Showing posts from November, 2016

The Journey is the Destination

Today, more musings on questions   recently  asked. This time, I look at what we really do. Someone was asking, “Is there a goal to our playing?” Another way to look at it is, should we look towards an endpoint when we are playing? This is an interesting question. In the modern world, we are brought up in an atmosphere of winning is everything . It seems all our activities have as their purpose, getting better grades, making more money, acquiring more things. But in our quest for all this, we have lost our direction and veered off the path. We are wandering around in the weeds of material gain, looking for a destination. The important thing to realize when we play the Gongs/Bowls/Bells, is that there is no destination .  The journey itself is the destination.   It's important to be in the moment, to be fully present when playing. Too often we can be sidetracked by thinking ahead, thinking about some imagined ending, or result. But by being so focused ahead, we miss t

How Should You Store Your Gongs?

Today's blog comes from   FaceBook, where someone  posted asking about how to store your Gongs. This is a great question that I haven't really seen covered before. The prevailing thought that I have seen from people is to store them horizontally, laying them on their face, stacking multiple Gongs on top/inside each other. This is perfectly fine, as long as you protect the face of each Gong with carpet/blankets/etc. Many people will say not to store them vertically on their edge because they can become damaged. I have to say that this is incorrect . I have around 200 Gongs and cymbals, and in over 40+ year of being a percussionist, I have always stored them vertically on their edge. In that time I have not had any instrument become damaged from being stored on the edge! Gravity alone will not damage a Gong stored on its edge! The only way you will damage a Gong stored on its edge is if you purposely push down on it against the floor, drop it, store something heavy on t

Working With Instruments You Don't Like

I hand pick most of my instruments. I play through a lot of different ones to find the ones that will work for me. But sometimes I buy things online, based on sound files/videos, or just a general knowledge of what it will most likely sound like.  In both cases,  sometimes   when I get the instrument home, and start playing it, there is a sense of disappointment, or a feeling of “That doesn't sound like I thought it would.” This can often be attributed to the changing acoustics of different rooms, or even my own changing mood from day to day. But sometimes things just don't sound the way I had hoped they would. What's a person to do? A first reaction might be to dump it, sell it online and hopefully recoup all, or most, of what I spent for it. But a better thing to do is to live with it, to work with it, to give it time to sink in.  As humans, we are most attuned to familiarity.  We like familiar music, clothes, food, etc. Often, something different puts us off. T

Gongs of Compassion

“In the Buddhist tradition, compassion and love are seen as two aspects of same thing: compassion is the wish for another being to be free from suffering; love is wanting them to have happiness.” ~ T he Dalai Lama Compassion, something the world seems to be lacking in today. We only need to turn on the TV, or go on the internet, to see so many acts of disregard for our fellow humans. When people come to your sessions, please think about them, and think about the struggles and abuse in their lives that they may be bringing with them. Do not play your Gongs disregarding that. While we may have become more connected then ever with the internet, we often find our lives lacking real human interaction and connection.  When people come to your sessions, welcome them with both compassion and love.  Realize that the hour or two spent with you should be a safe haven from the outside world. Listen to their hearts and souls, and connect with their energy. Have compassion for them