Mohonk Concerts

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Brubeck Brothers Band

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… Read more »

Blackearth Percussion Group Retrospective at PASIC 16 in Indianapolis

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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… Read more »

Interview with Ken Shorley

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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:

Music and Math

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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… Read more »

Happy Holidays from all of us here at NEXUS

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At last we have received some snow at the Toronto office, so it feels more like the December holiday season! If you follow us on Instagram (@nexuspercussion) you will be familiar with the NEXUS office dog, who – as you can see – settles easily into “cozy winter” mode. All the NEXUS members are off… Read more »

A Cuckoo Question

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Another instrument inquiry from my email basket: Question: “I’m curious as to how Humperdinck wrote the part [for cuckoo in his opera, ‘Hänsel und Gretel’] calling for this specific instrument, and having it in the percussion part? Was this a common instrument in Germany at the time? Or, [was it] having to do with silent… Read more »

The Bass Drum – Is it Turkish or Scottish?

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A few weeks ago I received a question about my essay titled, “Orchestral percussion in the twenty-first century” in “The Cambridge Companion to Percussion” edited by Russell Hartenberger. Question: Are the bass drum descriptions of Turkish/Scottisch [bass drums] reversed on page 23 [of the Cambridge Companion]? My Response: This is an interesting question basically about… Read more »

Surviving Steel Pans – A Saga (Part 2)

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In 1993 two major composers – Michael Colgrass and Bruce Mather  – began work on commissions for NEXUS. Mather, an intimate friend of Robin Engelman, had already composed two quartet pieces for us: Clos de Vougeot (recorded on the LP Changes in 1982) and Clos d’Audignac (recorded on the CD Rune in 1997). The new… Read more »

Homemade Castanet Machines

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A few months ago I received the following in an email: Question: I would like to make a castanet machine. I want to use it at schools (children 10-12 years) Can you tell me how to make it, like you did? My Response: I made my first castanet machine when I was in high school…. Read more »

Moondog, Reich, Rhythm, Physics, Acoustics – and “This World”!

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I think we should just call November 30 to December 4 “NEXUS Week” and be done with it! Here in Toronto NEXUS will be deeply involved in a symposium under the auspices of the Jackman Humanities Institute called “Reich, Rhythm, and Repetition: Patterns in Music, Speech, and Science”, being held at the University of Toronto… Read more »

Surviving Steel Pans – A Saga (Part 1)

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In 1989 Carnegie Hall announced a series of commissions to celebrate the hall’s 100th anniversary season in 1990/91. A former member of our management team, Costa Pilavachi, recommended NEXUS be the featured soloists in a new piece by Toru Takemitsu, to be premiered with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Seiji Ozawa. A concerto by Takemitsu… Read more »

Colin Currie’s Visit to ROC Drummers

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  On November 2, 2016 we were surprised and delighted when Colin Currie, one of the world’s foremost percussion soloists, entered into the ROC Drummers’ rehearsal space at the David F. Gantt Community Center in Rochester, NY. Colin was in town for two performances as the featured soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in Jennifer… Read more »

Chimalong

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We designed the Chimalong® to help children develop creativity at an early age. When our two daughters were young, I found little on the market that would inspire them to learn music, so I decided to create a metallophone from musically tuned Woodstock Chime tubes, and the Chimalong was born. Little did we know that… Read more »

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