Articles and Interviews

NEXUS, Cage and Ewazen: answers to questions by Daniel Smithiger

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Last year (2009) percussionist Daniel Smithiger asked the members of NEXUS to answer a number of interesting questions for an interview now posted on the Percussive Notes magazine. Below are my answers to a few of Daniel’s questions. DS: Of what things are you most proud, in the accomplishments and history of NEXUS? BB: I… Read more »

The Genius of Pat Metheny

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What do Ling Lun, Antonio Stradivari, Robert Moog, Harry Partch and Pat Metheny have in common?  They have all built musical instruments that have had a profound influence on the music which followed. Pat Metheny’s music and his playing style is unique, complex and masterful.  Yet, it is accessible, fun and beautiful.  He has gone… Read more »

George Lawrence Stone’s STICK CONTROL

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George Lawrence Stone’s Stick Control for the Snare Drummer first appeared in 1935. With a terse two-page introduction followed by a mere 21 pages of what he called “practice rhythms”, Stone unleashed a new and powerful method of technical development for all styles of drumming. The “HOW TO PRACTICE” page alone is worth the price… Read more »

Bob’s interview with Justin DeHart

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Dear Bob, It was great to talk to you the other day, and have the opportunity to hang out with you while here in Banff. Thanks again for your willingness to answer some questions for my doctoral dissertation and larger project to collect anecdotes and interviews from various important senior/accomplished percussionists in our field. Your… Read more »

Bob’s interview with Gene Koshinski (re two-mallet performance)

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My name is Gene Koshinski, Professor of Percussion at University of Minnesota Duluth. I am currently finishing a document as my final step to completing my doctoral degree at The Hartt School in Hartford, CT. The title of my paper is: “From West Africa, through Vaudeville, to the Concert Hall: The Evolution of Two-Mallet Keyboard… Read more »

Panel Discussion at PASIC, 2008

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For those of you who did not make it to PASIC 08, or for those who did and could not attend this event on Friday, the world panel discussion: “Early Pioneers of World Music in the Field of Western Percussion” with John Bergamo, Emil Richards, and me can be viewed in a six-part posting on… Read more »

Answers to questions about Rain Tree, by Toru Takemitsu

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Last year (2008), percussionist Dan Heagney sent an email to NEXUS with a question about the lighting effects in Rain Tree, by Toru Takemitsu. Here is his question and my response. DH: I was hoping you could help me with Takemitsu’s Rain Tree. I’m getting ready for a performance of the piece, but am having… Read more »

Answers to questions about “minimalist music” and Steve Reich

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Nancy Uscher is currently Provost of the California Institute of the Arts. The following correspondence involved questions from her daughter, Alessandra Barrett, now a student at CalArts, regarding the term “minimalist music” and my association with the composer Steve Reich. December 1, 2008 Dear Bob: I think I mentioned that Alessandra (my daughter) had decided… Read more »

Bob’s interview with Shannon Wood

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The following excerpt is from an interview with Shannon Wood, originally published in the Artist Insight section of the July, 2005 issue of Mallet Shop Quarterly. MSQ: Two names come to mind when one thinks of virtuoso xylophone playing: the late George Hamilton Green and Bob Becker. Bob has raised the bar of xylophone soloing… Read more »

Bob’s interview with Lindsay Haughton

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Hi Bob, Following are the questions I’d like you to answer. You may take your time – the paper isn’t due until December 11th, 2007. As a percussionist, you often play music and musical instruments from around the world. What are your thoughts on performing music that is not part of your culture? This is… Read more »

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