1989    EVERYBODY’S WRITING!   In the midst of the heavy 1988 travel schedule we somehow found time to compose!  Toronto concerts and a Stamford CT concert in 1988 saw premieres of new works, as did Merkin Concert Hall in New York City in 1989: “Lali-Pops” by Wyre (not related to the movie that was just… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 13: 1991-92

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#NEXUSat50    1991    ORIGINS   We decided to release our Direct-to-Disc LP Ragtime Concert of 1976 on CD. It would still be a recording of a live performance in every meaning of the word. We also recorded ORIGINS in 1991 and, similar to the ragtime recording, the music on ORIGINS was recorded directly from the studio floor… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 11: 1986-88

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#NEXUSat50   1986    RARE INSTRUMENTS FOR GEORGE HAMILTON GREEN – with sound bytes: Between an Australian tour, Expo86 World Drums, Kennedy Center with Sharda Sahai (PASIC86) and a week-long tour of Tennessee, we found time to go into McClear Place in Toronto (photo attached) and record THE NOVELTY MUSIC OF GEORGE HAMILTON GREEN. Bob Becker says,… Read more »

Steve Reich

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STEVE REICH, a new album from Nexus and Sō Percussion, is released on Bandcamp today (Friday, June 4, 2021) as a Digital Album and Limited Edition Compact Disc. 

NEXUS at Fifty: Part Ten, World Drums’86

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#NEXUSat50    1986    WORLD DRUMS at EXPO 86    The seeds of John Wyre’s world drum dream had begun to sprout as early as 1961 during his 3-month tour with the Eastman Philharmonia. In 1984 NEXUS began working with John Cripton producer of the 1984 Toronto International Festival which included the 2-performance “Supercussion” featuring a mere 17… Read more »

NEXUS at 50: Part Nine, the 1980s

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#NEXUSat50   1982   KIDS CONCERTS   Remember all those school concerts we mentioned in our 1982 UK tour? Here are two photos: NEXUS performing “Kobina”, one of our African-inspired pieces, at The Leadmill in Sheffield; and another shot of our appearance playing ragtime on the popular #BBC children’s show “BluePeter”. “Blue Peter” is still going strong, having… Read more »

Snare Drum Olympics

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Facility on snare drum is at the foundation of much percussion playing in Western music, and young players often begin their percussion studies learning the rudiments of snare drum. When I taught percussion at the University of Toronto, I encouraged the first-year students to spend a large portion of their practice time on snare drum…. Read more »

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