Michael Bettine

Michael Bettine

BandAlternativeAvant-garde

Imagine music like you've never heard before. This is Michael Bettine/GONGTOPIA. One man, over 60 Gongs, creating haunting soundscapes, soaring melodies, other worldly sounds. Hear why people of all ages are spellbound and raving about it. GONGTOPIA - Ancient Music for Modern Times.

Biography

About GONGTOPIA

Forget your preconceptions about percussion. Michael Bettine has written a new definition, playing with sound like a painter plays with color. "It's all about the sounds," he says, "and generating energy." And energy is quite evident as his music moves out in waves, propelled by an intense desire to reach people with his vibrations. Drawing on a rich percussive history, and cutting edge techniques, his music is both ancient and modern at the same time.

PERFORMANCE:

GONGTOPIA in concert is a new musical experience, combining Asian music, Minimalism, Ambient Soundscapes, Nordic world music, and Prog Rock. Michael uses up to 60+ Gongs from 6"-32" in diameter for each performance. GONGTOPIA has been invited to and played many of the main venues and festivals for creative music.

About his live performance, NUVO (Indianapolis) said, "Bettine transformed a beautiful sculptural backdrop of 28 gongs varying in texture and circumference into an ambient moodscape deep enough to score a tidal wave." He's also exploring various duo collaborations that find him "moving beyond rhythm to explore the realms of texture and color" (World Percussion & Rhythm). Come on out and catch his vibrations.

Michael is available to headline, or open a show. He can perform from 30-90 minutes and often includes a "question & answer" session at the end of his performance (how often does one see this many & types of Gongs in one place?!).

The GONG BATH:

Immerse yourself in sound with the healing vibrations of the elemental energies: earth, wind, fire, & water. The Gong Bath will both calm and inspire your spirit. The vibrations can help balance and cleanse the energy in your body. They work at a cellular level and can help with stress, fatigue, depression, anger, and blocked energy.

He uses a set of 12 large Gongs centered around the Four Elements (Air/Earth/Fire/Water) and Ether (the universal OM), and the planets Jupiter & Venus, covering the whole spectrum of vibrations. He also uses Tibetan Singing Bowls that correspond to the Chakras, Tibetan cymbals (Tingsha), and various Paiste Bell Cymbals. The Gongs are played nonstop for approximately 1 hour in ebbing & flowing waves of sound that washes over the listeners, immersing them in a roomful of vibrations. Participants often experience acts of spontaneous healing, as the body/mind/spirit realigns itself.

Michael has worked with Gongs for the past 30 years and is recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts. This is an experience you will never forget. Bring a mat & a blanket, and be prepared for a journey of a lifetime.

Comments from Gong Bath participants:

I felt like crying.
That was on hour? It seemed like only ten minutes!
Wow! That was amazing!
Your music is beautiful, don't stop!
I'm completely blown away by this.

WORKSHOPS:

Michael also offers workshops and demonstrations on various aspects of percussion. He has presented at various schools (elementary—university), music stores, festivals, and arts organizations. He especially loves to work with children of all ages. In November 2005, he was invited to present his music and ideas at the prestigious Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Columbus, Ohio.

Workshops available-

GONGS - their history, types, and playing techniques (great for adults and children! Can be interactive).
SOUNDS & EXPLORATION - exploring alternative techniques, instruments, & sounds.
IMPROVISATION - exploring the creative process (interactive-bring your instrument!).
PERCUSSION CONSTRUCTION - making and playing home made percussion instruments (great for children!).
DRUM TUNING - exploring how to get the sound you want.

WHAT THE PRESS SAYS:

CDs - Stars Show The Way/Labyrinth - Modern Drummer, Martin Patmos - RATING: 8 (of 10)
"MICHAEL BETTINE is a percussionist specializing in metal ... Sinking into Bettine's sound world is fascinating and inspiring."

CD - Stars Show The Way - Drum! magazine, Waldo the Squid, 12/2002
"Don't expect to hear burning riffage... Bettine is an experimentalist who is less concerned with chops than creating colors and textures... Bettine has a unique vision that sets him apart from the hoards."

CD - Stars Show The Way - World Percussion and Rhythm, Terry Reimer, Winter 2003
"This solo CD is a 'percussion tour de force'... moving beyond rhythm to explore the realms of texture and color."

CD - Stars Show The Way - The Improvisor, Richard Grooms
"It's easily one of the best solo percussion records I've ever heard. Bettine is essential listening for percussionists and anyone interested in solo free-oriented music."

jazznow.com
"Mr. Bettine is a percussionist of flair and ability."

WMSE radio, Hal Rammel
"Beautifully played compositions....quite original and exciting percussion music."

Michael is a PAiSTE cymbals/sounds/gongs & Mike Balter Mallets artist, and uses King Kaces

Discography

Stars Show The Way - 2002
Labyrinth - 2003
Sacred Symbols - 2003
Shadow World - 2004
Impact Of Falling Stars - 2004
Fractal geometry - 2005
Equinox - 2005
Metal Poetry - 2005
Meridian - 2007
Mandala - 2007
Microcosm - 2007

Set List

GONGTOPIA 2008 presents 90 minutes of all original music drawn mainly from 3 new CD releases: MANDALA, MERIDIAN, MICROCOSM. The music fuses the spirit of Asian Gamelan with Western aesthetics, creating a hauntingly beautiful musical landscape like you've never heard before. This is the Music of the Spheres.