News

First Time Here? Start here: Beginner’s Guide.

This year, in 2017, I am celebrating:

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50 years playing percussion

50 albums released

15 years as a (1) solo percussionist


August


A teaser for something coming soon…

GongTeaser

There is a new FAQS page with answers to actual questions people have asked me about what I do: FAQS


July

Southern Wisconsin & Northern Illinois people, come to the Mind Body Spirit Expo!!!

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On July 30, I will be a part of this fantastic Wellness Expo in McHenry, Il. I will be presenting a Gong/Bowl/Bell Meditation session from 4-6pm. I will also have a booth (room 212, booth C4) and will be selling CDs and demonstrating a number of Gongs, Singing Bowls, Bells, and other resonating metal objects. Please stop by! I’ll be glad to chat, answer your questions, and demonstrate playing techniques.

Mind Body Spirit Expo


Expansion Cvr

Out now: Transmission Series #12



3 new album releases for the beginning of July:

The Art of Albums

All 3 are pay what you want!

Once upon a time, a percussionist was invited to a recording studio to record a series of duos (which also became trios) with a series of 19 musicians. One by one, the musicians came into the studio and recorded their duet/s. A couple of people brought alongs friends, who joined in, and trios were made. This went on all day and night until the sun was just a memory. In all, 3.5 hours of music was recorded!


All of the music here was improvised in the moment. In fact, the percussionist hadn’t even met or played with many of the guest musicians before. The music covers a wide range of styles and moods.


A year and a half later, these sessions have finally been sorted through, edited, and put together into 3 different albums. These contain most of the music recorded that day.


The Art of the Duo I features:


Jim Schoenecker - Electronics 

Mike Neumeyer - Vibes 

Wilhelm Matthies - Mosesa 

Rick Ollman - flute, clarinet 

Linda Binder - violin 

Dave Gelting - double bass 

Mark Mantell - drums 

Jason Wietlispach - mellotron


The Art of the Duo II features:


Jim Schoenecker - electronics 

Dave Gelting - double bass 

Rick Ollman - cornet 

Linda Binder - violin 

Wilhelm Matthies - Mosesa 

Mark Mantell - drums 

Mike Neumeyer - vibes 

Chet Garrett - guitar, electronics, bells


The Art of the Trio features: 


John McCoy & Sarah Heuer (electronics) 

Jessica Kroha-Anderson (piano) &Mike Neumeyer (vibes) 

Erin Brophy (sax/flute/voice) & Daniel Kern (Theramin) 

Dave Gelting (double bass) & Joshua Lesniak (drums) 

Zoe Biller (piano) & Michael Caldwell (sax)


You can check them out here:.


In addition to these audio recordings, I also recorded video of myself improvising in the studio during these sessions. The videos also have commentary, with me describing what I was doing, and what I was thinking, as I was playing and improvising during the different musical settings. The idea a here is to get a window into the creative process, hopefully learning and understanding what it takes to improvise. These videos are viewable here.


June

Summer is here and lots of projects are happening. Details soon!


MAY

A new live solo concert release, Cathedral Stories, is out now. This was recorded in the beautiful and resonant All Saints Cthedral in Milwaukke. The music is from Stories We Tell Ourselves, Gongs of Compassion, Scattered Light, Shadow World, and various improvisations.

Cathedral Stories Cover




COMING IN APRIL: Lessons via

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With the popularity of my in studion lessons, I’ve had many requests from people who live around the country/world, to offer lessions on Gongs/Bowls/Bells and Percussion via skype™. These can cover all manner of techniques and ideas. Details here.


April

Released April 1st is Gongs of Compassion. This recording represents 6 months of hard work. Gongs, Bells, Bowls, Hand Drums & Percussion meld into a swirling panoply of sound.The music here contains chants, soundscapes, and meditations. Over 70 separate percussion instruments were used to create this album. This is music for your soul. Welcome to Gongs of Compassion!  

