It’s been a busy month in Lake Wobegon – I mean Woodstock. Our group NEXUS performed several times and recorded three pieces of Steve Reich’s music with the members of So Percussion and other amazing musicians. One of the sessions was a four-camera video recording at Princeton University of Reich’s Drumming, which is over an… Read more »
The current (May 2018) issue of PERCUSSIVE NOTES offers a review of our newly released album entitled HOME. Josh Armstrong says, “although all the tracks are great, my favorite is the first track, on which [Michael] Burritt’s marimba playing along with NEXUS is so balanced and beautiful. NEXUS has shown us once again what great… Read more »
Never rains but it pours! April is full, Full, FULL! This coming weekend the vans get loaded with instruments, and NEXUS heads to Garry’s studio to meet up with So Percussion and a stellar group of guests. Yup, it’s studio time with some heavy duty rehearsing for a super-project that we can’t wait to tell… Read more »
Have you seen the Spielberg movie Lincoln? It brought to light all the backroom deals that were cut to free the slaves and establish the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. While our country is still divided in many ways today, we all experience moments of liberation and unity. One such experience was shared by the 175… Read more »
That’s what our 2-year-old grandson, Lucca, calls me. Lucca now has a baby sister, our second grandchild, Siena, who just came into the world. When our daughters were born back in the 1980s, everyone said, “Enjoy it while you can because they grow up so fast.” It is so true and I understand this fully… Read more »
As indicated in earlier blog postings, I regularly receive questions about percussion performance and history through email. Below are three such communications – Questions (Q) and my responses (A): Question about my ragtime xylophone arrangements Question about the clapper in “Rogosanti” by James Wood Question about a recording made by George Hamilton Green Question 1)… Read more »
Those were the words given to us by our “high school” orchestra conductor, Thor Johnson, when we were playing a difficult new work by a Japanese composer in the mid-1960s. If you say each word on four beats, fitting the syllables equally in each beat, it helps create a rhythm of 2 + 3 +… Read more »
Music Is Healing Of course, many of us have known this for a long time, but research is coming out more frequently to tell us how and why it is true. Certain sounds can lower your stress level, increase your creative focus and make you more productive! I’m often told that the music of Woodstock… Read more »
We received a great review of our Maverick Hall concert, from the Boston Musical Intelligencer, “a virtual journal and essential blog of the classical music scene in greater Boston”. Here are a few excerpts from Leslie Gerber’s review: “These virtuosi handled the difficult score with confidence and verve…”
My day job is making Woodstock Chimes but at night I come out to play. I recently had the privilege once again to play timpani with the Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra and the local Mendelssohn Club Men’s Chorus. We were joined by student guest performers from the Anderson Center for Autism. The Anderson Center students… Read more »
Watch the video HERE.
CONGRATULATIONS to Bob Becker who has been named as one of Musical America’s Top 30 Professionals of the Year. Musical America says, “As a composer, arranger, and founding member of the NEXUS percussion ensemble, Bob Becker has influenced virtually every aspect of percussion performance and repertoire in the profession. And he is renowned as a… Read more »
I joined Steve Reich and Musicians in 1979, touring and recording with them for nearly 40 years. Steve’s music transcends all boundaries. One unique technique Steve developed is called “phasing,” where two players begin in unison (playing the same material in the same time) and one speeds up slightly until a “canon” is formed. This… Read more »
On November 8, 2017, I was presented with the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts which is conferred by the World Cultural Council (WCC). The award ceremony was held at Leiden University in the Netherlands and many dignitaries were in attendance including Sabine Nölke, Canadian Ambassador to the Netherlands. The World Cultural Council is… Read more »
On November 8th, Russell received the World Award of Arts from the World Cultural Council. The ceremony took place at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.