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


My Patreon page is now up and running. I’m moving most of my activities there. I will keep my YouTube™ channel, but the videos there will be introductory. My deeper transmissions & teachings will all be accessable on Patreon. Other features will be a new blog & related writings, exclusive audio recordings, merch, and monthly Zoom meetings. Please check it out here.


Once again Gong Camp was a very inspiring experience. It was great to teach, perform, and participate with the other camp attendees. As a life long learner, I always look forward to being able to learn new things and have new experiences. It’s also nice to be able to hand pick new gongs from a large selection.


Fall is upon us and things are busy! Check out the schedule here.


It’s been an interesting year so far and I’m glad spring is almost here. Watch here for 2 big announcements in the next few weeks!



It’s a busy December here. Check my schedule for dates. Also watch this space for some very exciting upcoming news!


I was asked a while ago to participate in a film about gongs. The result is WE ALL JUST NEED TO GONG!

The end result (the full 90 minute film) is a very interesting and intriguing look at something that has become a growing movement. There are various viewpoints and personalities included, so it's rather balanced in its presentation. Well worth grabbing popcorn and a beverage to curl up on the couch for an hour and a half.


In case some of you don’t know, I have an extensuve YouTube channel with 160+ videos. I post a new video every Thursday. These are instructional, live and studio performances, and others. You can find my channel here.

You can also access an over 7 hour Gong & Sound Masterclass of 12 videos here.


Gong Camp was once again amazing! It was great to see so many friends again and to make new friends. I presented a very informal session where I chose to mainly take questions from everyone. I also performed in an evening concert with my friends Mike Tamburo and Samer Ghadry, which was exceptional. The rest of the time I hung out and helped people pick gongs and accessories, answered more questions, and just made myself available to everyone.

MB @ Gong Camp Edit

Live transmission at Gong Camp (photo by Samer Ghadri)

A highlight was finally meeting instrument maker Steve Hubback in person. I have known Steve for some 25 or more years, having interviewed him for a drum magazine, and buying my 1st gong from him 20 years ago. 

MB & Hubback

Me & Steve Hubback in front of a Bertoia Gong

Another highlight, as always, was visiting the Bertoia Barn and hearing the the amazing instruments made by Val Bertoia and his late father, the famouse designer Harry Bertoia.

And if Gong Camp wasn’t enough, I flew back Saturday night to present a workshop and Gong Session at Angel Light LLC here in Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon!. I think I brought a lot of Gong Camp energy with me!


Well, September seemed to fly by as I was busy playing and making YouTube videos. If you haven’t already, please check out my YouTube channel where I post a new video every Thursday.

It’s October, so that means one thing: GONG CAMP! I’ll be there for 5 days (4th-8th). What an amazing lion up of artists:

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Unheard Echoes CVR

Out now is my new recording on the Soutrane label. It’s a collaboration where Jason Wietlispach invited me to his studio to lay down some gong soundscapes that he later had other Milwaukee musicians come in and improvise over. It was a fascinating project to be involved in. You can download it it for FREE here:

Or I have a few CD copies of the limited run (50) in a woodcut cover that Jason cut and pressed himself. These are really cool. DM me if you want one.

The music here was the subject of a 3-part video series on my YouTube channel where I video recorded my improvisations in the studio and dubbed in the finished tracks. I also offer some insight & explanation into my process. You can find the videos here:


What a great time we had at the Chicago area day long Gong Workshop in Palatine. My sincere thanks to evevryone who attended, and thanks to the Himalayan Yoga Institute for hosting. It was great to connect with people on such an intimate basis. Plans are being made for presenting more workshops this fall. 

"Had such a great time at your Gong workshop! So much great information and practical learning! 

Everyone was so kind hearted and open to learn. I had an epic time!” - Stephen T.

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Discussing the finer points of mallets and sound.

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Everyone got to play during the small and large gruop activities. There was a focus on being able to work together to help develop our listening skills.


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Coming this summer!

