When I first hooked up a Paiste endorsment, I immediately expanded my gong and cymbal set-ups. I was invited to check out the Brea warehouse, and soon afterwards, when I was on a tour in Germany, I visited their gong factory just north of Hamburg. Walter the “gong-meister” not only showed me around, he explained the entire gong-making process, right down to the final tuning sessions. I tried out everything. From these two visits I was able re-think my entire set-up. I added most of the “Sound Creation” gongs, several of the larger symphonic gongs, and then all the cymbals that had caught my attention at the warehouse session.
Adding these incredible instruments to my sound has had an immense impact on the music, as well as on the spectacle of our concerts. On top of all that, I thoroughly enjoyed doing some of the industry shows and related workshops for Paiste. I really dig working with the Paiste team; they all take a certain pleasure in showing off the great line of instruments, and then watching me assemble my dream set-up.
I do a lot of work as a solo percussionist, but I’ve also got an ensemble of five amazing players, with regular guests from Senegal, West Africa. The music is a blend of Jazz, World Music and Spoken Word, and the gongs create a unique environment for this innovative confluence of forces.
I’m a life-long Paiste player and big fan of the product line. I just dig the innovative way in which Paiste does everything. Their approach to their products is like my approach to my music. “Try everything, don’t be confined by conventions, and then perfect what you discover.”
I suppose that most drummers would agree that every cymbal from every manufacturer has “something” to offer, but every cymbal from Paiste that I’ve ever played seems to exude that “above and beyond” approach that has always set them apart. And then there are the gongs. When’s the last time someone, anywhere, introduced completely new designs for gongs? Who considers the powers of the gong more seriously than Paiste? Who even offers a line of gongs, not to mention the mind-set behind the creation of something like the “planet gongs?”
My Paiste gongs play like liquid metal; they are a physical experience that defies any easy description. I’ve played my set of Paiste gongs at nearly every show, and almost every day for the last 20 years. They still blow my mind. Everyone who sees and hears me, as a soloist or with my group, remembers the gongs. At this point it’s a signature of my work. I’m also opening up minds for new ways in which to use and include gongs in contemporary music settings.
I am currently working on a cd of my gong compostions; the working title is “Meteor Shower.”