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Michael Bettine Michael Bettine

About Michael Bettine/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.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, he spent his formative years playing progressive rock and studying classical percussion. Later investigations into minimalism and Asian Gamelan helped form an original vision of solo percussion music that has no boundaries. While he owns and plays a veritable panoply of percussion instruments, Gongs of all types and sizes are his main interest. In putting together GONGTOPIA - his solo Gong performance - he has taken his music deep into the heart and mysteries of these ancient metal discs.His performances are an experience not to be missed

Michael has played many of the main venues and festivals for creative music, and in November 2005, he was invited to present his music and ideas at the prestigious Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Columbus, Ohio.

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)

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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'..

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Advanced only


Available by appointment. Teaching rock, jazz, improv, and extended techniques. Rate is $50 per hour. Michael has taught for over 30 years in a variety of settings. He has written various books/ articles/essays & percussive literature over the years. He has been a contributing writer to MODERN DRUMMER magazine since 1983, and has written for many other publications, including: DownBeat, RHYTHM, DRUM, etc.


Album Meridian, Mandals, & Microcosm by Michael Bettine

Meridian, Mandals, &...

Intuitive Arts


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