Click on the cover below to check it out:

GOC Unification

I also have 4 other new recordings, of various duos & trios, ready to go for the first half of this year. Watch for them here!

AQUA cover

Coming soon: Ambient Series #3


March

A new recording in the Ambient Series has been released. AIR is a 19 minute track featuring both field & studio recordings. THis is Episode #2 in the Ambient Series. Check it out here!

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Now out: #11 in the Transmission Series, Permutations.

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January 2017

A new recording has dropped. Drone is a 28 minute track that is just that, a swirling, changing, hypnotic drone. Check it out here!

Drone

This is Episode #1 in the Ambient Series


December

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New release: Parallelism #10 in the Transmission Series


October

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New release: Latticework #9 in the Transmission Series


August

Ill be in California for 2 weeks checking things out and recharging. Then I start hitting things again in September.


I will be improvising as part of an ad hoc group at Unrehearsed Milwaukee on Sunday, August 7, at the West End Conservatory, starting at 7:30pm.

Here is video of the performance:



July 

Out now, A new trio album of startling beauty and clarity. Once in a while you are involved in a project that just exceeds all your hopes and expectations, and brings you, and your creativity, to another realm entirely. In The Waking Hour was one such experience. 


Waking Hour



june

Stories Cover-1

Coming in June, my new solo percussion album, Stories We Tell Ourselves. The album features 13 tracks based on my personal experiences performing in various art museums & galleries over the past year,


I will be playing a solo concert as part of the Formations Series at Woodland Pattern Book Store in Milwaukee, Thursday, June 16 at 7pm. I will be playing my new album, Stories We Tell Ourselves, which will be released shortly.


Please check out a recent podcast interview I did with Tiny Jaentsch for 'Core - The Power of Living Your Truth.' Just to clarify something, rock music isn't boring to me, but playing in a rock band is…


I wrote a blog updating my recent exploits for MODERN DRUMMER magazine. You can check it out here.


May

A busy month of recording at The Vibration Factory. Look for new recordings starting in June.


March

This month sees the release of #8 in the Transmission Series of recordings, MerKaBa.

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I'm also working on material for some new recordings and compositions for other artists.


February 2016

My thanks to everyone who came out to participate in my Sound Tours at the Charles Allis Art Museum, both on the 13th and the 20th. I had a great time telling stories and playing percussion in the different rooms of the museum.

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AllisMuseum#2

On February 13, from 1-5pm, I will be conducting sound tours at the Charles Allis Art Museum in Milwaukee. This is in conjunction with the THRESHOLD exibition curated by Niki Johnson. The tours will be at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 p.m. 

This is #2 in my series of performances at various museums & galleries in 2016.


With trumpeter Scott Tinkler @ MONA FOMA

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Photo: Toby Frost, ABC Classic FM


This month #7 in the Transmission Series of recordings is released. Please check out Paramita.


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January 2016

MOFO

I just returned from being the artist in residence at the MONA FOMA festival in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. I had a fantastic time. I performed solo 4 times, in 3 duos, and in a 4tet. You can read all about it in my blogs, The Way of the Gong™ and PERCUSSION DECONSTRUCTION™.  I will continue writing about my experience and will be releasing both video & audio of my performances over the next month. 

To start things off, here is an excerpt from a podcast by ABC Hobart with a nice interiew with me. It also features music from 2 of my performances (solo, and a duo with Australian trumpeter, Scott Tinkler).  


December

This month sees the release of #6 in the Transmission Series of recordings, Aqueous.  

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October

I am pleased to announce that I will be the Artist in Residence at the 2016 MONA FOMA Festival in Hobart,Tasmania, Australia. During the fest, January 13-18, I will present Gong Meditations, solo concerts, and duo concerts with other festival performers. How cool is that?


Album #5 in the Transmission Series is now released. You can stream Circadian Motion and check out the music that stretches and shifts your perception of time.

Circadian#1



September

Album #4 in the Transmission Series is now released. You can stream KENSHO and check out the deeply moving vibrations.

