Gordon Stout; Wellness, Adapting, and the Art of Being Frank

Gordon with "Big Bertha"

Gordon with “Big Bertha”


After spending several days hosting Gordon Stout at the 2014 Longhorn Marimba Intensive I couldn’t help but be impressed with his vigor and overall enthusiasm for playing and teaching. Gordon gave a marimba recital, clinic and master-class during his time at LHMI.
So how does he do it? He attributes losing weight (almost 20lbs!), a recent sabbatical, and more practice time; claiming he is currently playing his best. After his recital I can attest to that! I can only hope that in my 60’s I can be playing that well, and have as much zeal for playing and sharing my knowledge of the marimba.
Of course, In Gordon’s case, that knowledge is immense. The students (and yes, yours truly) constantly enjoyed many of Gordon’s stories and philosophies. After a serious update on the rosewood shortage Gordon made a statement saying “Breaking a marimba bar is a sin”. The students all laughed but, of course Gordon didn’t.
As someone who remembers earlier days for the modern marimba and it’s repertoire I find younger students don’t know enough about figures like Gordon Stout and what they’ve contributed to our art. To that end I know that Gordon is currently working on an iBook to help rectify this problem. We’ll keep you posted on that effort and be sure to let you know of it’s progress.
Gordon discussing his 2nd Mexican Dance

Gordon discussing his 2nd Mexican Dance


It’s refreshing to me to see how he has embraced technology. Gordon shared with me that along with his new ibook project he is also experimenting with video. Expect him to make the best use of the ibooks platform. You’ll also find Gordon on Twitter: @StoutGordon (I love his twitter profile pic). Gordon recently released a new CD entitled Welcome to Stoutland which will be released digitally soon. Hit the link above for more news and information about his new music and projects.
Want more Gordon? Be sure to check out our podcast interview from a few years back: Part I Part II.
Do you have any Gordon Stout impressions? If so, please share them below the post.

Xylophonist Teddy Brown

Last week, I featured Michel the tap dancing xylophonist. This week, I wanted to share the Teddy Brown video. He was an American entertainer who spent the latter part of his life performing in Britain. He was born Abraham Himmelbrand in 1900, and first played in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, but moved to the field of popular music in the 1920s. Be sure to read the “more info” on the YouTube page for more information.

Jojo Mayer – The Distance Between 0 and 1

Exploring the distance between zero and one – Live at the TEDxZurich 2011.

Jojo Mayer gives a brief synopsis on the emergence of rhythm culture and its relationship to technology and communication in the western world. In regards to this, he shares his thoughts on interacting with digital culture and cross examines the relevance of a human performance in the digital age.

Thanks to Daniel Ellis for the recommendation. Do you have a video you think should be posted on this blog? Please send your recommendations. Thanks!

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