The Way of the Gong - Explorations and Observations in Sound

Spring is finally showing up in this areaand I can’t wait to start woring in the yard. Check my schedule for dates and note that I’ll be at the Chicago Drum Show in St. Charles, IL, on Sunday, May 21st. It’s always great to see my drumming community friends. Message me if you’ll be there and want to connect and hang a bit.


Out now is a live version of the title track from my PURE LAND album. This comes from a very magical recent session. Check it out here.

PL Cvr


Gong Workshop Flyer

Coming in June, an all day Gong & Sound Workshop. This workshop will dive deep into gongs and related instruments. It will also feature a lot of hands on playing from the participants. Don’t miss this opportunity to up your game. There are limited places available, so sign up now. The investment is $199.00. You can sign up here.

Out March 1st is my new album, PURE LAND. It’s 78 minutes of subtle, yet intense music. The album itself is a story, a journey through birth, life, death and rebirth into the PURE LAND. You can check it out here.

Pure Land Cvr


February 12th is a very special date for me. It is the 20 year anniversary of being a Paiste Artist/Endorser. I’ve played Paiste products steadily since the 70s and becoming an official artist was a big step for me. I’d like to thank Paiste (Erik & Kelley) for believing in me and the music that I make. I’ve enjoyed working with the company on various things, am thankful for the gear support, and there are some great things in the works for the near future. It’s great to be a part of such an amazing family and team!

Blue Lotus #1

FYI, I am an authorized agent for Paiste Gongs of all types (I have been for 12 years now). So if you have any gong needs or questions, please contact me via the form on the right. Also, I am available for consultation on all things gongs/stands/mallets and work directly with various dealers in the USA.

Paiste Agent

This website is now 10 years old. I plan to update most of it because a lot has happened in the past 10 years. I’ve started by updating 3 of the How To articles in the Sound Chamber section. These are: Gongs Hooks, Friction Mallets, and Gong Racks. Check them out for updated information and photos.


Out now, is the new book by my friends, Roberta Bottari and Fausto Radaelli, Gong Strumento di Trasformazione  (Gong instrument of transformation). I’m honored to have written the preface for the book. Currently it is only available in Italian.



I’d like to thank everyone who participated in one of my sessions or in person/online instruction in 2021. I couldn’t keep doing this without your support and encouragement. I truly love what I am doing and look forward to doing even more in 2022. Thank you all! ~MB


The end of the year seems more like a begining to me, as I’ve taken another step in my ongoing evolution, bringing forth something that is different, yet the same (whatever I do is always still me). I look forward to 2022 and the opportunities it brings forth.


Out now is a new release of deep, etherial music, EXPANSE

The Expanse Cvr

EXPANSE, a new release available now.

If you haven’t checked it out already, have a look at my YouTube™ channel. I put up a new video almost every Wednesday in my new series, It’s Cuppa Time

Its cuppa time

Currently I’m going through my vast instrument collection, both showing and demonstrating the various gongs, bowls, bells and other related instruments I’ve collected over the past 45+ years. You can check it out here


I’m honored to be a part of a wonderful masterclass series in Italy-Focus on Sound Therapy, along with my good friends, Jens Zygar, Mike Tamburo, Mitch Nur & Thomas Orr Anderson. It’s always great to be able to share what I know.

If you haven’t checked it out already, have a look at my YouTube™ channel where I present a lot of instructioinal videos.

Italy Gong #1

Gong Camp was an amazing experience. It was an honor to share what I know with so many wonderful people. It was also great to see old friends again and to make new friends. A highlight was certainly the 2 performances I did in a trio with both Mitch Nur & Mike Tamburo. Quite extraordinary and  really brought things to the highest level. I can’t wait for next year!                   

M3 #2

Michael, Mitch and Mike

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Transmiting the vibrations…


What can I say? This years Gong Summit (Sept. 10-12, online once again) was a truly wonderful event. I was honored to again be a masterclass presenter, along with so many other amazing artists. It was 3 intense days of learning and sharing. As always, I came out of it with a head full of new information and ideas. Here’s to 2022!


