John Lane

percussionist | composer



Episode 20: Allen Otte


This episode features a conversation with percussionist Allen Otte, a founding member of the Blackearth Percussion Group and the Percussion Group Cincinnati.

Allen was a former teacher of mine at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he has taught for over 30 years. He continues to be a source of inspiration, mentorship, and deep friendship. 

Recorded in my home studio, we chatted about his associations with composers John Cage,  Herbert Brün, and Frederic Rzewski, the history of percussion music in the US, the role of an artist, living and sustaining a creative life, and socially conscious music.

The Percussion Group Cincinnati recently released a recording on Mode Records featuring some of the early percussion music of John Cage. You can see more videos of PGC on their YouTube page.

Here's an excerpt of Allen's performance of a the work written for him, "The Fall of the Empire," by long-time collaborator Frederic Rzewski. (The entire work is available on YouTube.) You can also read an interview I did with Allen about Rzewski's work and socially conscious music: 21st Century Music.

Finally, here is Allen's version of Herbert Brün's graphically notated percussion work, "Touch and Go."

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