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
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
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
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
I have been working with Russell since 1979 as a member of Steve Reich and Musicians and since 2002 as a member of NEXUS. Anyone who has had the honor of working with Russell knows the joy of music making with someone with such insight and musicality. I doubt the music of Steve Reich would be quite … Continue reading Colleague Russell Hartenberger wins big time!
In 1974, I performed with the Blackearth Percussion Group at the State University of New York at Potsdam. The young percussion teacher at that time was Jim Petercsak. Last week, 43 years later, history repeated itself, but this time it was with the percussion group NEXUS. The instructor in charge was, yes, Jim Petercsak. Professor … Continue reading NEXUS in Potsdam
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 … Continue reading Music and Math
NEXUS has always been a groundbreaking ensemble and Saturday night, June 4th was no exception. We had the honor of being the first percussion group to play at the 35-year-old Rockport Chamber Music Festival in the spectacular Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts. One feels like a 3-D component of a Norman Rockwell painting … Continue reading “On the Road Again” with NEXUS