On Thursday, August 5, I received a fantastic package from Paiste. I was fortunate to get 1 of 12 crates of the full set of 7 new Paiste Bronze Gongs. This is extremely exciting, as I feel Paiste has outdone themselves in creating a set of very usable and exciting gongs that come from the same tradition and sense of possibilty as the old 'Sound Creation’ series of gongs from the 1970s. These new gongs are made of B8 bronze (the same as their 2002 cymbal line), which is a very different metal alloy than the NS12 (nickel-silver) that all other Paiste gongs are made of.

Watch my YouTube™ channel over the next few months as I explore and integrate these gongs into my working set up. You can find a series of 5 videos from last September when I visited Andy’s Music in Chicago to help Andy open up the crate that he had received. These videos were my in person introduction to this series as I played through them, offering my initial thoughts on their sounds. The new series of videos will dig deeper into what they are all about.

Bronze Gongs 3

Once again I will be presenting a masterclass at the GONG SUMMIT Online, Sepember 10-12, 2021. More info to follow…


Update: Unfortunately we’ve had to postpone this until a later date, as Kenny will not be able to travel here due to illness (not Covid).       


I am teaming up with my good friend, Kenny Kolter, to present a day of gongs and sound at Happy Hour Yoga, Crystal Lake, IL, on Saturday, August 7th. 

I will be the guest instructor, along with hosts Mitch Nur & Mike Tamburo (and other guests) at the GONG CAMP in Perkasie, PA, USA, this October 2-11. There are limited spaces and it always sells out, so click the link above and sign up if you are interested in going. 

Also in October, I am a guest instructor, via the web, for a ‘Gong Camp’ in Italy. It is being presented by my friends Roberta & Fausto, who I met at the Gong Summit in 2019. They also have a ‘Gong Book’ coming out! Details when that is available.


It’s been so great to be out there and presenting sessions for actual live, in person folks again. I want to thank everyone who came out for the 1st series of sessions April-June. I am extemely pleased with the reception and interaction. 

After a July break, things pick up again in August. More dates are being added, so check the schedule page to keep up to date.

I was recently interviewed for a new gong centric podcast. I’ll post a link when the podcast series is up and running.

I’m shooting for September 22, the Fall Equinox, as the release date for my long awaited Gong Book. Stay tuned for more info…



I am extremely happy to announce that we are currently scheduling GONGTOPIA dates for spring, summer and fall! Please check the schedule regularly for updates. 

I look forward to seeing everyone in person again, but please note that masks & social distancing may still be inplace, and everything is subject to what is happening COVIDwise in each city/area. Always check with the venue if you have questions. Pre-registration is advised to secure your place.



Here we are, nearing the end of an extraordinary year. This is certainly NOT how I thought things would be at the end of 2020. All the plans I had made for the year disappeared in a fog of uncertainty. But in it’s place, I was able to create things that would not have been created. 

I was able to create 'The Sea We Swim In’ (see below), an album of music and compositions unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It’s a bold step in a new direction that has another album half completed and some more exciting music on the way soon.

I finally finished my long awaited and long promised ‘Gong Book.’ Much more about that in early 2021 as I finally release it.

I’ve also had the time (a luxury of time really) to formally study music and composition once again, as well as revisting my old alchemical & hermetic studies. 

Finally, I’ve had the time to totally redo my studio with new gear, a roomier space, and working to make it more video friendly (You can see some the result in my ‘It’s Cuppa Time’ series on YouTube). There will be much more in the line of video in 2021.

And books, I’ve had the time to read so many books that were in my ‘someday I’ll read these’ pile. That has been a true gift.

Thank all of you for your ongowing support of my endeavors. I’ve really missed creating music in person and interacting with everyone. I’ve missed all the great studios and spaces that I get to make music in. But most of all I’ve missed just connecting with people face to face. So here's to a much better 2021 and seeing all of you in person once again!

