Gagal NEXUS http://nexuspercussion.com Premiere Percussion Ensemble Wed, 08 Mar 2017 08:46:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 San Jacinto College, Pasadena TX – see you soon! http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/02/san-jacinto-college-pasadena-tx-see-you-soon/ http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/02/san-jacinto-college-pasadena-tx-see-you-soon/#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 21:11:17 +0000 http://nexuspercussion.com/?p=18485 Read more » ]]> San Jacinto College Central has invited us for a March residency that’s going to cover a LOT of ground! The emails have been flying about the concert programming and it’s going to be a lot of fun, with fanfares and ragtime and Bob Becker’s “Palta” arranged for steel band – it’s going to be great. Here’s the week’s plan, direct from SanJacPercussion: “We are very excited to be hosting percussion royalty in March. NEXUS will be our guests for our annual Expo concert at San Jac Central. They will deliver a clinic on Sound Technology Monday March 6 from 10:10-11:30am, a cinic on African Music Monday March 6 from 3:30-5:00pm, a Ragtime Xylophone clinic Tuesday March 7 from 3:30-5:00pm, and the concert in our music building March 8 at 7:00pm. This concert will feature Nexus with our Brass Ensemble, Steel Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble. Also joining the fun is our Jazz Ensemble and Guitar Ensemble. ALL OF THIS IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!”     You can find the Facebook event page here. Hope to see you there!!

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Broadway, CIA and Timpani http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/02/18467/ http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/02/18467/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 19:46:36 +0000 http://nexuspercussion.com/?p=18467 Read more » ]]>  

Garry Playing Timpani

Craig Schulman

Every so often I have the pleasure of playing timpani with a full orchestra. This was the case recently when I played with the Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra led by Kathleen Beckmann. This concert featured the Broadway star Craig Schulman. The program included big hits from many different Broadway shows, including Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera, both of which Craig starred in, and a chorus of singers from two local high schools. The orchestra sounded great, including the soloist who is a legend. The performance took place in the Marriott Pavillion cobcert hall at the famed Culinary Institute of America (CIA), on their beautiful campus overlooking the Hudson River. Concertgoers who opted for the concert and dinner were treated to a pre-concert dinner at the Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici. Fine music and fine food is a combination that can’t be beat, even by a percussionist!

Garry’s Timpani Section View

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Coming Up! Texas and New York! http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/02/coming-up-texas-and-new-york/ http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/02/coming-up-texas-and-new-york/#respond Sat, 04 Feb 2017 01:14:59 +0000 http://nexuspercussion.com/?p=18434 Read more » ]]> SanJac_logo_16_tagline_black_300The NEXUS members never sit still. Even a winter “respite” has taken Russell to the Sacher music archive and its Steve Reich Collection in Basel, Switzerland; Bob’s heading out on U.S. tour dates; Garry is heading to warmer climes to the south. Bill and Ray are hardier types enjoying brisk temperatures and a multitude of projects closer to home. But Spring will bring everyone migrating back for NEXUS dates – the first one being at SAN JACINTO COLLEGE in Houston for a week-long residency in March. Audio Majors will be treated to Garry’s Physics of Sound/Technology, Music Majors will study African Rhythm, Bill will create one of his Improvisational master-works with his Creative Music-Making workshop, all interspersed with rehearsals for a gala Expo Concert where NEXUS will perform Bob’s “Palta”, newly arranged for Steel Band (!); we’ll join the college’s Brass Ensemble in some Peter Schickele and Canadian Brass music specially arranged for NEXUS; the Wind Ensemble will get involved in Bill’s ragtime arrangements; the Choir will be featured in our recent (and beautiful!) arrangement of “Amazing Grace”, the Percussion Ensemble will join us in a little Reich music, and the whole shebang (emphasis on “bang”) will culminate in the Creative Music-Making “happening”. It’s going to be a very busy week for everyone!

potsdamCRANE_Logo_1955April will find NEXUS in residence at SUNY-POTSDAM, performing in their Community Performance Series in striking Hosmer Concert Hall, and working with students at the Crane. Programming is still being tweaked, but I hear there is a bit o’ Reich and a bit o’ Moondog, in celebration of both of their birthdays: 80th and 100th respectively. If you are near either venue, south or north, join us! It will be great to see you!

