I first met Ron Snider in the 1980s while touring with Steve Reich and Musicians and later while working with NEXUS Percussion. Besides being an amazing musician, a loving husband and father, an expert in world music and inventive designer and builder of musical instruments, Ron was a wonderful human being. His recent untimely passing shocked us all.
In the early days of our friendship, Ron designed two very cool products for Woodstock Chimes: Woodstock Garden Bells and Woodstock Water Bell Fountain. They combine movement with sound, just as our chimes do, and both remain very popular in our offerings.
Ron and I shared a love of the musical culture of Bali, where I have traveled often and he spent much time studying the beautiful and challenging music of the island.
Our mutual friend Lauren Vogel Weiss wrote a remembrance of Ron for the Percussive Arts Society journal (used here by permission) that I invite you to read. It conveys not only his impressive skill and accomplishments but also his joyful personality. His friend and fellow Balinese gamelan enthusiast, Ed Smith, offered this memory: “Over the years, we attended so many beautiful temple ceremonies in Bali and had countless conversations about the mysteries of life as we sat on the porch, overlooking the stars reflecting in the rice paddies with frogs singing in the distance. And that beautiful, bellowing laugh Ron had will be with me forever.”
I will miss Ron, but his spirit will shine for me every time I hear his musical creations.