What could bring Zappa, Rubinstein, and a NEXUS premiere together in one blog post? Gordon Stout! Percussionists certainly know Gordon Stout, but some of our presenters may not. Gordon Stout is a percussionist, composer, and educator specializing in the marimba.
NEXUS has always been interested in creating their own instruments and using “found” instruments. At NEXUS concerts perhaps the most noticeable are Garry Kvistad’s sound sculptures. Today I stumbled on Oddmusic.com. Along with the Sea Organ built in Croatia in 2005, and the Symphonic House that is one large musical instrument, I made some fabulous… Read more »
From time to time I will give you a peek into the NEXUS archives. Here are some great excerpts from a 1999 New York Times article by Leslie Kandell entitled A Percussion Ensemble That Keeps Marching to a Different Drummer. It provides a neat snapshot of NEXUS and mentions a couple of pieces that NEXUS… Read more »
NEXUS always has interesting cover art on their CDs. Two of the most striking covers are on the recent Drumtalker and Wings, created by award-winning Canadian artist Bonnie Sheckter.
The following questions were emailed to me by Jim Clanton, who teaches percussion at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and is finishing his DMA from the UMKC Conservatory. Q. Blades mentions in PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS AND THEIR HISTORY that the marimbaphone was used as a solo instrument by stage artists. Are there any recordings that… Read more »
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 »
NEXUS’ most recent CD Wings features a number of songs by NEXUS’ friend Toru Takemitsu who is recognized as one of the world’s great modernists. But Takemitsu also had a great appetite for and vast knowledge of Western popular music and he drew on this in much of his work, creating film, radio, TV and… Read more »
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 »
And now for something completely different: Every now and then we run into bloggers who are blogging about NEXUS. Most of these blog entries are written by human beings, but not long ago we ran into one that was posted by a cat. I’m serious. His name is Simon Teakettle and his blog is called… Read more »
The following interview took place at John Wyre’s home in Norland, Ontario on August 2, 1996. This is the first time it has ever been published. Bill: What do you see as the current musical environment? What kinds of things are going on that are likely to influence the course of music? John: In my… Read more »
From time to time I have received requests from percussionists asking for information about George Hamilton Green and Joseph Green. (I know that Bob Becker has also received many such requests – see his blog.) Here is a sample. Question: I am very interested in your personal role in bringing the Green… Read more »
Questions from a student: I am curious about your interpretation regarding the following figures: A. B. 1. What terminology do you use to identify figure A? Cahn: drag; ruff; 3-stroke-drag; 3-stroke ruff; appoggiatura 2. What terminology do you use to identify figure B? Cahn: 4-stroke ruff, (4-stroke drag), ruff, appoggiatura 3. How do you… Read more »
If you have been intrigued by Robin Engelman’s postings about Ruffs, Drags, and Poing Strokes, you’ll be interested in his workshop concerning the Music for Drums and Fifes. What makes Robin’s workshop particularly valuable is that participants can experience history by actually playing replicas of 16th to 19th century rope and rod tensioned field drums…. Read more »
In my last post regarding Japan, I mentioned the special piece written for NEXUS (with orchestra) by Toru Takemitsu entitled “From me flows what you call Time”. If music is the international language then Takemitsu had a hand in making it so. He is known for intergrating the western and eastern musical palettes, which is… Read more »
In December 2008, at the end of the fall semester, my first semester at the Eastman School of Music as a part time Associate Professor, I held a mock orchestra audition for the four graduate students with whom I had been working. They had all expressed an interest in taking orchestra auditions. … Read more »