Cheers and Happy Solstice!

~ Michael


Out now: The Sea We Swim In, percussion music for time & Space.

Comments so far: 

“Thank you for your music and all you do, your new album is an inspiration!” 

“If you’re looking for something unique to your musical palette, look no further than Michael.” 

“Really really nice compositions !! Thoroughly enjoyed !” 

“Wow that's pretty wild! I love it.” 

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‘The Sea We Swim In’ is music about time & space. While not strictly meditative, the music is designed to create different states in the listener based on various time effects. This all comes from my continuing research into the nature of time. This album can also be considered as the ’soundtrack’ for my forthcoming book (2021) on time.


I have a series of OUTDOOR gong sessions coming in mid-late September. Please check the schedule for more information.


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I have a new solo track out on July 4th. PROXIMA is for solo bass drum and is a reflection on the state of the world today.


I will be the guest onthe DIG DEEPER online series on June 3.

I will be performing a solo improvised percussion set as part of UNREHEARSED MKE #89 online on June 7th. Check out Unrehearsed MKE on Facebook for details.

May 19-The World At A Standstill

While I believe that what I do is needed now more than ever, I am cancelling all my sessions through 2020. We’ll see how this quarantine goes, and I will make an announcement when things resume. 

I finally have my studio back up and running, so please check out my Facebook page for live online performances, and also my YouTube™ channel for new videos. 

I hope to see you all in person ASAP.

Stay safe and be well. ~ MB


I will be teaching a ‘Free Improvisation Workshop’ at the Jazz Gallery, 926 E. Center St in Riverwest, Milwaukee on Saturday, January 4th. It runs from 10am-12noon.

I will be playing Improvised Music as part of Unrehearsed MKE #84 at The West End Conservatory, 4716 W. Vliet St in Milwaukee on Sunday, January 5th from 5:30-8pm. 



Thanks to everyone for a fantastic year in 2019!

I can’t do this without the support of all the people attending my gigs, buying my music, taking lessons, and reading my blogs! I appreciate each and everyone of you.

There are some great things in the works for 2020. I look forward to sharing them as soon as they are ready.



Here we are, approaching the end of the year and things just keep going. Besides my busy schedule, I’ll be off to PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) the 13th - 16th. It’s always great to catch up with percussionist friends, check out the latest gear, and get ideas and inspiration from the sessions. 


New long term projects are in the works. Details as soon as I can release them…


The long awaited and often promised Gong Book is being written as you read this! I’m looking to publish it before the end of 2019. Updates to follow…

Summer is over and I’m back at it full time. Check out my schedule for a full list of Gong Meditation Sessions. I also have some openings for private lessions in my studio. Check out lessons here.


In Septermber 2020, I will be the guest artist at the Fall Gong Camp, with Mitch Nur PhD and Mike Tamburo. Spots are limited and will go fast. You can find info here.

Gong Camp

It’s been good to have time to work on new ideas, but I’m back to a full schedule from September on.

I was the featured guest on Natlie Brown’s podcast, Sounds Heal. You can listen here.

sounds heal

It was great to play in Des Moines, Iowa this past week (8/13) and have a mini-Gong Summit reunion. It was very nice to see Deb & Natalie again.

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Summer has gone by quickly as I’ve kept busy. Things have been almost non-stop since January. I took most of July and early August off to rest and regroup. But starting the 11th I’m back at it with regular Gong Sessions. Check the calendar for the latest dates.

The July Gong Summit was an amazing and life changing event. It was so great to meet the many people I’ve known online but not in person. I can’t believe how quickly the 5 days went by! My thanks to Mitch & Michele for making it happen, and to all my fellow Gong players for bringing their magic to the event. The 2nd one is tentatively set for September 2020 in Italy and we’re already planning to attend. 

