On October 6, 2018, I was fortunate to attend a day of xylophone at NYU hosted by Jonathan Haas and Jon Singer. The day was called Xylophone Now! and featured performances and clinics by Xylofolks, Shaun Tilburg, Ian Finkel, James Saporito, NYU Percussion Ensemble, SUNY Purchase Percussion Ensemble, and the Rutgers Youth Percussion Ensemble. The performances were absolutely amazing and I was so glad to finally have the opportunity to hear these great performers perform in a live setting.
This video features virtuoso xylophone soloist Bob Becker and NEXUS performing Valse Brillante (by George Hamilton Green/arr.Bob Becker) at a performance at the Sejong Culture Center in Seoul, Korea on May 19, 1984 as part of a NEXUS world tour. (The performers include Russell Hartenberger, Robin Engelman, Bill Cahn, John Wyre). Pay close attention to phrasing.
This is a beautiful performance of “Japurá River” by Philip Glass. I could listen to this all day. This video is performed & arranged by Third Coast Percussion (Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, David Skidmore).
The Black Page first appeared on Zappa In New York in 1978. Terry Bozzio recounts how the Black Page was written:
He wrote it, because we had done this 40-piece orchestra gig together and he was always hearing the studio musicians in LA, that he was musing on that, talking about the fear of going into sessions some morning and being faced with “the black page”. So he decided to write his “Black Page”. Then he gave it to me, and I could play parts of it right away. (more…)
Performed by Quey Percussion Duo (Gene Koshinski and Tim Broscious) with the University of Minnesota Duluth Graduate Percussion Ensemble (Jordan Holley, Jody Morgan, Doug Quance, and Michael Taylor)
Circuit Breaker, scored for percussion sextet, functions as a concertino for percussion duo with percussion quartet accompaniment. While there is no set program, the impetus for the piece came from images of robots dancing. Initially, I was intrigued by a video of twenty synchronized “Noa” robots dancing in perfect unison, but the aesthetic of the music did not seem to fit the visual image. This posed the question, “What kind of music would a robot dance to?” This question conjured up a variety of ideas and sounds from mechanical and industrial to unusual and whimsical. Circuit Breaker takes the listener through a series of musical scenes that offer a response to this abstract question. (more…)
Organized Rhythm, a percussion and organ duo featuring Clive Driskill-Smith and Joseph Gramley, performs J.S. Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Be sure to check out their recording of the Planets by Holst.
“miracle ear” by David Lang
Video & Audio by Evan Chapman of Four/Ten Media
Performed by Matt Evans