Dance of the Octopus and Red Norvo

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In January, 1989 NEXUS recorded a new CD for the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s Musica Viva label. CBC no longer distributes our Dance of the Octopus CD, which is unfortunate because it includes a lot of wonderful repertoire not available anywhere else. A truly great harpist, Judy Loman, joined us for two works by Bill Cahn:… Read more »

The (Art?) of Hanging Gongs

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Further to emailed inquiries on the subjects of percussion performance and instruments, one recent inquiry was seeking advice about support structures for gongs. This topic is right up my alley. I’ve always had a fascination with pitched gongs and unpitched tam-tams, probably inspired by John Wyre, a colleague in NEXUS until his passing in 2006…. Read more »

A Question about Teaching Beginners

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As mentioned in previous blog postings, I regularly receive emails containing questions about percussion instruments, performance and pedagogy. One such question was emailed to me recently. Question: How would you start a beginning mallet student? What exercises and books that you would use to have the player develop a feel for the instrument? How would… Read more »

Happy Birthday to our dear friend Steve Reich!

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We have had an extraordinary and exciting two years celebrating Steve Reich in a multitude of ways. This past season, in celebration of Steve’s 80th, Russell has been coaching “Music For 18 Musicians” in various parts of the world, we performed with Steve in his iconic “Drumming”and “Clapping Music” here in Toronto and in Soundstreams… Read more »

My Generation and the Next

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People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation) Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation) Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation) I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation) This is my generation This is my generation, baby Those are some of the… Read more »

NEW CD – CHIAROSCURO with NEXUS and PRANA

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We are delighted to announce CHIAROSCURO and tell you a bit about it. In 2014 Garry invited Baird Hersey to his studio to show him a new instrument that he had built. Two years later the result of that meeting is a new recording, Chiaroscuro. The album is a suite of pieces which combines ancient,… Read more »

Suspended Cymbal Mallets

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In response to my recent posts about the cymbal parts for La Mer and Daphnis and Chloé I received some comments and questions regarding the mallets I use on suspended cymbals. As I pointed out in my blogs, early 20th century composers often employed specific terminology regarding striking implements in their cymbal parts – for… Read more »

Becker Bow Cymbal Demo

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Last spring (February, 2016) I spent several days in Meductic, NB working on some projects for the Sabian Cymbal Company. My main job was to select and mate 60 pairs of 18 inch Artisan Traditional Medium Light Crash orchestral cymbals. It was some of the most physically demanding work I’ve done in my life, and… Read more »

MAD about Bertoia

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A fantastic exhibit of the amazing tonal sculptures of American artist Harry Bertoia is showing at the museum of arts and design (MAD) in New York City through September 25th. I was thrilled to be able to spend an afternoon walking through this exhibit and learning more about one of my favorite artists. I have… Read more »

Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice Orchestra Rehearsal at Woodstock Chimes

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How many companies can boast they held full opera orchestra rehearsals in their factory? Well, we can! The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice [phoeniciavoicefest.org] is in its 7th season and going strong. Phoenicia is a rustic town with some cultural flair nestled in the Catskill Mountains not far from our headquarters. The festival was founded… Read more »

Peter Sadlo (1962-2016)

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It was shocking to read in a FaceBook posting on July 29, 2016 that Peter Sadlo, one of the leading percussion soloists in Europe, had passed away. The circumstances of his passing remain unknown to me as of this writing. In 1992 when NEXUS first met Sadlo, he was the Principal Percussionist (Solopauker) with the… Read more »

Percussion on the NEXUS “Ragtime Concert” LP & CD

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Question: Who played the Percussion part on the “NEXUS Ragtime Concert” LP and CD?   The NEXUS LP record titled, “NEXUS Ragtime Concert” was made in 1976 in Toronto. It was recorded using the best technology at the time: the direct-to-disc process, in which a performance was recorded in real time directly from the mic… Read more »

Our new John Cage album is HERE!

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  The newest NEXUS CD was released today. IT SOUNDS GREAT! For the next few weeks it’s only available directly from NEXUS by emailing billcahn@aol.com. (The price is (US) $12.00 plus postage.)  

Mind Over Matter

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                    If you could live forever, would you want to? I will be 67 by the end of this year. I’m generally the oldest person in the room and in good health and mentally sound, or so I believe. I work with tremendous people both in… Read more »

Summer living is….BUSY!

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You would think everything would be kinda laid back in the summer months. But not for the NEXUS guys! Fresh from the NEXUS concert in Rockport Massachusetts, everyone is off in various directions. Bob is down in Virginia, making music. Russell is preparing for the July Sound Symposium in St John’s Newfoundland with Bill Brennan… Read more »

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