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Showing posts from September, 2011

The Unwinding Path - Live in Chicago

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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 …

Working With Gongs: Part 5 - Gongs as Hand Drums

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Here it is, Part 5 of my Gong video series. This time I look at using Gongs as Hand Drums. Pretty cool stuff.

~ MB

Happy Birthday John Cage!

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Monday, September 5th, would have been John Cage's 99th Birthday. Cage was truly one of the 20th century's greatest composers. As much as so many people despise or misunderstand him, his contributions to music, and more importantly, how we listen to and relate to music, are immeasurable. As a percussionist, I can attest to Cage's contributions to the percussion repertoire, and his immense sense of vision in bringing percussion to the fore. His ground breaking compositions, like Credo In Us,  First Construction (in Metal), and the Imaginary Landscapes series, are still fresh today after 70 years.


Perhaps Cage's most misunderstood piece, and the ultimate musical deconstruction, is 4'33" (1952). In the performance of this composition, the player does not perform a note for the duration of the 3 movements. The piece has been a challenge to many who see it not as a "piece of music." But Cage's interest in Zen Buddhism is apparent here, and he was for a…