 

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Woodstock, the Most Famous Small Town in the World http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/woodstock-the-most-famous-small-town-in-the-world/ http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/woodstock-the-most-famous-small-town-in-the-world/#respond Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:21:29 +0000 http://nexuspercussion.com/?p=18424 Read more » ]]>
Woodstock, NY

Woodstock, NY

Woodstock, NY

Woodstock, NY

On Friday night Jack DeJohnette played a spectacular piano concert at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild to an overflowing audience. He called it the Concert for Inner Peace. Jack is known as one of the very finest jazz drummers on the scene today, but his first instrument was piano and his range of styles and his deep musical expression was heard that night on this percussion instrument, the piano. He ended the concert by accompanying himself in his version of “Imagine” by John Lennon. The next day, hundreds of people showed up in town for the Woodstock Women’s March. This was an all-inclusive gathering that attracted men and women, young and old. The community here in Woodstock is a close one and I am happy to call Jack a friend and to have been a part of this gathering of artists and local folks making a positive statement about dignity and human rights. Here’s a photo of Jack and me at the rally.
Garry and Jack DeJohnette

Garry and Jack DeJohnette

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Steve Reich’s 80th Birthday Parties http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/steve-reichs-80th-birthday-parties/ http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/steve-reichs-80th-birthday-parties/#respond Sun, 22 Jan 2017 17:30:46 +0000 http://nexuspercussion.com/?p=18414 Read more » ]]> Steve Reich, Pound Ridge, New York, September 13, 2015. Photo/Portrait: Bonnie Sheckter.

Steve Reich, Pound Ridge, New York, September 13, 2015. Photo/Portrait: Bonnie Sheckter.

On October 3, 2016, Steve Reich celebrated his 80th birthday. This festive occasion was the catalyst for a year-long tribute to the man who has been acclaimed as “our greatest living composer” (New York Times) and “the most original musical thinker of our times” (The New Yorker). A quick glance at the concert section of the Steve Reich website shows that his compositions are being performed almost every day of the year somewhere in the world. Many of these concerts this year, especially the ones with Reich in attendance, have turned into rousing birthday parties with premieres of brand new compositions from the composer who is now officially an octogenarian.

 

 

Reich’s actual birthday was on Rosh Hashanah, and he spent the day in observance of the holiday. As my way of honoring him on that day, I announced the publication by Cambridge University Press of my book Performance Practice in the Music of Steve Reich for which Reich wrote the foreward.

 

 

cover on white
Steve Reich's loft at 423 Broadway, NYC, September 23, 2016. Photo: Bonnie Sheckter.

Steve Reich’s loft at 423 Broadway, NYC, September 23, 2016. Photo: Bonnie Sheckter.

In the book, I describe my experiences as a member of the Steve Reich and Musicians ensemble beginning with the early rehearsals of Drumming at Reich’s loft at 423 Broadway in the Soho section of New York City beginning in the spring of 1971. I traced my steps to his former loft this past September and found the building in a state of disrepair – obviously not yet designated as a national historic site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musicians from the Sibelius Academy after a performance of Music for 18 Musicians, Feb. 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Antti Ohenoja.

Musicians from the Sibelius Academy after a performance of Music for 18 Musicians, Feb. 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Antti Ohenoja.

The beginning of the year-long Steve Reich birthday celebration began for me on February 3, 2016, exactly eight months before Reich’s actual birthday when I coached a performance of Music for 18 Musicians at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland as part of Sibafest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music for 18 Musicians at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, April 5, 2016. Photo courtesy of Phillip O’Banion.

Music for 18 Musicians at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, April 5, 2016. Photo courtesy of Phillip O’Banion.

On April 5, I coached Reich’s masterpiece again, this time at Temple University with percussion professor Phillip O’Banion, musicians from the school of music, Mobius Percussion, and musicians from the Philadelphia area. The performance can be viewed on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMsYuFrKUQ8

 

 

 

 

Nexus members Garry Kvistad, Russell Hartenberger, and Bob Becker performing Drumming, Part I with Steve Reich at Integral House in Toronto, April 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of Soundstreams Canada.

Nexus members Garry Kvistad, Russell Hartenberger, and Bob Becker performing Drumming, Part I with Steve Reich at Integral House in Toronto, April 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of Soundstreams Canada.

Steve Reich came to my home town of Toronto later in April for performances of Drumming, Part I at Integral House and Clapping Music, Tehillim, and Music for 18 Musicians at the venerable Massey Hall as part of a Soundstreams Canada birthday celebration in Toronto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garry Kvistad and Russell Hartenberger performing Mallet Phase at BRIC Ballroom in Brooklyn, NY, May 17, 2016. Photo: Marc Akiyama.

