Posts By: Peggy Feltmate

Music for Drums and Fifes

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If you have been intrigued by Robin Engelman’s postings about Ruffs, Drags, and Poing Strokes, you’ll be interested in his workshop concerning the Music for Drums and Fifes. What makes Robin’s workshop particularly valuable is that participants can experience history by actually playing replicas of 16th to 19th century rope and rod tensioned field drums…. Read more »

Takemitsu and the International Language

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In my last post regarding Japan, I mentioned the special piece written for NEXUS (with orchestra) by Toru Takemitsu entitled “From me flows what you call Time”. If music is the international language then Takemitsu had a hand in making it so. He is known for intergrating the western and eastern musical palettes, which is… Read more »

Land of the Rising Sun

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As you have doubtless noted, when looking at Bill Cahn’s busy schedule, JAPAN jumps out – home of taiko, kodo, the okedo daiko, kumi daiko, and a huge variety of bells and gongs. (Patrick Graham gives a nice look at Japanese Percussion here – scroll midway down the page).

Ewazen writes solo pieces for NEXUS

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What an energized time here in the NEXUS studio! Not only have we received word from Gordon Stout that he has completed a new work for NEXUS but we have just received wonderful news from Eric Ewazen.  He has taken two movements of his new commissioned work The Eternal Dance of Life (written for NEXUS… Read more »

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 »

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 Talking Drum Symposium that took place in October in Toronto and Mississaugua.  Talking Drums are fascinating as even a quick skim of the current Wikipedia entry will show.

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 »

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 »

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 »

Russell’s Rhythms

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John Wyre described Russell Hartenberger‘s musicality as “so solid you can always hang your hat on it.” It’s fitting, then, that Russell offers a workshop called “Rhythm and Time in Music”. Useful to non-percussionists and percussionists alike, Russell takes a historical look at Western music rhythms, then explores non-Western cultures to compare them. Intriguingly, he… Read more »

Choirs Can Join With NEXUS

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It’s December and every shop surrounds us with heavenly voices. Concerts abound featuring beautiful choral music. It surprises people to hear that NEXUS has some very interesting choral material in their repertoire. Past concerts have seen NEXUS sharing the stage with the Amadeus Choir,  the Elora Festival Singers,  the MacMillan Singers, and the Toronto Children’s… Read more »

Getting in Touch with Your Inner Musician

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I want to tell you about Bill Cahn‘s workshop entitled “Creative Music-Making.”   Bill has given it a subtitle – “Four Simple Steps to Cultivating the Inner Musician” – and it is designed for any age, professional and amateur alike, experienced or “never tried it”. Completely interactive, the workshop provides an opportunity to TRY THINGS –… Read more »

“POPS” Goes the Family Programming

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The holidays are upon us! In every corner of the globe there are celebrations – I’ll give you a list of a “baker’s dozen” at the end of this post. It has set me to thinking about the FAMILY and POPS repertoire in the NEXUS programme collection. “An African Celebration” is a joyous programme with… Read more »

Woodstock’s Percussion Connections

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Bob Becker’s blog mentions George Hamilton Greene‘s grave in Woodstock’s Artists’ Cemetery. (For a nice winter view of this peaceful place, click here)  . I hadn’t known about the Cemetery, but Fodor’s makes it sound downright percussive: “Many of the stones, in keeping with the wishes of their buried subjects, tell artfully rendered stories that… Read more »

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