Featured Composition: PanSon for Steel Band by Dave Gerhart

Dave Gerhart wrote PanSon while attending the 2004 CSU Summer Arts Program in Fresno, CA. The Summer Arts program was a two-week percussion workshop where they taught African, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Caribbean drumming and music. The faculty included Michael Spiro, Mark Lamson, Liam Teague, Ray Holman and CK Ladzepko. During this workshop, Michael Spiro did a session on Afro-Cuban drumming and how to identify the clave in music. After the class, Dave wanted to try to write a melody using the concepts Spiro introduced in the class. Dave came up with a montuno and wrote the melody to what became PanSon
The piece is written in the style of a 2-3 Cuban Son with a middle section that has a different montuno and can be opened up for pan or percussion solos. The title PanSon is derived from the name of the instrument (commonly known as Pans) and the style in which the piece is written (Cuban Son).
PanSon is an impressive work (4 minute) for any steel band to show that pans are not just big oil cans that play loud music but rather very delicate instruments that can play a variety of music styles.  Watch the CSULB Steel Drum Orchestra perform PanSon on YouTube.

Featured Book: A Percussionist’s Handbook by Peter Saleh

Peter Saleh’s book A Percussionist’s Handbook is not a method book, but a hands-on, no-nonsense practical resource for teachers and performers serious about their craft. This 100+ page text is a result of years of experience in the trenches of student and professional situations and favors a direct conversational tone. When one stops and thinks about that prospect, the possibility that one should rely on a traditional method book as the sole written resource to prepare a percussionist to be an effective musician seems unreasonable. Even the best snare drum book used by the best teacher cannot always help the student when he is put into an unfamiliar musical or logistical circumstance. This book is intended to help fill the holes that can be left between the musical and the practical.

A Percussionist's Handbook has been used for instruction and supplemental materials by Ithaca College, Rutgers Youth Percussion Ensemble, the Central Jersey Youth Percussion Ensemble, Ithaca College, the Juilliard Pre-College, the North Carolina Governor's School, and Global Percussion, Inc and has assisted many student percussionists in realizing the practical, yet less commonly discussed elements of their craft.

Featured Media: (CD) John Hadfield: Displaced

John Hadfield’s is extremely excited to announce the release of his second record, which is entitled Displaced. For this new album, he has composed four original pieces "1213," "Module," "One" and "Cyclical." The compositions are all written for percussion and electronics, inspired by instruments he has discovered during his travels as well as by the noises produced by found objects and aleatoric weather patterns. The instruments on the record range from gender wayang to springs, lions roar, kanjira, gongs, and electronic sound manipulation.

"1213" was instigated by the displacement of the rhythmic interval of 1213. It utilizes Balinese gamelan instruments, a large plastic tube, bells from India, numerous drums, gongs and rattles.

"Module" was written for a hybrid drum set with springs, glockenspiel and aleatoric samples of the weather outside my New York apartment.

"One" is a duet with amazing percussionist Satoshi Takeishi drawing on a South Indian Korvai with extended improvisation.

"Cyclical" is a work for solo bicycle with electronic manipulation and sounds by Abelton wizard Harold Bott.

Check out Displaced and other John Hadfield CDs HERE. For audio samples from each CD, click HERE.

Featured Composer: Glen Velez

Four time Grammy Award winner, Glen Velez is the founding Father of the modern Frame Drum movement and is regarded as a legendary figure among musicians and audiences worldwide. Velez’s revolutionary approach to Frame Drum has opened new possibilities for musicians around the globe.

As a performer, Velez became the first percussionist to gain international recognition for solo frame drum. He has collaborated with Steve Reich, the Paul Winter Consort, Suzanne Vega, Maya Beiser, Tan Dun, Pat Metheny, Israel Philharmonia, Brooklyn Philharmonia, Opera Orchestra of New York, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Zakir Hussain, Sonny Fortune, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, David Darling, Howard Levy, Eugene Friesen and Coleman Barks. He even inspired the great twentieth century composer John Cage to compose a work entitled Composed Improvisation for One-Sided Drum with or without Jingles especially for Velez.

Velez draws upon his deep knowledge of the great drumming traditions of the Middle East, South India and the Mediterranean world (ancient and modern) in his compositions. Glen Velez’s composition, Sol Tunnels for percussion quartet, was commissioned by The Ethos Percussion Ensemble and is the title for one of their new recordings. Sol Tunnels has a wonderful blend of cultural and musical styles. Velez credits the melodic ideas incorporated to the influence of Arabic drumming and much of the rhythmic interplay that happens is inspired by his appreciation of South Indian drumming.

Visit Glen Velez’s personal website for further information and tour dates.

Highlights (February)

~PAS NYC "Weekend of Percussion" this coming weekend, featuring Bachovich's own Valerie Naranjo, Joseph Gramley, Sean Statser, and Andrew Beall.

~Rest in Peace: Beloved percussionist and educator from Atlanta, Paul Jasionowski, passed away on January 4th of this year. Paul donated his heart and soul to Bachovich every PASIC, and was there from our very beginning in 2006. Paul was our most consistent PASIC booth worker, and we will all miss him immensely.

~Bachovich Welcomes New Composers:

Randy Max
Schumann/R. Max: 6 Pieces for Pedal Piano, op. 56 & 58 for timpani and piano (includes audio CD)

Peter Saleh
A Percussionist’s Handbook

~Other New Works from Your Favorite Bachovich Composers:

Gene Koshinski: Variations (after ViƱao) for two-mallet marimba solo.

~Ironworks Percussion Duo Composition Competition

Official Webpage HERE.

Download Entry Form, Eligibility & Guidelines HERE.

~We've Gone Global: Bachovich continues to expand, with sales in Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Costa Rica, Japan, France, Belgium, Poland, England, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, China, Taiwan, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Hungary.