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Clear Things May Not Be Seen published by KPP

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In April, 2024 Keyboard Percussion Publications released Clear Things May Not Be Seen, a piece I composed during 2017/18, as part of an ongoing project to set text by the American author Conrad Aiken. It is scored for two soprano soloists, string quartet, clarinet, bass clarinet, marimba and vibraphone, and lasts approximately 13 minutes. The… Read more »

Sevenly Reward published by KPP

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This month (January, 2024) Keyboard Percussion Publications released my recent piece Sevenly Reward. During 2005/2006 I composed a series of eight etudes for solo snare drum, which were included in my book Rudimental Arithmetic (published in 2008 by KPP). In 2019, at the request of Dr. Morris Palter for a solo drum set piece, I… Read more »

Hurtado Brothers Royal Marimba Band of Guatemala

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In August 2023 I received a request from Amy Racic, the Video Producer for the Percussive Arts Society, asking for “a short self recorded video interview to use as part of their 2023 Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame induction video” on the Hurtado Brothers Royal Marimba Band of Guatemala, who were to be inducted… Read more »

NEXUS & Friends at Bardavon Theater

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NEXUS and Friends performed on September 23, 2023 in Poughkeepsie, New York at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House. The concert included guest appearances by saxophonist Paul Winter and pianist Henrique Eisenmann. Here is a shot from above of the event. Photo Credit: Jim Nickel

Cymbal Advice

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  In April, 2023 I received an email from the Canadian conductor Jordan de Souza asking for some advice about the cymbal part in Debussy’s La mer. Jordan’s questions and my reply are below.     Dear Bob, I’m a young Canadian conductor working mostly in Europe. I’m studying La mer for concerts in Dortmund… Read more »

Mudra – Bob’s interview with Jack Johnson

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  Several weeks ago I received a request to answer a series of questions about my composition Mudra. The questions were answered in April, 2023. My name is Jack Johnson and I am a grad student at Kansas State University working towards my master’s in percussion performance.  I recently performed Mudra on my recital and… Read more »

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 »

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