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Messages - Michael Bettine

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GONG FORUM / The New Paiste Bronze Gongs
« on: November 13, 2020, 10:56:09 pm »
For those interested in the new Paiste Bronze Gongs, I have put up a 5-part video series about them on YouTube. I go into extensive detail on each one, playing them with a variety of mallets. I also compare them to similar Paiste nickel-silver gongs.

You can find the series here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqaTp9Z6_jI&list=PLnS9yhlFVhi0yPb-4jfgz8AZVKDW5wgtQ

« on: March 06, 2016, 05:58:18 pm »
I just wanted to post a few photos from my Australian adventure. I had the good fortune to play with some fantastic Australian musicians and it elevated my game. My thanks to trumpet player Scott Tinkler, Taiko drummer Yyan Ng, and saxophonist Danny Healey for the great duo concerts. Also my thanks to trumpeter Peter Woods and bassist Sam Pankhurst, both of the Australian Art Orchestra, along with Brian Ritchie on Shakuhachi, for the energetic quartet.

You can watch video of me solo here:


Photo Credit: MONA/Rémi Chauvin Image Courtesy Mona, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Video with Taiko drummer Yyan Ng here:


Photo credt: copyright Megan Casey www.messagefromthemoshpit.com

Photo Credit: MONA/Rémi Chauvin Image Courtesy Mona, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Special thanks to Paiste for providing some fantastic Gongs to use during my stay!

« on: January 29, 2016, 09:23:23 pm »
I had a fantastic time in Australia, playing 8 concerts in 3 days: 4 solo, 3 duo, and 1 quartet with some fantastic Australian musicians.

You can read about my exploits in my 2 blogs: http://percussiondeconstruction.blogspot.com/ & http://thewayofthegong.blogspot.com/.

« on: October 16, 2015, 04:33:27 pm »
I am pleased to announce that I will be the 'Artist in Residence' at the 2016 MONA FOMA Festival (https://mofo.net.au/lineup/mona-pass/) in Hobart,Tasmania, Australia. During the fest, January 13-18, I will present Gong Meditations, solo concerts, and duo concerts with other festival performers.

This is a fantastic Music & Arts Fest. The line up is very percussion heavy this year, so I look forward to hearing & meeting various Australian artists I've known about for years.

GONG FORUM / Working with Don Conreaux & Mysterious Tremendum
« on: November 25, 2014, 08:21:50 pm »
This past weekend I had the opportunity to play along with Don Conreaux and his Mysterious Tremendum in both Milwaukee and Chicago. It was great to finally meet Don after following him and his work for 20 some years. I detailed the experience in my blog, The Way Of The Gong:http://thewayofthegong.blogspot.com/2014/11/a-meeting-of-minds-metal-don-conreaux.html

It was a Paiste Gong festival! We were fortunate to be at Andy's Music in Chicago in their Gong room, so there many beautiful Gongs to play.

GONG FORUM / Gong & Percussion Blogs
« on: June 30, 2014, 01:06:03 am »
For those of you who don't know me, concurrent with my career as a Percussionist & Gongolier, I have also been a writer. From 1983-2008 I was a contributing writer to Modern Drummer magazine. I wrote many feature interviews as well as technical articles (I originated the Style & Analysis column), CD & Product reviews, and other things. I've also written extensively for AVANT (UK), DownBeat, Rhythm, and other music magazines. I've also written various books on drums & percussion, most notably, Percussion Profiles, with English percussionist, Trevor Taylor.