Gong Summit 2
Gong Summit 3

I am very pleased to announce that I am a part of the 'GONG SUMMIT - Gong Culture and Craft' retreat coming this July. This will be an amazing opportunity to learn from 6 very experienced Gong Players from around the world, all in a beautiful retreat setting. All the teachers bring a wide variety of playing styles, performance experience, research, writing, and practical knowledge.

The full line up is:

Michael Bettine - USA

Sanj Hall - India

Mitch Nur, PhD - USA

Mike Tamburo - USA

Sheila Whittaker -Great Britain

Jens Zyger - Germany

There will be additional artists on the discussion panels.

You can find the details here: Gong Summit

June - Finally, warm weather is here. Lots of sessions on the schedule and then the Gong Summit starting July 1st. I hope to see some of you at a session.

I’ve also added 2 octaves of tuned gongs to my arsenal, as well as a few other gongs and bowls, and am working on new music to be recorded in July. I’m really excited about this.


This month has been very busy with lots of sessions & travel. 

It also marked the passing of my 89 year old father, who was always a big supporter of my musical endeavors. A part of him is always with me at my sessions in the blue silk table cloth I use that he got in Japan back in 1949.

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Welcome to issue #5 of the Borderlands Cycle. Deva•Station is a further exploration into my research on ‘time.’ This was one of those special occasions where I felt the very nature of time moving through me. Come along to the end of your journey. Welcome to the Deva•Station. ~ MB

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A very busy spring here. There are lots of gigs (check the schedule here) and new compositions and recordings in the works.

With all the winter snow and ice this year, I only had 1 cancellation! Spring and Summer will be busy. Get your Gong on…


Winter has finally hit here in the Southern Wisconsin/Northern Illinois area. The snow is back. Please check with the studios before venturing out in case of cancellations due to weather. ~ MB


I have a new release of very quiet, dark, yet intense music. Dancing Across The Bardo explores the journey between wolds, between realms. It is a lasting tribute to the ancestors who have gone before us. This is issue #4 of the Borderlands Cycle.

Bardo Cover



My sincere thanks to all the Yoga Studios and other venues that hosted a Gong Session or concert in 2018. And also to all the venue owners who took a chance on hosting ‘the gong guy’ and bringing the vibrations to so so many people. Finally, my deepest thank you to all the people who ventured out to come to my sessions and concerts. I had a fantastic time! We’ll do much more in 2019. ~ MB


OUT NOW: Aspects of Time & Being. A meditation for our time.

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Fellow Gongolier, Mike Tamburo, stopped by in Milwaukee this week (10/11/18) and we got together at a local yoga studio to play some metal and share knowledge of the vibrations.


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The Autumnal Equinox performance at Kinstone Magalithic Gardens (with Peter Phippen, Victoria Shoemaker, and Rahbi Crawford) was amazing!

Kinstone Gongs 2


A recent review of the GONGTOPIA TAIRAKU album:

“These two masters of their craft create music that is serene and meditative, yet retains a sense of exploration and adventure.” - Spinecrone Records

gongtopia vs tairaku album cover

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I will be performing as part of a quartet in a Fall Equinox Celebration at Kinstone Megalithic Garden in Fountain City, WI on September22, 5-6:30pm.

Kinstone Poster

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GONGTOPIA TAIRAKU Duo @ the World Flute Society Convention

We had a great time performing at the World Flute Society Convention. You can see more photos here


Coming up Saturday, August 4th, Brian Ritchie and I will be bringing our duo, GONGTOPIA / TAIRAKU, to the World Flute Society Convention in Eau, Claire, WI. We are on the 7pm main concert. Info here.



Finally released on June 1st, after various interruptions, is the new album, Gongtopia vs Tairaku. This recording features 6 improvisations (and a bonus track) by the duo of Michael Bettine (GONGTOPIA) on metal percussion, and Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes, The Break) on Shakuhachi flutes. The resulting music is calm and meditative, yet adventurous.

