Skip to main content

Percussion Centre Stage: Baljinder Sekhon's places & times (April 27, 2018 - Innova Recordings)

Baljinder Sekhon - places & times
(April 27, 2018 - Innova Recordings)

Performers: Dave Gerhart,Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Dieter Hennings, McCormick Percussion Group, Robert McCormick, Eunmi Ko, Line Upon Line Percussion

Buy the CD

In places & times, composer Baljinder Sekhon explores the possibilities of the modern percussion ensemble with surprising - even melodic - results. Sekhon currently teaches at the University of South Florida. With its subtitle of "Mapping the interior terrain", the music is intriguing, surprising, even entertaining, and not the essentially cerebral music you might expect.

Passageways, performed by the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet with Dave Gerhart on steel pan, covers a variety of moods, tempos, and tones, a piece with a vital sense of kinetic energy.

Música Casera is performed by guitarist Dieter Hennings along with the McCormick Percussion Group. It's an atmospheric piece with a spooky sense of drama that veers from the delicate plucking of strings to dissonance, ethereal humming to bright percussive tones.

Death Is an Advisor is a piece in six parts with subtitles like Any Time. Any Place. and A Worthy Opponent. The suite was inspired by the writings of author Carlos Castaneda and his books about being an apprentice to the sorcerer Don Juan Matus in the 1960s.

Sekhon writes: “I have been heavily influenced by the teachings of Don Juan, specifically those found in the book Journey to Ixtlan. “Death Is an Adviser” is a chapter from the book that deals with the awareness of death and how such awareness advises our decision-making in life.

Baljinder Sekohn by Gerry Szymanski
From drums and cymbals to the strings of a piano, the range of sounds, tones, and moods is astounding. It's performed by piano soloist Eunmi Ko along with the McCormick Percussion Group.

The first movement begins spooky and reflective, then swept into a whirl of energy in repeated notes and patterns. III. Touched. Not Felt. features the piano in a more central role, and a, dare I say, upbeat burst of melody and percussion. Melodic piano lines and aggressive rhythms contrast each other in the fourth movement - A Worthy Opponent. From the calm serenity of V. Now or Later, VI. Dream Come True finishes with a jarring juxtaposition of melodic beauty and disquieting percussive notes.

Sun, performed by line upon line percussion, throws traditional drumming patterns and lines into a contemporary percussion mash up, cycling through kinetic drama and reflective passages. Refuge (McCormick Percussion Group) is magical and mesmerizing.

Highly evocative and atmospheric, Sekhon makes a compelling case for putting percussion in the spotlight.


  1. Thank you for this wonderful review and for taking the time to get to know this album!


Post a Comment

What Else Is Hot This Week?

Cuba Re-Opens To International Tourism

From a media release:Cuba Re-Opens To International Tourism
October 2020Cuba adapts to the “new normal” and announces the re-opening of international tourism in most of the country.After controlling the pandemic, local authorities announced the country is embracing a “new normal” for most of the country’s provinces except: Havana, Ciego de Avila and Sancti Spiritus (Which still have some cases of local transmission).All international airports are already open, except Havana Airport, which will remain limited to humanitarian and cargo flights for the time being, and Cayo Coco airport, open only for tourism due to the current situation in the province of Ciego de Avila.The Minister of tourism, Mr. Juan Carlos Garcia Granda, said that “air only” passengers will be able to enter the country through all the open airports, with the exception of Cayo Coco Airport, which will continue to work as before (Holiday package: air and hotel).The Minister noted that foreign tourists will be able to st…

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020)

Jazzy Pop:
Shihori - Soul Trip
(Independent / 4 September 2020)New York City based singer and songwriter Shihori's new single Soul Trip is atmospheric and ambient. Interesting rhythms and interwoven melodic vocal lines showcase jazzy harmonic progressions in a slow groove mode. 
As a songwriter, she uses electronic effects with impeccable musical taste. As a singer, her flexible vocals range from a sweet soprano to a strong mid-range.A veteran of the Japanese pop scene, Shihori moved to New York City in 2018, a move she talks about in a media release."I was so surprised when I came to NY for the first time. Independent and strong women are respected and there are lots of different preferences in music and style. I thought, 'oh my God! This place really accepts uniqueness and freedom! I didn't know there is a place like this totally different world that allows you to be yourself. Everybody looks so different. So many races, colors, cultures, fashion, ideas...I am so happy…

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

From a media release:World Premiere
FACTORY presents 
Directed by Nina Lee Aquino
Starring Natasha Mumba
November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM
Streamed live for 6 performances
Free of charge
TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020. 
Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond.acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a questionable r…

Alt Country | Doc Straw & the Scarecrows: Get on By (Independent / July 31, 2020)

Alt Country
Doc Straw & the Scarecrows: Get on By
(Independent / July 31, 2020)Stream it on SpotifyClever lyrics that tell a story and an appealing acoustic bounce give the new single by Doc Straw & the Scarecrows a classic modern folk vibe. The vocal harmonies are pleasing and the words are an upbeat ode to persevering during tough times.
It's a timely message, and Doc talked about it in a release."I wrote this song after getting off of a 3-hour long phone conversation with my sister, Jessica, and a lot of our conversation that evening  centered around some of the tougher things in life and how we were dealing with these struggles. If a person lives long enough then at some point they will experience these trying seasons. I've learned that it's important to pay attention during those times because that is when we have some of the best opportunities to grow."It has a nicely haunting harmonica line and builds to an emotional peak. Virginia based Mike Straw is…

Vancouver Art Gallery Fall Exhibitions | Victor Vasarely, Op Art in Vancouver & Uncommon Language October 17, 2020 to April 5, 2021

From a media release:Vancouver Art Gallery New Fall Exhibitions
Victor Vasarely, Op Art in Vancouver & Uncommon Language
October 17, 2020 to April 5, 2021To book tickets: Visit vanartgallery.bc.caOctober 17, 2020, Vancouver, BC – This fall, the Vancouver Art Gallery presents Victor Vasarely, a selected survey of paintings, sculptures and prints by the Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely (1906–1997), internationally renowned for his colourful abstract patterns and playful, and visually engaging aesthetic.  Victor Vasarely, OERVENG, 1968, tempera on wood composite board, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of the Estate of Kathleen E. Reif, Estate of Victor Vasarely/SOCAN (2020), Photo: Ian Lefebvre, Vancouver Art Gallery The exhibition focuses on his artistic production from the 1960s and 70s, at the height of his popularity. With the most extensive collection of Vasarely artworks in Canada, the Gallery offers a unique opportunity for the public to discover this influenti…