The Way of the River

We can learn a lot about how to play our music by observing a river. In fact, this type of observation/modeling can help us create something that connects with others because it follows a natural rhythm and flow. Think of how a river moves along its banks:

  • The water flows forward at an unhurried pace, carrying things along with it.
  • It flows continuously.
  • The river has twists and turns.
  • Sometimes the water moves fast, sometimes it moves slowly.
  • There are often pools where the motion stops.
  • The river tends to broaden as is moves along.

The way of the river…

  • Do you rush through your own playing, just creating a loud, unfocused din?
  • Are you always 1 or 2 steps ahead of yourself, instead of being in the moment?
  • Do you equate volume/loudness to power?

If you can answer yes to any of the above questions, then perhaps you need to learn how to focus in the moment. Go find a creek, stream, river; then sit and watch it for an hour or so. Notice how it moves. Notice how it changes, yet stays the same. It is always there, flowing. 
The water changes, yet the river remains.
Bring this feeling of flow into your own playing and notice the effect it has on you, on others.

~ MB

Chop Water / Carry Wood / Play Gongs™


  1. Yes.Sometimes I think 'what shall I play next'.Then I just let it happen.It all seems to come together then.Sometimes I think 'what do they need to hear', then I remember everyones experience to the Gong is personal and unique so I let go and just let it happen.Somehow everything seems to find its own way,just like the river.


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