Confession of a Percussionist

Long ago I knew that music would be my future. I knew then that percussion specifically would be my passion. This all started in the fourth grade when I joined the school band. Through the years I’ve come to realize that percussion is underappreciated and often misunderstood. On my drive home from work recently, I … Continue reading Confession of a Percussionist

From Music Boxes to Vacuums

New style music boxes are a favorite gift for Valentine’s Day. I have a number of music boxes in my collection and one of my favorites is a large, rare Regina music box from 1899. It was made after the company moved from Germany to New Jersey. These antique instruments used large metal disks to … Continue reading From Music Boxes to Vacuums

More Cowbell

  I have an extensive collection of a few hundred cowbells, ranging from tiny to gargantuan, which makes the famous Saturday Night Live skit “More Cowbell” ring a bell with me, so to speak. I even incorporated a Dharma Cowbell into the Woodstock Chimes line, so popular it’s out of stock at the moment! It’s … Continue reading More Cowbell

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

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

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

Drum Boogie Festival® was a Booming Success!

A Production of the Woodstock Chimes Fund Since 2009, I’ve been the Executive Producer and driving force behind the Drum Boogie Festival, a free, fun, daylong music festival. The fifth biennial Drum Boogie Festival was held in Woodstock, NY on Saturday, Sept. 9th, 2017. Several thousand people enjoyed a great day of music as eleven … Continue reading Drum Boogie Festival® was a Booming Success!