Unusual Instruments, Part 6 – Antique Roller Organs

I can’t help myself. I am addicted to music and collect objects of musical beauty. I am especially drawn to mechanical musical instruments and have been fortunate to add many to my collection over the years. In fact, you could say I invented my own by creating the first musically tuned windchimes, which are mechanical … Continue reading Unusual Instruments, Part 6 – Antique Roller Organs

Camping with the Madame

Diane and I have been campers ever since our daughters were very young, for 30 some years. We started camping on our honeymoon in 1977 in central Saskatchewan, using a small pup tent and traveling by canoe on a huge lake for a week without seeing a soul. When the kids were young, we upgraded … Continue reading Camping with the Madame

Concert Honesty Podcast with Josh Quillen

Josh Quillen of So Percussion asked me to be on his excellent Concert Honesty podcast recently. Not only did my group NEXUS Percussion recently record with So Percussion, but Josh’s other group, NYU Steel, is a longtime performer at my biennial Drum Boogie Festival in Woodstock, NY. I had a blast talking with Josh about … Continue reading Concert Honesty Podcast with Josh Quillen

Concerts, Sessions and Grandchildren

It’s been a busy month in Lake Wobegon – I mean Woodstock. Our group NEXUS performed several times and recorded three pieces of Steve Reich’s music with the members of So Percussion and other amazing musicians. One of the sessions was a four-camera video recording at Princeton University of Reich’s Drumming, which is over an … Continue reading Concerts, Sessions and Grandchildren

Joyous Noise

Have you seen the Spielberg movie Lincoln? It brought to light all the backroom deals that were cut to free the slaves and establish the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. While our country is still divided in many ways today, we all experience moments of liberation and unity. One such experience was shared by the 175 … Continue reading Joyous Noise

Peanut Butterfly Interlochen Boom

  Those were the words given to us by our “high school” orchestra conductor, Thor Johnson, when we were playing a difficult new work by a Japanese composer in the mid-1960s. If you say each word on four beats, fitting the syllables equally in each beat, it helps create a rhythm of 2 + 3 + … Continue reading Peanut Butterfly Interlochen Boom

BREAKING NEWS:

Music Is Healing Of course, many of us have known this for a long time, but research is coming out more frequently to tell us how and why it is true. Certain sounds can lower your stress level, increase your creative focus and make you more productive! I’m often told that the music of Woodstock … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS:

A Very Special Christmas Concert

My day job is making Woodstock Chimes but at night I come out to play. I recently had the privilege once again to play timpani with the Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra and the local Mendelssohn Club Men’s Chorus. We were joined by student guest performers from the Anderson Center for Autism. The Anderson Center students … Continue reading A Very Special Christmas Concert

Unusual Instruments Part 4 – The Tiki Brothers Performing “Tiki Time” à la Steve Reich

I joined Steve Reich and Musicians in 1979, touring and recording with them for nearly 40 years. Steve’s music transcends all boundaries. One unique technique Steve developed is called “phasing,” where two players begin in unison (playing the same material in the same time) and one speeds up slightly until a “canon” is formed. This … Continue reading Unusual Instruments Part 4 – The Tiki Brothers Performing “Tiki Time” à la Steve Reich