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TSB II - Keynote Presentations

Liliana Araújo
Darrell Bueckert
Philippe Gauthier Boudreau
Russell Hartenberger & Michael Schutz
Psychological readiness in percussion : How to equip musicians of the future? - Lilana Araújo

Performance science literature has consistently reported a high incidence of playing-related musculoskeletal problems and stress-related health issues among musicians, which can affect the success and sustainability of a musical career. Occupational health risks such as over practice and lack of rest, limited access to healthcare, heavy workload and stress, and a culture that glamorizes competition, relentless work ethics, and perfectionism affecting the health and career of many performers. Many of these risk factors can potentially be reduced through behavioural and lifestyle changes, by creating environments that build and support psychological readiness. Liliana Araújo discusses evidence-based, practical strategies that can be used in percussion training and professional environments to build psychological readiness. Topics include: 1) recognizing the psychological impact of injury; 2) creating an empowering environment; 3) reducing stressors and developing coping mechanisms; and 4) encouraging healthy practice and performance habits

Bell Plates Revisited: The Search for Data-Assisted Performance - Darrell Bueckert

When the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra needed five bell plates for one concert, Darrell Bueckert and his colleagues teamed up with a local marimba builder and an aircraft mechanic. After much trial and error, the team constructed a set of serviceable bell plates that were in fact used for that performance. Pitch and dynamic issues were concerns from performer’s perspective since we have very little scientific information about how performance decisions affect how bell plates vibrate. Guided by his insatiable curiosity, Darrell decided to take these plates to the anechoic chamber at the University of Saskatchewan to gather a lot more data about how bell plates vibrate. In this presentation Darrell will describe his experiment and uncovers questions such as: What are we actually hearing? What are the specific frequencies of the harmonics are we hear? What is the relationship of fundamental pitch to the harmonics? How does this change when changing the strike point? How does this change when struck with every conceivable beater? 

Shaping the timbre of cymbals - Philippe Gauthier Boudreau

Artisan cymbal maker, Philippe Gauthier Boudreau will go through the elements that contribute to the different sound characteristics of a cymbal, such as the pitch, complexity, sustain and the ways to achieve these nuances. He also dicusses the different stages of cymbal making, from a raw bronze disc to a finished instrument.

Steve Reich's "Drumming": Historical background and analysis of phasing - Russell Hartenberger and Michael Schutz

Steve Reich’s landmark composition, Drumming (1971), calls for gradual phasing or desynchronization with subsequent resynchronization at specified beat offsets. This request for players to drift apart presents an interesting challenge to performers who have spent a lifetime focusing on playing together. In preparing his book Performance Practice in the Music of Steve Reich (Cambridge, 2016), Russell Hartenberger began wondering what “really happens” when executing phasing. To answer the question, he approached Michael Schutz, which led to the first-ever scientific study of phasing in Reich’s Drumming. Analysis reveals that the separation and re-alignment of the voices is neither smooth nor monotonic. In fact, at least one fifth of the cycle repetitions in the nominally “accelerating” voice actually slowed down. Consequently, they exhibited an intriguing pattern of push and pull, even when performers intended to play independently. The talk begins with Hartenberger’s first-hand accounts of working with Reich in developing this landmark composition before presenting the analysis of what actually happens when two of the most experienced interpreters of this music execute a phase.