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More from Bob’s Archive (Part 12) – Jo Kondo and Nocturnal

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Morton Feldman had this to say about Jo Kondo: “Jo Kondo…fell madly in love with the cowbells, and uses them very hauntingly and very rightly in his piece which gives the music a lot of distinction. I have no rapport with a cowbell so it’s very, very interesting.” In 1996 Robin Engelman made the acquaintance… Read more »

NEXUS and “the boat photo”

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  In 1989 Nexus was chosen to be a recipient of the prestigious Toronto Arts Award. It was an honour that included a cash bursary, as well as a professional photo shoot meant to provide high quality PR material for the group. The Arts Council selected Toronto photographer Doug Forster for the job, and he… Read more »

NEXUS, Victor Borge, & Chuck Mangione

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It all started this week with Russell sending us the insanity of Spike Jones and his City Slickers playing Holiday for Strings, remarking that “the expression on the gentleman’s face when Spike Jones fires the pistol is much like the look on Victor Borge’s face when we played Chamber Music.” Which took us to Bill… Read more »

Bob Becker – new publications from KPP

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Claude Monet at Giverny

This year (2022) Keyboard Percussion Publications released two more of my compositions: Water Lilies, composed in 2012; and To Immortal Bloom, composed in 2017. Information about the works and how to order them can be found on the MostlyMarimba website here: https://www.mostlymarimba.com/product/water-lilies/ https://www.mostlymarimba.com/product/to-immortal-bloom-by-bob-becker/ Water Lilies is an eleven-minute quintet, scored for piano, marimba, vibraphone, glockenspiel,… Read more »

My Swan Song Chime

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One of my last product designs before retiring was the Singin’ in the Rain Chime. Diane and I enjoy watching older movies and the Gene Kelly / Debbie Reynolds movie, Singin’ in the Rain, is a favorite. That song is quite familiar to people of my generation and hopefully this chime will inspire other generations to… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 40: 2020

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We have come to our final history post, celebrating our fifty years in music. We are posting this on May 22, 2022, which is (TA DA!) our 51st birthday!!  It has been astonishing for all of us to look back at where we began and where we have been. Needless to say, Covid threw dismay,… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 39: 2019

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CBC “IN CONCERT” HALL OF FAME   We were honoured to be inducted into the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “In Concert” Canadian Musician Hall of Fame – NEXUS being the 13th inductee. It was such a pleasure revisiting our recordings that were featured in the broadcast: Steve Reich’s “Sextet” (written for NEXUS) and his “Music for Mallet… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 38: 2018

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LOU’S TUBES AND CULINARY DELIGHTS    Our busy April 2018 took us to Kingston NY to help the Ulster Chamber Music Series celebrate their 50th and to Hyde Park NY to the Culinary Institute of America! In Kingston, the hall was set with big suspended tubes at the compass points for the concert opener, “Greeting Prelude”… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 37: 2017

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AN UNUSUAL BEGINNING   We had an unusual start to 2017. Bill had an unexpected knee injury and had to take time out to heal. We were grateful that Ray Dillard was able to step into the breach for our Texas week in Houston at San Jacinto College with Mike Mizma – interesting clinics and a… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 36: 2016

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ROBIN ENGELMAN    Six years ago, on February 26th 2016, we received the sad news of the passing of NEXUS founding member Robin Engelman. The tributes poured in – moving, funny, telling – as colleagues, students, friends read the announcement. You can see these amazing comments on the home page of Robin’s website at www.robinengelman.com. Andrew… Read more »

What Is Music?

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One of two large sets of Woodstock Chimes suspended over the audience in Disney Hall for the Takemitsu Concerto with NEXUS and the Los Angeles Philharmonic

On the first day of music history class at the Oberlin Conservatory in 1967, our professor asked, “What is music?”. It was like a Zen kōan, and everybody contemplated it for the rest of the semester. We continued to learn music of the classical European repertoire, but I don’t remember if there was an answer to… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 35: 2015

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THE NEXUS OFFICE DOG    Some of you might remember the NEXUS office dog who made occasional appearances in 2015 through 2017. Usually associated with holidays! He left the office in 2018 to patrol more heavenly halls, but he remains immortalized here and there on the NEXUS pages.          A NOBLE CD AND… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 34: 2014

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  SEPIDEH RAISSADAT and PERSIAN SONGS    Our remarkable collaboration with Iranian vocalist Sepideh Raissadat began in 2014. Russell Hartenberger created several new arrangements for NEXUS and voice and entitled the suite “Persian Songs”. It was premiered at the Open Ears Festival in Kitchener Ontario, reprised at a Walter Hall concert in Toronto, and then we… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 33: 2013

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VIRGILIANA   We kicked off 2013 with two premieres. At the New Music Festival at the University of Toronto we presented the newly-commissioned work “Virgiliana” by Canadian composer Norbert Palej. It was his strong response to “Naples’ sun-bathed heat” and the “cool damp gloom and millennia-old mysteries” of the caves and grottos associated with Virgil and… Read more »

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