Showing posts from June, 2020

The Enigma of Von Kessels

Sometime around 2000, a mysterious and enigmatic figure, Von Kessels , commissioned the Gao Jiahe Gong Factory in Wuhan, China , to make him a 56” Wind Gong, which he would name  Big Boi . The Gong became legendary in certain circles.  He then took this Gong, and others in his collection, into a high tech digital studio and recorded what is likely the most amazing Gong album you will ever hear,  Requiem  (2003). They put mics just inches off the  surface of the  Gongs , recording the very subtle, very deep tones. Von Kessels played the Gongs with bows and special friction mallets that were meticulously designed and hand carved to elicit the deepest notes from this massive Gong. The sounds they captured are like nothing you have ever heard before. They even included a warning on the CD that  “the extremely low frequencies could damage your speakers, so adjust your volume accordingly!” My prized copy of Requiem I had the good fortune to speak with Von Kessels over the phone numer

An Important Update

You might be asking yourself (or maybe not), “We're in this quarantine and Michael isn't gigging, so why haven't there been any blog posts? He's got plenty of time to write something.”  That's a legitimate question. All 3 of my blogs have been sitting quietly for a bit, while so many other people have jumped into producing blogs, podcasts, and general video mayhem. The internet's bandwidth is choked with everyone going online, because they can't do anything live. So what have I been doing? Well, I did make 1 YouTube video, more as an experiment than anything. I've slowly been rebuilding my home studio after having gear sitting in boxes for months because I was always gone off somewhere gigging. I'm planning on doing more videos and some teaching online soon. Right, here's my latest video. I was improvising  with new instruments and some electronics. Another aspect of this is that by letting everyone else jump into producing things