Garry Kvistad: Blog

Woodstock Chimes: Drumming to a Different Beat

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Drum circles in the broadest sense have been around since the first caveman started beating on a log. There is something about drumming that is both primal and cathartic. Unlike most other instruments, it is possible for anyone – including non-musicians – to play rhythms on a drum (or any percussion instrument) immediately and join… Read more »

Freedom or Restriction?

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When I was growing up everything was pretty black and white. You drove a Ford or a Chevy. You drank a Coke or a Pepsi. You had a choice of NBC, CBS, ABC and (eventually) PBS on TV. We now live in an interesting time where you have a zillion choices. We are offered dozens… Read more »

Bells, History, Phillies, Cheese and Drumming

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  I have an affinity with Philadelphia. It’s not because I make bells and they have a cracked bell. It’s not because I am a historian, which I am not. Nor am I a Philadelphia sports fan. I like cream cheese, but it’s not that either. I was reminded that my connection to Philadelphia is… Read more »

Interpreting the Catskills

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The Catskill Mountains of the Hudson Valley are part of the Appalachian Mountain Range and is considered a dissected plateau created by erosion. It is known around the world for its natural beauty, its arts colonies such as Byrdcliffe, the comedy resorts of what was known as the “Borsch Belt”, the 1969 Woodstock Festival and,… Read more »

Steve Reich and Philip Glass Reunion Concerts at BAM in Brooklyn

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As a member of the Steve Reich and Musicians ensemble since 1979, I’ve participated in several premiere performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) through the years. Last week I had the honor of being part of a three-day series of concerts showcasing both Steve Reich’s and Philip Glass’s music at this prestigious concert… Read more »

Living and Eating in the Hudson Valley

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Woodstock Chimes’ headquarters is located in the heart of the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York State. Our facility is in the watershed of New York City’s pure reservoir system and we are surrounded by the beautiful Catskill Mountains. The Hudson River. which inspired many artists and musicians throughout the years, is also nearby. The area… Read more »

Stressful Boredom

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Opera is considered one of the most refined musical art forms. It combines instrumental music, theater and singing to a very high level. Some of the most profound music is from the opera repertory. Many of the major composers throughout history have written operas beginning with early works of composers such as Monteverdi and continuing… Read more »

Marketing versus Sales

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Early on in the beginning years of Woodstock Chimes, I attended a talk given by a marketing executive of the Stanley Tool Company. I walked away with a very important message. He explained the difference between marketing and sales using a simple drill bit. Basically, he said that they sell drill bits but they market… Read more »

Unusual Instruments – Sound Effects

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Percussionists are often called upon to play instruments that are sometimes not even classified as percussion instruments. A huge category within this subset are sound effects. Sound effects used in movies began with Jack Foley in 1927. Foley Art is used throughout the film industry today and many of Jack’s techniques are still a mainstay… Read more »

Unusual Instruments – Jawbone

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Percussionists are often called upon to play unusual instruments. One such instrument is the quijada or the jawbone of an ass (donkey). This instrument is mostly found in South America, Central America and the Caribbean. I own two of them, one of which I bought in the mid-1970s while on tour in Austria of all… Read more »

Different Beat

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NEXUS has been producing creative and unique concerts since its first one in 1971. This past weekend was no exception as we collaborated with an amazing young Iranian / Canadian vocalist and setar (www.setar.info) player, Sepideh Raissadat who is quite well-known in her native country. Our performance was at a great little theater in Kitchener,… Read more »

Orchestra and Chamber Music

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The primary difference between orchestra and chamber music is the number of players. In chamber music, there is generally one player per part while a full orchestra doubles up sections to add volume (especially in the string sections). I’ve had the pleasure of playing both kinds. Back in college I had the outrageous experience of… Read more »

Our Own Private Oberlin Conservatory Reunion at Carnegie Hall

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I attended the May 5th concert of the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall for a sold-out performance of Christopher Rouse’s Requiem. Chris Rouse was a classmate and friend of mine at the Oberlin Conservatory in the late 60s. Chris is now a preeminent composer. He’s won a coveted Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy award and… Read more »

True American Mavericks

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My friend Stacey Bowers and I attended a concert at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall which was called “collected stories: hero”. We especially went to see the second half of the concert which was a musical theater piece by Harry Partch (1901-1974) entitled “The Wayward” (1941-1943). Ever since I was in high school, which was a… Read more »

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