Garry Kvistad and Russell Hartenberger performing Mallet Phase at BRIC Ballroom in Brooklyn, NY, May 17, 2016. Photo: Marc Akiyama.

In May, members of Nexus, Sō Percussion, and Palladium Percussion performed Mallet Quartet, Mallet Phase, and Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ at the BRIC House Ballroom in Brooklyn at a concert organized by Sō to honor Steve Reich in his 80th birthday year. Mallet Phase is Garry Kvistad’s new arrangement of Piano Phase played on instruments he created and tuned in just intonation.

 

 

 

 

Steve Reich accepting the pulse ‘piece of wood’ from Jason Treuting at Sō Percussion Benefit Concert, May 17, 2016. Photo: Marc Akiyama.

Steve Reich accepting the pulse ‘piece of wood’ from Jason Treuting at Sō Percussion Benefit Concert, May 17, 2016. Photo: Marc Akiyama.

During the festivities, Jason Treuting presented Steve with the ‘piece of wood’ that Sō used for many years to play the pulse part in Music for Pieces of Wood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nexus and Maria Finkelmeier, performing Music for Pieces of Wood at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA, June 4, 2016. Photo: Diane Kvistad.

Nexus and Maria Finkelmeier, performing Music for Pieces of Wood at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA, June 4, 2016. Photo: Diane Kvistad.

In June, Nexus played a concert at the Rockport Chamber Festival in Rockport, Massachusetts in June featuring Music for Pieces of Wood (where we were joined by newlywed Maria Finkelmeier), Drumming, Part I, and Mallet Phase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cow practicing yoga in front of an iceberg in Newfoundland. Photo: Violet Lodge.

Cow practicing yoga in front of an iceberg in Newfoundland. Photo: Violet Lodge.

In July, I traveled to chilly St. John’s, Newfoundland for a performance of Sextet at the biennial Sound Symposium in yet another Reich 80th birthday concert. One of the musicians in Sextet was the fabulous pianist Andrea Lodge. Her mother, Violet Lodge, gave me a photo of a cow and an iceberg that she took off the coast of Newfoundland. In my book I describe my yoga sessions with Steve Reich in the early days of rehearsals for Drumming. The photo reminds me of advice I was given by a yoga teacher: “Do yoga with the speed of an iceberg and the patience of a monk.” In the case of this photo it would be with the speed of an iceberg and the patience of a peaceful cow.

 

 

Carnegie Hall birthday celebration, Nov. 1, 2016 with (l. to r.) Josh Quillen, Jason Treuting, Garry Kvistad, Russell Hartenberger, Steve Reich, Micaela Haslam, Zoltán Rácz, Adam Sliwinski, and Eric Cha-Beach. Photo: Bonnie Sheckter.

Carnegie Hall birthday celebration, Nov. 1, 2016 with (l. to r.) Josh Quillen, Jason Treuting, Garry Kvistad, Russell Hartenberger, Steve Reich, Micaela Haslam, Zoltán Rácz, Adam Sliwinski, and Eric Cha-Beach. Photo: Bonnie Sheckter.

Reich preferred not to have any big parties until after his actual birthday, so the first official celebration of his 80th milestone was at Carnegie Hall after a concert that featured his Quartet for two vibraphones and two pianos, a premiere of his new work, Pulse performed by ICE and conducted by David Robertson, and the Reich/Korot video work Three Tales performed by ICE, Sō Percussion, and Synergy Vocals with Robertson again conducting. Following the performance there was a birthday party in the Rohatyn Room in Carnegie Hall with cake and an enthusiastic singing of Happy Birthday to Steve by musicians and friends.

 

 

 

 

Alex Ross and Russell Hartenberger at Milton Court, Barbican Centre, Nov. 5, 2016. Photo: Bonnie Sheckter.

Alex Ross and Russell Hartenberger at Milton Court, Barbican Centre, Nov. 5, 2016. Photo: Bonnie Sheckter.

