Broadway, CIA and Timpani

Posted by

  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… Read more »

Coming Up! Texas and New York!

Posted by

The 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… Read more »

Woodstock, the Most Famous Small Town in the World

Posted by

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… Read more »

Steve Reich’s 80th Birthday Parties

Posted by

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… Read more »

Mohonk Concerts

Posted by

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

Posted by

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

Posted by

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

Posted by

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

Posted by

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

Posted by

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?

Posted by

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)

Posted by

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

Posted by

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 »

×