Posts

Showing posts from August, 2018

Silence As A Tool

Image
I have to thank my good friend, Kenny Kolter, for the idea for today's post. We were talking about using silence as a tool. It's an interesting concept that I fear many people making music, especially Gong & Bowl players, don't understand.

Into The Realm Of Silence

Silence is remarkable in its ability to actually reveal sound. So much music today, and much of the Gong playing I hear, is a non-stop barrage of sound. In that capacity, it's virtually impossible to distinguish individual sounds, to really hear what is going on. The human mind has the remarkable ability to shut off unrelenting sounds, or noise, after a short time. 


Invite silence into your playing. Photo © Michael Bettine
Think of the street construction in front of your house. At first you find it irritating and loud, but after a while, your mind tunes it out and you barely notice it anymore. The same with the neighbor's lawn mower, busy street traffic, or living by an airport. All these extraneous sou…

This Is Not A Competition

Image
It always intrigues me how artists often talk like they are in some sort of completion with other artists. “If only I was as good as X,” or, “I've really got X beat with what I'm doing now.” This type of thinking, whether feeling less than, or better than someone else, is really counter productive to our artistic endeavors. 

The funny thing is, if you are trying to keep up with someone else, they will always be a step or two ahead of you. And if you feel that you are ahead of someone else, they may shift direction and leave you sitting there by yourself.




Competition?

Competition. What for? What is the real goal? The only competition we need is with ourselves. The challenge should not be to be better than someone else, but to be better at what we do each day. The arts are not sports. There are no winners or losers. There is no real definition of winning.

I used to think this way, but it's a dead end where you end up spending too much time looking over your shoulder at what othe…

What's The Best Gong To Buy?

Image
This week we go to the mail box again. This time from Rafael in Brazil:

Can I ask you a question, please? One interested person that wants a gong for Yoga sessions asked what is the ideal size for a gong in that situation? We have the 32" Chiron, but is it too big? What should be considered? Do you think a 24" is too small?

32” is a great size because it puts out a lot of vibrations, yet it is still easily carried. I use 2-32” Paiste Gongs, a Symphonic and a Sound Creation Earth. The Chiron is a great Gong and I know a lot of people who use that one. I always recommend a Gong 24” or larger for yoga or meditation, especially if it’s the only gong being used. A 24” still puts out a lot of sound & vibrations. Smaller Gongs just don't seem to have the enough vibrational power on their own. The one exception would be the 22" Paiste Accent Gong, which puts out a lot of sound for its size.

My current Paiste set up is the 2-32” Gongs, a 28” Jupiter, 26” Prototype, 24” Venu…