KENSHO Final



August

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the advantages of using A=432Hz as a tuning standard. Many people are claiming that this is the natural, most holistic tuning out there and it should be used for bringing more health and harmony to everyone. 

For those who don't know, our standard tuning, used by most orchestras and musical instrument manufacturers is A=440 or A=442. Rich Goodhart has written a very excellent, and well researched, article on the 432 idea. Besides showing that different tuning standards have been used throughout the years, he dispels the myth of 432 being some sort of magical tuning. You can read it here: A=432Hz: Truth, Lies and Creative Story Telling

If you work with Gongs/Sound, especially in a theraputic context—or even if you are just interested in music—this is a MUST READ!


Please check the schedule for continually updated fall & winter dates.


This summer has been blessed with various recording projects of all types of music and with all types of musicians. I will be releasing the results in the near future. You can keep updated on the Music page.



July

This month's release is Memento Muni.

Memento Muni#1


This is a deeply moving, slow paced recording that will alter your sense of time and take you to other realms.

This is Edition #3 in the Transmission Series.


JUNE

Out now, THE SILENT SKY

And what are our dreams but a window into another reality. Do not fear this other side, for it s a very part of you. Move forward and embrace the Silent Sky.

This is Edition #2 in the Transmission Series.

Silent Sky#1


MAY

A new month, a new release: Manifest Density. This is some of the most intense music I've ever made. Intense, but not dense, as there is a lot of space between sound events. This music breathes. Listen and breathe with it.

This is Edition #1 in the Transmission Series.

Minifest


April

Out now, Deep Unfolding. Slow and unhurried, the music contained in this album unfolds at a leisurely pace, taking its time, making its way deeper into the Heart of things. This is the 13th and final Edition in the Full Metal Alchemy Series.

Deep Unfolding


March

Coming up, a special SPRING EQUINOX Gong Session at YogAsylum in Brookfiled, WI on Frday, March 20th.

YogAsylum #2 edited-2



February

How did the vibrations affect you…

Transmission #3


Coming up Saturday, February 22 @ Bodhi Prem Yoga in Arlington Heights, IL . Transmission starts @ 7PM.

Bodhi Prem Poster


Out now: TRANSMISSION FROM THE ANCIENTS, Full Metal Alchemy Seiries #12. Experience the reconnection to all things.

Transmission CD


Coming up: February 22 @ Total Body Yoga. I've been there many times, and each time is an amazing experience. Follow the link above to pre-register.

Total Body 2-15


My sincere gatitude to everyone who came out to Dahn Yoga for the most amazing sessions! We went deep and journeyed far.


January 2015

I was recently  the guest on Sound Journeys Radio with Andres Peraza. Check out the interview:


December

A new album release: LIVE METAL ALCHEMY. This is a full live concert recording from my performance last October at Woodland Pattern Books in Milwaukee. It features a wide variety of music from throughout my career. There are also some new compositions. You can download it in a variety of formats, or order a CD copy.


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Lotus Yoga 12-14


November

Milwaukee, dion't miss this event! Gongmaster Don Conreax will be appearing in town with his Mysterium Tremendum Ensemble (I'll be playing with them!). Don is now 80 years young and won't be traveling as much after this tour. This may be your only chance to see Don and experience his his amazing holistic musical vision.


Conreaux Poster

October

Video is now up on my YouTube channel of the FORMATIONS Series concert. Please check it out!


I'm performing a rare hometown concert on Thursday, October 16 @ Woodland Pattern Book Store in Milwaukee. This is the 1st concert of the new monthly FORMATIONS series. Minor Vices will also be playing.


Woodlan Poster 1


A new album release, A Crucible Of Sound, is out now.


Crucible CD


September

A new album release, Dharma, is out now:

Dharma CD



Upcoming Gong Meditation Sessions:

FMA Sept14

Please check here for full fall schedule and links to venues. Check back often as I'm adding more dates.


August

A new release, Redemption, is now out:

REDEMPTION


Check out the schedule for a lot of new fall dates being confirmed.


