Garry Kvistad: Blog

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 »

My Main Muses

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Everyone has a muse (or muses) who have helped them find their own path. For me, that list includes teachers, coaches, leaders, artists, musicians, crafts people, friends and family.   The American composer Harry Partch probably had the biggest influence on my musical thinking and yet there are many obstacles blocking his general acceptance. The… Read more »

Woodstock Chimes for Autism™ and Tyler’s Amazing Story

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I am very excited about launching our new Woodstock Chimes for Autism Charitable Chime™ program, especially as World Autism Day approaches on Wednesday, April 2nd. A while back we were contacted by a family from Toronto whose eight year old son, Tyler, is high functioning autistic and has a passion for windchimes. We were thrilled… Read more »

Goodbye Columbus

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I recently spent several days working with high school and university students during the “High School Percussion Ensemble Festival” at Ohio State University in Columbus. Ohio State has always had a dynamic and impressive percussion department but professors Susan Powell and Joe Krygier have grown this department to an amazing level in the 14 years… Read more »

A Well-Balanced Concert Event

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On March 1st, Diane and I attended an amazing event at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. It was a celebration of the installation of an exhibit of a massive 12 ton, two piece sculpture by the contemporary Chinese artist Xu Bing. The work completed in 2010 after two… Read more »

Work, Vacations and Downtime

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Work hard, play hard is an old saying that I firmly believe in. The balance between work and recreation is important and the lines are often blurred. Ideally, one can do both at all times. In other words, enjoying your work and learning from your recreation is a worthwhile goal. I find myself becoming bored… Read more »

Music and Business Make Good Bed Fellows

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I recently had the honor of being a keynote speaker for the Ulster County Leadership Development Institute (ULDI) sponsored by the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce here in the Hudson Valley of New York State. The 25 or so participants were top employees sent by local businesses to help develop their leadership skills. Since I… Read more »

Holiday Time, Family Time…and Music!

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With the holidays all around us, I think of family, food and music more than ever. I just returned from a trip to San Francisco where my brother Rick (he’s the principal percussionist with the SF Opera) and I performed at the Acoustical Society of America’s annual conference. This trip included family, lots of food… Read more »

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