Austerity Measures video


Check out the Portland Percussion Group’s excellent video of my composition, Austerity Measures.

Thanks to Aaron, Brett, Brian, and Chris for their great performance.

Austerity Measures was one of three scores selected for the PPG’s 2015 Call for Scores, “Nothing With Wheels.”

This piece for percussion quartet is scored for a small number of instruments for economy and portability, but utilizes a number of temporal concepts in contemporary music as well as show cases some of the orchestral accessory percussion instruments.

Learn more about the piece here, where you’ll find program notes and how to obtain the score.

CAML Review of Points of Departure


Here’s a link to Dr. Edward Jurkowski’s review of “Point of Departure” in the CAML Review:  The Journal of the Canadian Association of Music Libraries.

Many thanks to Dr. Jurkowski (Dean of Fine Arts at the University of Lethbridge) for his kind words about the performances as well as his thoughtful and thorough commentary about the compositions and recording.


Lecture Recital at University of Toronto

On Thursday, Oct. 29 (1pm), I’ll be giving a lecture/recital/masterclass for the University of Toronto percussion studio.  As a long time fan of U of T’s work in percussion from their faculty, students, and alums, it will be an honor to present there.  Bev Johnston’s recordings on CMC were certainly an inspiration for this project!

I’m promoting and presenting pieces on my Points of Departure CD, released by Centrediscs this year.  If you haven’t heard it take a listen!



The real hard goods from CMC!





2015-2016 Clinic/Lecture/Recitals

During the 2015-2016 year, I will be giving a number of lecture recitals to share some of the repertoire from my Points of Departure CD.

In late September, I gave the recitals at Queens University and the University of Ottawa.

On October 29, I will give the lecture recital at the University of Toronto.

2016 appearances include University of Michigan, University of British Columbia, University of Oregon, Portland State University, Western Washington University and more to be confirmed.

Transplanted Roots Percussion Research Symposium

I greatly enjoyed attending and presenting at the Transplanted Roots Percussion Research Symposium at McGill University in Montreal in September.

My talk, “Compressed Orchestrations and Dilated Spectral Conceptions:  Francois Rose’s Points d’emergence” included an analysis and performance of the work and detailed the use of Spectral composition in unpitched compositions.

All of the concerts and presentations were greatly enjoyable and inspiring.

Beverley Johnston reviews Points of Departure in latest Ontario PAS Newsletter.

Bev Johnston is one of North America’s  distinguished percussion soloists.  Her  recordings on the Centrediscs label are inspiring and influential.  That said, her kind words about Points of Departure are truly moving to me.

Points of Departure CD Review by Beverley Johnston

Centrediscs CMCCD 20715

“POINTS OF DEPARTURE” is a fabulous representation of “the idea of Canada”…a combination of multi-cultural influenced Canadian percussion solos performed exquisitely by American-born musician Nicholas Papador.

The recording opens with Papador’s own composition A Very Welcome and indeed it is! Played with heart and musicality, this is also a great display of Papador’s technical control on the marimba. Beautiful execution of dynamics and flawless riffs add to the impressiveness of the well-maintained structure of the piece. Les petites reprises, by Isabelle Panneton, is also for marimba solo. This piece is somewhat more structurally disjointed but Nicholas manages to “connect the dots” with the clarity and smoothness of his rolls and his control of the dynamics. The third marimba representation on this recording is Hamilton-based composer Christien Ledroit’s epic piece Night Chill –the first representation of the piece being on Catherine Meuniere’s debut Centrediscs recording of the same name. Excellent balance between marimba and audio thanks to the expertise of popular percussion recording producer Ray Dillard and recording engineer Douglas Romanow.

The two vibraphone solo selections are by Nicolas Gilbert (Ariane endormie) and Linda Catlin Smith (Invisible Cities). Gilbert is not a “newbie” to the percussion composition scene, having written several works for marimba, vibraphone and multi-percussion. His latest venture into solo percussion will be a piece for the semi-finals of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s Percussion Competition in November, 2015. Linda Smith has added extensively to the percussion repertoire also. Invisible Cities was written for her husband, percussionist Richard Sacks and has been played often by him and many other percussionists. Both pieces are somewhat minimalist in nature and well-paced in the capable hands (mallets!) of Papador!

The single multi-percussion solo represented on this recording, and the longest piece, is called Points d’emergence – “Points of departure”. Thank you Nicholas for sharing your ability to make a combination of diverse percussion instruments sound like one instrument! Perhaps the most structurally erudite piece on the recording, Papador has the skill to enrapture the listener for the whole length of this technically challenging work through his innate understanding of tone production, musical structure and masterful phrasing.

Congrats Nicholas Papador! Can’t wait to hear your next recording!

A Couple of Photos from River of Fundament

Here’s a couple photo stills from the Matthew Barney/Jonathan Bepler film, “River of Fundament:”


Each of the boats contains a sax quartet and a percussionist (I’m in the left boat).  We’re circling a crime scene.  A car (representing the Egyptian deity Osiris) will be extracted from the River Rouge with that crane.  Yes, we spent quite a few hours floating on the Rouge near Zug Island.


Aimee Mullins (playing Isis) is taken away by Set’s henchmen as the Osiris car is blowtorched into 14 pieces.  The saxophones and percussionists play “the cutting song.”

The film is still having selected worldwide screenings since it’s 2014 premiere.  It is a six-hour film with powerful, disturbing, and beautiful imagery with a deep thread of literary and mythological themes.