Just a few days after the festivities at Carnegie Hall, Reich was honored in London’s Barbican Centre with a weekend full of concerts. Alex Ross, music reviewer for The New Yorker was on hand to speak about “The West Coast Roots of Minimalism.” His lecture was followed by performances of City Life and Drumming by students from the Guildhall. The Saturday evening marathon concert included Pendulum Music, Nagoya Guitars, Electric Counterpoint (played by Mark Stewart and twelve other guitarists including the New York quartet Dither), Different Trains, Pulse, and concluding with Three Tales performed by the Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Clark Rundell.

 

 

 

Discussion at St. Luke’s church with (l. to r.) Vincent Corver, Chi-Yu Mo, Steve Reich, Russell Hartenberger, Sarah Mohr-Pietsch, at LSO Discovery Day, November 6, 2016. Photo: Bonnie Sheckter.

Discussion at St. Luke’s church with (l. to r.) Vincent Corver, Chi-Yu Mo, Steve Reich, Russell Hartenberger, Sarah Mohr-Pietsch, at LSO Discovery Day, November 6, 2016. Photo: Bonnie Sheckter.

On Sunday afternoon at St. Luke’s Church near the Barbican, Steve Reich was the guest on an LSO Discovery day event that was moderated by Sarah Mohr-Pietsch, a presenter from BBC Three. The afternoon began with a performance of New York Counterpoint by Chi-Yu Mo and ended with Piano Counterpoint, an arrangement by Vincent Corver of Six Pianos for soloist and pre-recorded CD. In between was a wide-ranging discussion with the performers and Reich, and I was delighted to join them in the conversation. The evening concert featured the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kristjan Järvi, and Synergy Vocals in Daniel Variations, You Are (Variations), and The Desert Music.

 

 

 

 

 

Russell Hartenberger giving a lecture at PASIC in Indianapolis, IN, Nov. 11, 2016. Photo: Lauren Vogel Weiss.

Russell Hartenberger giving a lecture at PASIC in Indianapolis, IN, Nov. 11, 2016. Photo: Lauren Vogel Weiss.

The Percussive Arts Society International Convention is a four-day event featuring concerts, workshops, master classes, and lectures. This year it was held in Indianapolis, Indiana from November 9-12. As a tribute to Steve Reich’s 80th birthday year I gave a talk titled Performance Practice in the Music of Steve Reich in which I presented highlights from my book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell Hartenberger at the University of Toronto performance of Birth of Time, Dec. 1, 2016. Photo: Peggy Feltmate.

Russell Hartenberger at the University of Toronto performance of Birth of Time, Dec. 1, 2016.
Photo: Peggy Feltmate.

On December 1st and 2nd, I organized a symposium at the University of Toronto titled “Reich, Rhythm, and Repetition: Patterns in Music, Speech, and Science.” As part of the symposium, Nexus premiered my composition Birth of Time in which I used words and phrases from Performance Practice in the Music of Steve Reich to create melodic and rhythmic patterns. These patterns were played on marimbas and vibraphone and also sung by three female vocalists. The title of the piece was taken from a quote by Olivier Messiaen:

“Let us not forget that the first, essential element in music is Rhythm, and that Rhythm is first and foremost the change of number and duration. Suppose that there were a single beat in all the universe. One beat; with eternity before it and eternity after it. A before and an after. That is the birth of time. Imagine then, almost immediately, a second beat. Since any beat is prolonged by the silence which follows it, the second beat will be longer than the first. Another number, another duration. That is the birth of Rhythm.”

 

 

 

Bob Becker and Garry Kvistad tuning the bongos for a sixteen drum performance of Steve Reich’s Drumming, Part I at the University of Toronto, Dec. 1, 2016. Photo: Russell Hartenberger.

Bob Becker and Garry Kvistad tuning the bongos for a sixteen drum performance of
Steve Reich’s Drumming, Part I at the University of Toronto, Dec. 1, 2016.
Photo: Russell Hartenberger.

Nexus gave the premiere of the sixteen drum version of Drumming, Part I by Steve Reich at the symposium. The idea to use twice the number of bongos that is normally used for the piece occurred to Bob Becker and me when we conducted an experiment at the LiveLab at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario to determine what actually happens in a phase as opposed to what I think happens in a phase. Details of this recording session are in my chapter, “Anatomy of a Phase,” in Performance Practice in the Music of Steve Reich. Further results from the experiment and the latest research on the project can be found at www.maplelab.net/reich.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performance of Steve Reich’s Quartet at the University of Toronto with Gregory Oh and Midori Koga, pianos and Russell Hartenberger and Bob Becker, vibraphones, Dec. 2, 2016. Photo: Bonnie Sheckter.

