Looking at Percussion through a radical eye, while shaking off the cliches of our instruments, and seeking the danger within all things…
"No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Working With Gongs - Part 2
Further YouTube adventures. This time looking at different Gong types:
Today's blog is a revised & updated blog I posted 3 years ago on my old website. I'm always having people ask me about buying a Gong. Well, here's some tips:
•••••••• So you’ve decided to get a Gong. The first thing to ask is, what will I use a Gong for? What type of music do you play? Do you want to use it in a rock band, a jazz band, solo? Are you looking for a meditation device? These are important questions and will help determine what type and size of Gong to get.
One important thing to look at is how big a Gong do you want? Gongs are heavy. Gongs are not easy to transport. If this Gong will stay in your house/studio, then that makes it easy to have a larger size. But if you plan to travel in a band with it, you need to look at the impact a different size Gong will have on transporting it. A lot of drummers want a Gong because they look cool and sound cool. They also want that type of sound in their percussive arsenal.
I've been hanging out in California for almost 2 weeks. In that time I've been to the ocean, I've been to the mountains, and I've been to the city. In each case, I've spent a lot of time listening to the sounds around me and absorbing the rhythms. There is so much we can learn from our surroundings just by paying attention. How often do we just go through our day giving little regard to the natural things happening around us?
Oceans of rhythm I spent this afternoon at the beach, walking in the surf, listening to the waves crashing, paying attention to everything going on around me. I heard new and different rhythms. I felt new and different impulses in my nervous system. I learned from the wind and waves things that I can bring back to my music. I learned things you can never find in books.
Wherever you live: ocean, desert, forest, or city, take the time to listen to the world around you and absorb the sounds and rhythms.
Life as an artist in any capacity is really a life of decisions. There are the every moment decisions: what step/color/sound do I take next? My recent blog series on concept/gesture/texture took a close look at those types of decisions that I take every day as a percussionist. But there are also a series of bigger decisions that affect the direction, or arc, of our life long career: what direction do I go in? Which group do I join? How much time do I devote to this? What is my ultimate goal/s?
Career type decisions are often deciding to be a jazz musician, or a classical musician, or a pop/rock musician. What direction do I go in? Or you can decide to be all of them. For many of us, life is a filter and things change throughout our careers. When were are young, energetic, and hungry for experience, we often take every gig imaginable, in all styles, and in every type of venue. In fact, this is advisable, as experience is the best teacher, and by trying new and different things, we may s…