While I don't write for magazines as often as I used to, I continue to write about all things percussive in my 2 blogs:

PERCUSSION DECONSTRUCTION covers all manner of percussion with essays, technical articles, lessons, reviews, etc.: http://percussiondeconstruction.blogspot.com/
THE WAY OF THE GONG is more esoteric and covers Gongs/Singing Bowls/Bells: http://thewayofthegong.blogspot.com/

I also have a YouTube channel with mostly Gong related content:  www.youtube.com/user/Gongtopia

Please check them out. ~ MB

GONG PHOTOS & VIDEOS / New Gong video from Television Show
« on: June 04, 2014, 11:18:38 pm »
Here is a short video of me that was shown on local television yesterday (6/3/14). A local news anchor had been to one of my Gong Sessions and was knocked out by it, so he passed my info onto the station's news staff. We got together and they filmed & interviewed me for about an hour. The result is this 3 minute clip:


[You'll have to follow the link as I can't figure out how to embed video here…]

GONG FORUM / New Blog Specifically About Gongs/Bowls/Bells
« on: June 02, 2014, 09:11:27 pm »
I have a newer blog, The Way of the Gong, that I've been writing that is specifically about Gongs/Bowls/Bells. It covers playing techniques, my experiences, and various esoteric ideas. You can find it here:http://thewayofthegong.blogspot.com/

I also still have my long running blog, Percussion Deconstruction, which covers all manners of Percussion. Check it out here: http://percussiondeconstruction.blogspot.com/


GONG FORUM / Re: Traveling with gongs
« on: May 03, 2014, 06:19:22 pm »
I have a 32" flight case that I easily put 3 gongs in (32/28/26 or 24). It protects them well. In fact, it went down a flight of stairs with no damage to the Gongs. As you can imagine, it's a heavy beast when fully loaded. Not for the faint of heart!

You can also get a Humes & Berg molded Enduro case up to 32". These are great and a lot lighter than the flight case, so cheaper to ship.

One question is how much travel will you do? If it's a lot of going back and forth to the same places/areas, it might be more cost effective in the long run to have multiple Gong set ups, one in each place/area (like one in Hawaii, one in Mexico, etc.). Those shipping charges can add up over time. Also, there's no chance of damage from shipping things.

GONG FORUM / Re: Traveling with gongs
« on: May 01, 2014, 07:09:59 am »
Is this a one time/one way trip?
What size Gongs and how many?
Heavy stands may be a problem to ship and it could be cheaper/easier to buy or build stands at the final destination.

PLANET GONGS / Re: C# fundamental ......
« on: May 01, 2014, 07:07:05 am »
I personally feel it's more important to work with the Gongs/tunings that resonate with you. When buying a Gong, I always make sure it has a sound/frequency that I can work with.

« on: May 01, 2014, 07:03:08 am »
The only times I've faced the audience is when working with a Yoga instructor so I could follow their movements. Otherwise, I usually have my eyes closed or am paying attention to what I am doing. My good friend, Kenny Kolter, always plays seated, facing the people. I prefer to mostly stand up, kneeling when I play the Bowls & Bells in front of me. I know others who put their Gongs in a square or circle shape surrounding them, like Frank Perry. In Frank's case, the audience is often in a circle around him. Don Conreaux usually has the Gongs behind him and plays facing away from the people, or at least sideways to them. And I have seen a few people sit sideways to the audience. I don't think any way is better than another. It's more important for the player to feel comfortable and to develop a sense of working with the set up they use.

The photo shows a session I did with Kenny Kolter a few years back. We each faced differently and had no difficulty relating to each other, or the audience.

GONG PHOTOS & VIDEOS / New Gong Videos form Michael Bettine
« on: March 18, 2014, 03:58:18 am »
I have about 8 new videos posted on my YouTube site. You can check them out here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Gongtopia

Thanks and enjoy!

(more coming soon)

« on: February 25, 2014, 12:34:53 am »
It's more out of habit that I face away when playing the Gongs. As a performing percussionist, I'm used to having the Gongs behind me, with the percussion in front of me. But I do have the Sining Bowls & Bells in front of me at a Meditation Session. So I do a bit of both…

GONG PLAYING TECHNIQUES / Paiste Gong Clinic video
« on: December 30, 2013, 08:17:58 am »
Here is a video of highlights from the 1st of 2 Paiste Gong Clinics I presented at Vic's Drum Shop, in Chicago, November 30, 2013. I talk about using different mallets and playing techniques, sound textures, and play 2 of my compositions.


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