Performance of Steve Reich’s Quartet at the University of Toronto with Gregory Oh and Midori Koga, pianos and Russell Hartenberger and Bob Becker, vibraphones, Dec. 2, 2016. Photo: Bonnie Sheckter.

On the final concert of the symposium we gave the Canadian premiere of Steve Reich’s Quartet for two pianos and two vibraphones performed by Midori Koga and Gregory Oh on pianos and Bob Becker and me on vibraphones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entrance to the Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel Switzerland. Photo courtesy of Paul Sacher Stiftung.

Entrance to the Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel Switzerland. Photo courtesy of Paul Sacher Stiftung.

The year-long celebration concluded for me with a return trip to the Paul Sacher Stiftung (PSS) in Basel, Switzerland where, since 2008, Steve Reich has been depositing his sketchbooks, manuscripts, agendas, photographs, recordings, instruments, and correspondence. The Sacher archive is an international research center for the music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with over a hundred collections from leading composers and performers from Bartók and Stravinsky to Feldman and Reich. The director of PSS is Felix Meyer and the curator of the Steve Reich Collection is Matthias Kassel. Tina Kilvio Tüscher is archivist for Reich’s materials. All the folks at PSS have been extremely accommodating in providing me with access to Reich materials that were essential in writing Performance Practice in the Music of Steve Reich.

 

 

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Mohonk Concerts http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/mohonk-concerts/ http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/mohonk-concerts/#respond Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:51:26 +0000 http://nexuspercussion.com/?p=18399 Read more » ]]> Garry and Janice Siegel

Garry and Janice Siegel

Diane and I attended a day of jazz at the Mohonk Mountain House yesterday with friends. We saw two absolutely amazing concerts and had a wonderful dinner at this historic resort right here in the Catskill Mountains. One concert was a trio led by the fabulous Janice Siegel of the Manhattan Transfer with pianist John DiMartino and bassist Martin Wind. The solos and ensemble playing were exceptional. Janice demonstrated her amazing vocalese style, the influence of which she credits to Jon Hendricks. Check them out if they are ever in your area.

Brubeck Brothers Band

Brubeck Brothers Band

The other concert was The Brubeck Songbook which featured the Brubeck Brothers (Chris and Danny) with Hilary Kole and Michael Bourne. Hilary’s classic jazz voice can be heard on her recording with Dave Brubeck of his ballad Strange Meadowlark, which she performed at this concert, skillfully accompanying

Garry and Chris

Garry and Chris

herself on piano. Michael Bourne, who narrated the show, is the voice of WBGO radio in Newark, NJ, where he has brought great music to the public for decades. I went to the Interlochen Arts Academy during my high school years with Chris Brubeck, so the reunion was a special event for me. Chris is an accomplished composer

Garry and Danny

Garry and Danny

and master on the bass as well as the trombone. Danny took an extended drum solo in Take Five, which blew everyone away. World-class guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb completed this incredible quartet. The Brubeck Brothers travel extensively, keeping the seminal music of their father Dave alive and extremely resonant! Check them out at Yoshi’s Jazz Club if you are in San Francisco this Wednesday (1/18/17).

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Blackearth Percussion Group Retrospective at PASIC 16 in Indianapolis http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/18346/ http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/18346/#respond Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:33:48 +0000 http://nexuspercussion.com/?p=18346 Read more » ]]> Blackearth members on the Opus One #22 recording are, left to right, Allen Otte, Mike Udow, Rick Kvistad and Garry Kvistad

Blackearth members on the Opus One #22 recording are, L to R, Allen Otte, Mike Udow, Rick Kvistad, Garry Kvistad

The Blackearth Percussion Group was conceived in 1971, formed in 1972 and disbanded in 1979. It was inspired in part by Jan Williams’ New Percussion Quartet of Buffalo and named after a small farm town in central Wisconsin. I was one of the original group members at age 22, along with my brother Rick Kvistad (28), Allen Otte (21), Michael Udow (23) and Chris Braun (18).

 

 

 

Allen Otte, Stacey Bowers, Garry Kvistad

L to R: Allen Otte, Stacey Bowers, Garry Kvistad

 

 

 

Members joining in later years were James Baird, David Johnson and Stacey Bowers. In the last two years the group was a trio consisting of Allen Otte, Stacey Bowers and me (left to right in photo from 1977).