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I was the featured guest on the great @percussion podcast. Check it out here:


A new album release, Magnetic Conduction

This transmission of sound, from metal through air to flesh, is a vibration of possibility. Sounds rise and fall, like waves upon a distant shore. And we take them in. We sense them beyond just hearing, into feeling and knowing. In the capable hands of Michael Bettine, the sounds are not just played, but they are manipulated and expanded, taking on a life of their own. The energy is palpable, physical, visceral. Welcome to the world of Magnetic Conduction.



It’s been a very busy month writing words and recording. I’m catching up with all the things that sat idle over my winter of discontent. Lots of good things will be happening in soon, so check back!


Things are on the mend and I’m looking forward to getting back in action next month (March). Check out the schedule for new dates I’m adding.



My Year End Wrap Up - 12/3/17

The Winter of my Discontent

I would like to apologise for all the canceled gigs I have had over the past 3 months. Without boring you with all the details, things started out in September with a torn retina and emergency laser surgery. This kept me sitting still, not able to do anything for a few weeks. I had a few good weeks, playing some wonderful sessions, then something else happened, which lead to me visiting the ER. 

Then I had a biopsy (all good) and the word that I just can’t haul around all my heavy gear by myself and do any gigs without causing further problems. Believe me, I wanted to do the gigs, even packed things up, but did not have the energy to lift it all. The good news is that this shall be corrected by surgery in a few weeks (YEA!). 

On top of this, my immune system decided to pack it in and I am currently working my way back from near pneumonia. Thankfully, the Doctor at Urgent Care yesterday, after looking at all the recent visits in my chart history, said, “At least everything you have is fixable.”

So if you haven’t seen me at a gig, or at someone else’s performance, or even at the local grocery store, it’s because I have rarely left my house over these past 3 months. It’s been very frustrating, but I haven’t had much choice. I’ve managed to keep my blogs going, but all other projects have been put on hold, especially the big one I had planned to reveal in November.

2018 is just around the corner, and I’m already planning and booking gigs, especially replacements for the canceled ones. I will also get back to those delayed projects and get to them ASAP in the new year.

So thanks for sticking with me. Your support always matters. I appreciate it more than I can say. Sorry for being a bit long here. Here’s to a better 2018!

~ MB


Ah, November already. Where did the year go? Ive been working behind the scenes on various major projects that will be revealed in the near future. Stay tuned and check back soon!


A new release of intense percussive vibrations. Grab a FREE download and immerse yourself in the sonic landscape: download here.

Halo Cover


Well, this month turned out to be a challenging one. I ended up with a torn retina in my left eye that needed emergency laser surgery! Fortunately, everything went well and my eye is doing fine. Unfortunately, I had to cancel a number of events, but they are being rescheduled.

My long awaited mystery project will have to remain a mystery a bit longer now, due my having to basically sit around and doing nothing these past few weeks. Things are getting back to normal and I will have a big announcement shortly!

Thanks for your patience.


This month sees a new live album release of mystical & magical percussion, Transmission of Sparks, recorded in the wonderful acoustics of a local church sanctuary.

Trans Sparks Cover


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


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

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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.


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


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


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!


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!


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



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


This is Episode #1 in the Ambient Series



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New release: Parallelism #10 in the Transmission Series


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New release: Latticework #9 in the Transmission Series


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:


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


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.


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


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

a0830023895 16

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.

IMG 4946


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

Mofo2016 Scott tinkler Michael Bettine3

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


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).  



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



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.



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



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.


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.



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


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.



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


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

YogAsylum #2 edited-2


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:



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


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


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


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.


A new release, Redemption, is now out:


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


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.


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

Harmonic Sky Big


A New 5-track Album Release: Codex Espiritu


Codex Espiritu #2

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


The Forms of Things Unknown #2

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



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


Jupiter #3


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


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.



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.


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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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…


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.



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!



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



© 2002 - 2023 Michael Bettine/GONGTOPIA - Design by IAM - Chop Wood / Carry Water / Play Gongs™