July

A new release, THE AWAKENING, is now out:

The Awakening


Up close and personal:

Full Metal Blue

Book your 8-hour, one-on-one Gong & Sound Intensive. Learn about Gongs, Singing Bowls, Bells, etc. in my studio.

For those of you just wanting the basics—I just bought a Gong/Singing Bowl. What do I do now?—I offer hourly lessions to get you familiar with the instrument and on your way. Send me an e-mail with your questions/needs.

Today Gongs have become very popular, with everyone now buying a Gong, or a Singing Bowl. But I must say, that just because you own a Gong or Bowl, doesn't qualify you to hold Gong sessions at your local Yoga studio (just like owning a guitar doesn't make you qualified to be a guitar teacher at the local music store). 

So don't just hire anyone to play at your studio or event. Contact me and discuss your needs. You'll be talking to someone who has put years of study and research into what they are doing.


June

A new album is now out: HARMONIC SKY, which features Gongs from 8" - 50" in diameter. Deep and transformative music.


Harmonic Sky Big


April

A New 5-track Album Release: Codex Espiritu

FULL METAL ALCHEMY SIERIES #4

Codex Espiritu #2



A new 7-track album is now available for download. This is some extremely deep and theraputic vibrations:

FULL METAL ALCHEMY SIERIES #3

The Forms of Things Unknown #2


A new 5-track album of intense vibrations is now out:

FULL METAL ALCHEMY SIERIES #2

Absolution


A new 3-track album release is now available for download:

FULL METAL ALCHEMY SIERIES #1

Jupiter #3


February:

New in the Sound Chamber: a video, photo, and parts list on how to construct a Gibraltar Gong Rack like I use.



HAPPY NEW (Y)EARS! - John Cage

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New Gong Clinic video:


New for 2014: 

I'm currently booking public/pravate Gong Sessions, Gong lessons, and concert/festival performances for 2014. Please send me a note via the contact form on the right if you are interested in something.


November

This Saturday, November 30th, as part of PAISTE DAYS at VIC'S DRUM SHOP in Chicago, I'll be presenting not 1, but 2 clinics!

At 1pm I’ll be talking about and demonstrating Gongs & Sounds in contemporary music.

At 3pm I’ll be talking about and demonstrating Gongs for Meditation & Sound Healing.

This will be a fun filled day with other Paiste artists and great discounts at one of the BEST drum shops in the world! Stop by to check out things and just hang with all the great drummers. If you’ve ever wanted to talk with me about Gongs, this is your chance.



I'd like to thank all those who came out to my concerts & sessions last month, making Gongtober a great success! There's much more coming in November & December, so check back often.


October

GONGTOBER FEST! is here!!. Check new performance dates (concerts, Gong Meditations, Sound Healing Workshops) and stay tuned for more…


If you're not already hip to my PERCUSSION DECONSTRUCTION blog, then what are you waiting for? Just click the link on the right.


Reviews of INUKSUIT in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the Shepherd Express.


This Saturday, September 7, I'll be 1 of 90 or so Percussionists performing John Luther Adams', INUKSUIT, at the Lynden Scupture Gardens in Milwaukee.


August

This Sunday, August 4th, I'll be performing at The Sugar Maple in Bayview (Milwaukee) in an improvising trio. Show starts @ 7:30PM.


July

Check out the BOOK page for new and revised drumming books of mine! There are now 7 drum instructional/solo/duet books availabe. They are all in PDF format, so you can print out the parts and play! The price comes out to $1.00 per solo or duet!


May

Working on some new drum books and updating/revising some old ones. Lots of details to pay attention to, as well as recently playing percussion for a local Middle School production of MULAN.


April

Spring is here and it's a busy month:

As things go, the Gongstravaganza concert in Milwaukee is being moved to October 12! There are also some great things being planned for July. Stay tuned for more details…

A new recording project has started, actually 2 different ones—1 solo, 1 ensemble.

