Blackearth Percussion Group

Blackearth Percussion Group

The Blackearth Percussion Group was conceived in 1971, formed in 1972, and disbanded in 1979. Original members were Garry Kvistad, Rick Kvistad, Allen Otte, Michael Udow and Chris Braun. Members joining later were James Baird, David Johnson, and Stacey Bowers. Residencies included the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University, and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. The group is credited for rediscovering John Cage’s “Third Construction” shortly after the manuscript was made public, performing it throughout the United States and Europe beginning in January of 1977. Blackearth performed 38 world premieres, gave 157 concerts throughout North America and Europe, made three recordings, commissioned many compositions, played several different concertos with orchestras, experimented with micro-tonal tuning systems, memorized complex pieces, was among the first percussion groups to write and perform music of the minimalists, and developed several multi-media productions.

Garry Kvistad, founder and CEO of Woodstock Chimes®, has been a member of Steve Reich and Musicians since 1979 and is one of eighteen to win a Grammy Award for the recording of Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians. He has been a member of the acclaimed NEXUS percussion group since 2002. Kvistad has performed with both groups as soloists with pre-eminent orchestras throughout the world. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and master’s degree from Northern Illinois University. Formerly on the faculties of Northern Illinois University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a member of the Blackearth Percussion Group, Kvistad is currently on the faculty of the Bard College Conservatory.

Powerpoint Presentation shown at PASIC 2016

clipboard_20pxSession: Lecture Presentation/Performance
“Blackearth Percussion Group Retrospective 1972–1979”

clock_20pxDate & Location
Wabash Ballroom

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