The Unwinding Path - Live in Chicago




A celebration of the Atumnal Equinox.

Every Gong Session I do is completely spontaneous, based upon my mood at the time, the room, and most importantly, the people who are there. So I’m never sure what will happen, or what I actually did when I’m done, because for me it’s all about being in the moment. I recorded last Friday’s Session in Chicago and and am quite surprised by the results. One thing different is that I brought some of my compositions into the mix of things, sort of bridging the gap between a meditation session and a concert. 


It's truly a fine line to walk between improvisation and composition. But is improvisation really anything but composition in the moment? The key to all of this is to listen, and listen again. What is happening in the air around you? How are the sounds you create interacting with the room? With the people in the room? Since no two places in time are exactly alike, no two performances can be exactly alike, and it's the differences that need to be seized upon and investigated. I'm always listening, looking for that unknown spark that will send me off on a journey to new musical realms. Even the things I've done before are different, as I see them with new eyes/ears each time. So remember to always listen, and follow the spark down the unwinding path…

Besides the usual Paiste Gongs, I brought along one of the 19” steel Custom Tone Gongs I got from Zeke Dauner when I was in Memphis this past May. The sound fit right in and had a certain magical element to it, sounding like a steel drum at times. I also had some amazing ‘beat’ experiences between my 24” Water & 24” Venus Gongs. Their tuning is just slightly off pitch from each other and opens up an amazing world of sympathetic beats.

I’m always intrigued by the sense of time shifting I experience. What turned out to be over an hour of continual playing, seemed to be maybe 10-15 minutes at the most to me.




Friday night's Gong set up—all Paiste except as noted: top row - 24" Sc Water, 32" Symphonic, 28" Jupiter, 24" Venus; bottom row - 20" Symphonic, 19" Custom Tone Steel, 22" Accent, laying on the floor - 14" Michael Paiste bronze Volcano Gong.



Also a selection of Tibetan Singing Bowls and a Japanese Rin Gong.



The selection of mallets and playing implements.



The Mallinckrodt Center

My deep gratitude to: Paiste Cymbals/Sounds/Gongs & Mike Balter Mallets for their continued support. Also thanks to Michael Paiste, Zeke Dauner, & Steve Hubback for creating sone amazing Gongs for me to play. Special thanks to Ruthie and Ardath for making this event possible. Very special thanks to all the people who attended.

The journey through our lives is like an unwinding path, leading us closer to ourselves. - Singal Rinpoche


You can stream a recording of the performance and even buy a high quality download here: The Unwinding Path

~ MB

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