 

 

Tom Siwe at PASIC 2016

Tom Siwe Introducing the Blackearth Members at PASIC

 

 

 

Five of the eight total members of the Blackearth Percussion Group, including Rick, Al, Stacey, David and me (Mike, Chris and Jim were not able to attend), met in Indianapolis, Indiana for the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in November, 2016. Tom Siwe, former head of the percussion department at the University of Illinois introduced us.

 

We told stories of the seven years we were together and performed two works we had done back then. There was a tremendous turnout despite it being the last event in the afternoon of the last of four days.

Blackearth at PASIC 2016

Blackearth at PASIC 2016 L to R:
David Johnson, Allen Otte, Garry Kvistad,
Rick Kvistad, Stacey Bowers

The Blackearth Percussion Group was together for seven years in the 1970s when we were all in our 20s. We are now in our 60s (one in his 70s). There is still much interest in the group today, even amongst young players who weren’t born during the group’s tenure.

Blackearth residencies included the University of Illinois in Urbana (one semester), Northern Illinois University in DeKalb (four and a half years) and the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati (two years). Blackearth performed 38 world premieres, gave 157 concerts in the US, Canada and Europe, made three recordings, and commissioned many compositions. After Blackearth disbanded, the members went on to hold prominent orchestral positions, teach at leading universities, perform with various chamber music ensembles, author papers, compose, create/run businesses and promote percussion music around the world. The group is credited for “rediscovering” John Cage’s Third Construction shortly after the manuscript was made public. Blackearth performed it throughout the US and Europe beginning in January of 1977. We worked with many composers and performed works composed by members of the group as well. Several pieces, including complex works, were performed by memory, which was fairly novel at the time.

While the group mainly played written works, improvisation was also part of many concerts. The use of film, electronics, theatrical intermedia and homemade instruments were an important part of programming. One of the works we did at PASIC was an improvisation performed while a film of electronically generated Lissajous figures by composer Ronald Pellegrino called Paths (1972) was shown.

The other work we played at PASIC was one entitled Apple Blossoms by Peter Garland (1972). This beautiful, quiet composition is played solely on marimba(s). The title and some of the impetus of the piece came from the André Breton poem “On me dit que la-bas.” Musically, the piece derives from the four-note scale F, A-flat, B-flat, and C, which is found in some Chippewa music.

The Blackearth Percussion Group was innovative and influential for the seven years of its existence and beyond. Blackearth performed several concertos with orchestras, experimented with micro-tonal tuning systems, incorporated a vintage 5-octave marimba to add bass notes not common for that time period, commissioned/premiered many works, was one of the first percussion groups to write and perform music of the minimalists, played arrangements of the ragtime music of George Hamilton Green and developed several multi-media productions. We are gratified that our work lives on and were honored to be asked to perform at PASIC 2016.

Blackearth Retrospective Video of Selected Excerpts

Blackearth Percussion Group PowerPoint Presentation compiled by Garry Kvistad, shown at PASIC 2016

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2017 Catalog – William L. Cahn Publishing – Music for Percussion http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/2017-catalog-william-l-cahn-publishing-music-for-percussion/ http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/2017-catalog-william-l-cahn-publishing-music-for-percussion/#respond Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:27:00 +0000 http://nexuspercussion.com/?p=18337 Related posts:
  1. THE SOLO PERCUSSIONIST – The Music of William L. Cahn – Nexus Records 10339
  2. Wildly varied array of percussion music at Percussion Rochester, May 1st!
  3. Super Percussion – Tokyo Music Joy, 1988
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Click here to see the Catalog:     2017 WLC CATALOG

BillCahn1 ]]>
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Interview with Ken Shorley http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/interview-with-ken-shorley/ http://nexuspercussion.com/2017/01/interview-with-ken-shorley/#respond Tue, 10 Jan 2017 18:27:38 +0000 http://nexuspercussion.com/?p=18335 Related posts:
  1. Reich, Abel, a Tribute, a Podcast, BBC Interview, TED Talk – And a new piece!
  2. The Many Faces of Garry
  3. “Avant-garde percussion” alive and well in Newfoundland
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In July, while I was in St. John’s, Newfoundland participating in Sound Symposium, I was interviewed by Ken Shorley for his Canadian Percussionists. You can see the interview here:

All of Ken’s interviews with Canadian Percussionists can be viewed here:

