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…)
As a performing artist, we are always looking for new ways to improve and refine our craft. There are stumbling blocks along the path to mastery and for a lot of people, myself included, it happens in the practice room. A friend of mine from grad school, Annie Bosler, shared this video she created with along Don Greene for TedEd. Check out the video and then follow this link for the full lesson.
Congrats Annie and Don!
Don has also written a couple of great books on performance success and audition success. Be sure to check them out.
Dave Weckl just posted this video yesterday on his YouTube channel. The video features Chick Corea, Frank Gambale, Eric Marianthal, and John Patitucci performing as the Chick Corea Electric Band in Bangkok (March 2017).
On September 4, 2016, principal percussionist Raynor Carroll retired from the Los Angeles Philharmonic. After serving the orchestra for 33-years and playing countless concerts, he has decided to step down and continue directing the percussion program at UCLA. I was fortunate to take private lessons with Raynor from 1995 – 1998 while I was in the American Youth Symphony. I still remember my first phone call and lesson. Raynor changed the way that I approached timpani and percussion. Years later, I had the opportunity to teach with him at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB and I will always be indebted to him for everything he taught me over the past 20 years. (more…)
Performed by Third Coast Percussion
Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, David Skidmore
Blindnesses is scored for four percussionists— sharing one vibraphone— and electronic sound processing. The electronic component of the piece at times adds a cavernous artificial resonance to the sound, while at other times, it plays back distorted fragments of music performed by the live musicians earlier in the piece. The four percussionists- whose movements must be meticulously choreographed to perform together on a single instrument- create their own stark sonic contrasts with a variety of mallets and acoustic pitch bending effects. (more…)
Happy March! It is a busy time for everyone. WGI is heating up and I am in Indy this week for the Music for All National Festival and Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival. The level of middle and high school percussion ensembles are amazing. I saw groups perform percussion ensemble pieces that were once played by college ensembles. I also had an opportunity to visit the PAS Rhythm Discovery Center. It is a must for any percussionist. Here are some articles to check out this weekend. Please let me know your recommendations. Leave a comment below. (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.
Last week, Gary Burton announced his retirement from performing. Over the next couple of months, we will feature articles and interviews with Gary. Here’s a recent podcast that TakeNote, a magazine by BerkleeOnline.
Check out the page for videos and more information about Gary Burton’s career.
A couple of months ago, Doug Perkins sat down with Michael Burritt, Percussion Professor at Eastman University, to talk about teaching, music, and family. There are other podcasts including interviews with Josh Quillen, Eric Beach, Ivan Trevino, and John Kennedy. What are your favorite podcasts? Leave a comment below.
It is difficult to believe that March is almost here. Where did the first two months of the year go? If you are a collegiate educator, can you believe that there are only two months left in the semester? Below are some articles to get you ready for the rest of semester and to start thinking about summer. Please share your articles below in the comments.
17 Smart Things the Most Productive People do Every Day by Larry Kim
2016 Best Books: Over 100 Good Books to Read, Organized by Category by James Clear
I absolutely love James Clear’s blog. His posts are thoughtful and inspiring. Check out this post and read another one while you are there.