If you've followed my blog, Percussion Deconstruction, then I'm pleased to tell you I'm working on a book version of the best blogs (some revised & updated), along with new material.


March

Looks like Sunday, May 19th is the date for my full Gongstravaganza concert in Milwaukee. I rarely play in my hometown, so this is a big event (I actually haven't done a full concert thing since 2010!). If you live in Milwaukee, and have been waiting for me to present a big time show, this is it. I'll even be bringing the Kulintang out. Full details to follow shortly…


February

Working on Spring & Summer concert & Gong Meditation dates. Check the Performance page for updates.

Be sure to check out my YouTube channel for a new series of videos on Gongs & Metal Percussion.

January 2013

This month has ushered in some new projects (video & audio) for the coming months. Watch this space for announcements.

December

2012 was a most difficult year for me. I had various health issues that curtailed much of my planned musical activities. Thankfully, that is all behind me now, and 2013 looks to be a very busy year. 


Despite things, I did have some very memorable performances, especially my Gong workshop at PASIC in Austin, Texas. My continued thanks to both PAISTE & MIKE BALTER MALLETS for their continued support. I appreciate being a part of their families.


If you are interested in having me present a concert/workshop/meditation session in your city in 2013, please contact me with the form on the right of this page. The doors of perception have been opened…


If you haven't already, please check out my bog, Percussion Deconstruction. It has been receiving a very favorable response, with the readership growing daily.


To all my friends out there (yes, you), thank you for your ongoing support. I look forward to seeing you all soon and wish you a great 2013!

~MB


November

PASIC was great. It was good to connect with old friends, and to make new ones. My session was well attended and I received great feedback. I'm already looking forward to next year's convention.


I'm working on another series of YouTube instructional videos which I plan to have up before the end of 2012. If you have any specific questions for me to talk about and answers, plaese let me know.


Also, by request, I'm going to post both photos and sound samples of my Gong/Bell/Bowl collection. The sound samples will include each Gong played vith various mallets.


October

I'm busy getting ready to go to PASIC in Austin, TX, Oct 31 - Nov 3. I'll be presenting a session on The Healing Sound of Gongs & Singing Bowls on Friday, Nov 2, at noon in room 12. 

A very succesful set of concerts was performed recently. On Oct 11, I opened for the fantastic prog band, DISTRICT 97, and on Oct 14 I performed a concert at Ascension Lutheran Church. As always, people were amazed at the variety of sounds & texture that can come from the Gongs.

Comments:

The Gong-guy was amazing - do you know about this?

I didn't know you could get so many different sounds from a Gong.

I just thought Gongs were a big 'crash.'

That was really awesome.

I've never seen anything like it.


September

It's September and I'm busy working on new music for my October 11th gig. I'm also putting the finishing touches on 3 new drumming books (watch for details on the Books page).


I've also finally added a lot of links to the Links page. Please check them out.


August

My heart goes out to the local Sikh community here in Milwaukee after the senseless murder of 6 people at their Temple last week. I have made many wonderful Sikh friends through playing the Gongs. I always think of them whenever I drive by the Temple. The great Sikh leader, Yogi Bahjan, introdiced the use of the Gong in meditation back in the 1960s. The Gong is an instrument of peace. I wish peace to the souls of the recently departed and those who will miss them dearly.


July 2012

Welcome to my newly redesigned website. Pardon the dust, as things are still under construction. Please check back now and then for more content, and the latest updates. 

Please send me a message if you have any comments or questions.

Thanks!


The big news is that I will be presenting a clinic on 

The Healing Sound of Gongs & Singing Bowls 

at PASIC in Austin, TX this November. More details and exact time/location to follow.


Meditations

My latest recording is MEDITATIONS. By request, it is 3 timed meditation tracks: 10/20/30 minutes. Each track is different, and they can be combined for longer sessions. Excellent for meditation, Yoga, Reiki, BGM, etc. Click above to buy a digital download, or send me a message to purchase a CD. https://soundcloud.com/gongtopia/super-moon-1-edit-invocat



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