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Photos of NEXUS concert – Jan. 22, 2009

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NEXUS performed with Phil Nimmons (clarinet), David Braid (piano), Suba Sankaran (voice), Parmela Attariwala (strings) and Mark Laver (saxophone) on January 22, 2009.

Back to the Future: A NEXUS Concert

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I just got home from the NEXUS concert at U of T’s New Music Festival. It was terrific. If you were there tonight, we would welcome your comments. Some of the NEXUS members might be posting their own thoughts, but they are in a recording session all weekend so we may have to wait. For… Read more »

COMMON GROUND with Michael Burritt

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  On Sunday January 18, 2009, having just returned from Japan, I was a guest on the Michael Burritt Faculty Artist Series recital at the Eastman School of Music in Kilbourn Hall.  Michael, who heads the Percussion faculty at Eastman artfully performed a very challenging program of five major compositions for solo percussion.   The… Read more »

Sayonara Kawasaki! – Friday, Jan. 16, 2009

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    Thursday (Jan. 15) was a long day.  The first lesson started an hour later than normal, at 11:00 AM with a lesson on the Jolivet CONCERTO FOR PERCUSSION.  There was a good exchange over how to best execute the snare drum rimshots, and the resolve was to play them all with the right… Read more »

Drums of Africa and India

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Bob Becker has a busy travel, teaching and performing schedule.  If you’ve seen him play mallets you know he’s a virtuoso. But his expertise extends beyond mallets. Two of Bob’s workshops explore West African Drumming and North Indian drumming.

Talking Drums and Stories

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I promised to look at Creative Programming Ideas from time to time, and here is an event that had some great ones: the details in his blog. A number of ideas and combinations from this symposium could make a regular concert series performance into something very special. For example  there was a demonstration of the… Read more »

Kawasaki, Japan – Wednesday Jan. 14, 2009

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    My residency at the Showa Academy of Music is now in its last few days. I am in the middle of my second week of private lessons, ensemble rehearsals and workshops. This week began when, on Monday during my daily power walk, I noticed that the traffic on the streets was very light…. Read more »

Kawasaki (and Asakusa) Japan – Sunday Jan. 11, 2009

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  It is Sunday night and I am writing this as I sit in front of the TV in my hotel room watching some great sumo-wrestling matches.  Since my previous blog entry I have been able to take a leave from the school and my hotel room.  Last night I visited my good friend Seichiro… Read more »

School Work

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The holidays are over, school’s back in session, and Nexus is performing at the University of Toronto, so I’ve been thinking about the ensemble’s educational work. It’s no surprise that the first comments that came in on our new website were from students. NEXUS’ compositions are performed in schools all over the world, the “NEXUS… Read more »

Kawasaki, Japan – Friday January 9, 2009

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  After being spoiled by several days of very mild weather, it was raining here all day, though there was just enough letup for me to do a power walk around the upscale residential neighborhoods near the Showa Academy this morning.  The homes are all very tidy and have well-cared-for gardens.   All has gone… Read more »

The U of T Connection

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In a couple of weeks NEXUS is performing at the University of Toronto. As “Ensemble in Residence”, NEXUS has had a long and fruitful relationship with the University, and a great many percussion students come to U of T specifically for the opportunity to study with NEXUS members. Russell Hartenberger is the Dean of the… Read more »

Kawasaki, Japan – Tuesday January 6, 2009

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    Greetings!  I am back in Japan for a 2-week residency at the Showa Academy of Music and Arts in Kawasaki.   This is my 6th such visit since 1998, and during my stay I will be working with about 25 college conservatory percussion students in private lessons, ensemble coaching, percussion workshops and a… Read more »

What is the meaning of “NEXUS”?

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I am often asked the meaning of the word nexus. It is from a Latin root meaning “tie”, and basically indicates a connection or bond among the members of a group or series. Some of us came across this term in the early 1970s while reading Harry Partch’s book Genesis of a Music. Partch speaks… Read more »

IMPROV: The Art Of Surprise

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NEXUS has a concert coming up that is taking them back to their “Improv” roots.  Improvisation.  It always has that “edge”. It’s unpredictable. Exciting. Unexpected. Sometimes improbable! We all know about history-making drum solos, guitar licks, jazz sessions, and even comedy sketches on shows like “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” All based on improvisation. There… Read more »

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