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Showing posts from November, 2011

Looking Beyond Expectations

I'm writing this post as both a percussionist, and as a composer. To me, these 2 roles are inexorably linked - I can't imagine one without the other. One thing I have learned over all these years is that, for both, to just get out of the way of the music, and let it come through. Hindsight is always a great teacher, and a great revealer. 


For example, I was writing a new percussion solo and had a certain idea in mind for how I wanted things to go. But along the way, the music had a different idea. So instead of being insistent, and forcing things to follow my plan, I let go and followed the music. The thing about this is how the music always leads me to unexplored territory. New realms, new rhythms, new voices. One of the amazing things I have learned with working with Gongs is that they are often the teacher, not only showing me things, but opening me up to allow new elements to emerge. 


Understand that I'm not against planning or predetermined ideas, but I have learned to …

New video: Working With Gongs - Part 8

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Here's another in my series of Gong videos. This time I feature a composition I wrote for Gongs, Spiritual Resonance. This was actually the 1st thing I wrote for my newly expanded melodic Gong set up back in 2001 or so. It has evolved over time as I've added other Gongs to my set up, but the main structure has stayed the same. 
The song was inspired by the 3 small Wind and 2 small Chau Gongs that I found at a local music store. I was on a side of town I don't normally hang out in and drove past a store that I rarely went to because it was more of a guitar store. But something compelled me to stop there. So I went in and made my way upstairs to their small percussion department and was surprised by finding a a selection of Gongs. I started playing with them, rearranging them into a pitched based order, then bought the 5 best small ones that made a nice melodic set.I used that set for about 4 years until one of the Chau Gongs lost its pitch, which made the compositions I had…