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Music and Math http://nexuspercussion.com/2016/12/music-and-math/ http://nexuspercussion.com/2016/12/music-and-math/#respond Mon, 19 Dec 2016 21:46:21 +0000 http://nexuspercussion.com/?p=18318 Read more » ]]> They say there are three types of people: those who are good at math and those who aren’t. But seriously, we have somehow lost our cultural connection between the sciences and the arts. There are only a few higher education institutions that have forums to create a nexus between these disciplines. One of these institutions is the University of Toronto. Their Jackman Humanities Institute (JHI) events offer “a variety of ways for students and faculty from the University of Toronto’s three campuses to learn from each other, as well as from visiting scholars. JHI is developing new interdisciplinary modes of understanding human experience.” The topic for this academic year is “Time, Rhythm and Pace.”

The University of Toronto produces gatherings on a regular basis called ArtSci Salons (reminiscent of salons held in Italy and France in the 18th and 19th centuries), where artists and scientists meet to discuss topics related to the intersection of art, science and technology. The ArtSci Salon group hooked up with the music faculty for a three-day symposium titled “Reich, Rhythm and Repetition: Patterns in Music, Speech and Science,” sponsored by the Jackman Humanities Institute’s 2016-17 Program for the Arts and hosted by the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences. This included many talks and a few performances by the group I play with, NEXUS.

The Vistaphone

The Vistaphone

I was one of the presenters for several events, sharing the stage with physicist Dr. Stephen Morris. The audience was primarily made up of students and faculty but the general public was also invited. We did two afternoon sessions together in which we demonstrated principles of both sight and sound. I presented an instrument I invented called the Vistaphone, which is made up of 32 tubes and rods tuned to the natural overtone series. While this “scale” is something that you’ll find in both music theory and physics books, it is surprisingly uncommon to be able to hear it. The scale is made up of one frequency called the fundamental and overtones in the relationship of whole numbers above the fundamental frequency. No one attending this event had ever heard an acoustic realization of the natural harmonic overtone series in this manner.

[See post to listen to audio]

Pitagoras

Pitagoras

These relationships of musical frequencies were known to the ancient philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras, who demonstrated them on a single-stringed instrument called the monochord.

Through the use of a custom software program, I also demonstrated how slow rhythmic pulses when sped up become audible pitches. When two pulses related by whole number ratios are sped up, the associated interval is heard. Here is an audio example of me playing 3 pulses against 2 pulses, and then speeding that polyrhythm up until you hear the musical interval we call a perfect fifth in Western music.

[See post to listen to audio]

Stephen Morris illustrated some fantastic acoustic and physical principles in his session entitled “Making Sound Visible.” Nineteenth century physicist Ernst Chladni invented a method of visualizing the vibration of plates by sprinkling powder on them, which led to several advances in both mathematics and acoustics. To illustrate this phenomenon, Stephen made a flat metal plate vibrate at various speeds, causing salt sprinkled on the plate to form amazing patterns. The salt moved to the places where the least amount of vibration occurred (the nodes). When the vibrational frequency was changed, the patterns changed, which seemed like magic.

Another fascinating demonstration of Stephen’s had to do with pendulum motion. The device he used consisted of a number of balls of different weights suspended by strings of various lengths, swinging at certain frequencies. The proportions of the weights he chose resulted in a series of changing motions, and the pattern was repeated every two minutes.

He cited a piece that Steve Reich wrote called Pendulum Music (1968, 1973) that makes sound visual, so to speak.

The next day, my workshop focused on instruments I built and a performance of my arrangement of Steve Reich’s Piano Phase, which I play on another of my inventions, the Reichphone, and call Mallet Phase. Dr. Morris explained icicle formation and demonstrated how patterns are created by dripping syrup on a belt moving at various speeds.

Dr. Morris is perhaps best known for his YouTube video of the Domino Chain Reaction, which will blow your mind!

Russell Hartenberger, Stephen Morris, Garry Kvistad

Russell Hartenberger, Stephen Morris, Garry Kvistad

Russell Hartenberger of NEXUS, along with Kathy Armstrong and other members of NEXUS, presented a workshop entitled “The Use of Rhythmic Patterns in West African Drumming and the Music of Steve Reich,” which included performances of the music of Moondog, Hartenberger and Reich.

Remember the three types of people I mentioned at the beginning? Perhaps the third type is one who is fascinated by music and science and will bring back the excitement of interdisciplinary discovery. I hope this inspires you to be one of those!

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