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Artist biography Michael Bettine
Michael Bettine is a percussionist, composer, writer, photographer, and educator.
Michael Bettine has been playing Gongs for over 30 years. Currently he concentrates on performing solo Gong concerts (with up to 60 Gongs), presenting Gong Meditation sessions, conducting Gong Workshops, and playing in the Vibrational Sound Trio.
Michael Bettine has been playing percussion for most of his life. He can't really remember a time when rhythm didn't fascinate him. While he has spent many years play rock/pop/jazz drums, he has always been drawn more to the fringe of things. While at University he discovered John Cage, European free jazz, African & Asian music, and was always the student who asked the weirdest questions, like: "What about sheet metal? Do you know anything about using sheet metal as percussion?" After apparently thinking beyond the realm of such a staunch jazz tradition school, he pursued experimental ideas on his own. This lead to the discovery of Gongs and other ringing metal percussion. The die was cast and there was no turning back…
Jump to the present and Michael Bettine still exhibits the same restless urge for discovery that he did as a youth. He concentrates most of his energy on performances and compositions for Gongs & other metal percussion.
In 2000 Michael Bettine developed Gongtopia as a means of expressing these ideas and has toured & recorded extensively since. He also presents Gong Workshops, has written extensively on Gongs & percussion, and is currently working on 5 new books on percussion (whew!).
In concert Michael Bettine plays on 50 or more Gongs, as well as cymbals, bells, Sounding Plates, and Tibetan Singing Bowls. In 2009 he joined forces with 2 other extraordinary musicians to form the Vibrational Sound Trio. The discovery continues…
Michael Bettine also teaches extensively, corrupting the innocent minds of youth with his radical ideas on percussion and rhythm. But he insists that percussionists need to push the boundaries beyond the accepted norms of rhythm. As the late, great composer, John Cage wrote, "The spirit of percussion opens everything, even what was so to speak, completely closed."