Meet the chimemaker

Garry Kvistad

Meet Garry Kvistad, founder and owner of Woodstock Chimes and a professional musician. Garry Kvistad earned a Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Masters of Music from Northern Illinois University, where he studied music, art and physics in the pursuit of building musical instruments. In 2020 Garry was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame. He joins celebrates such as Ringo Starr, Jack DeJohnette, Mickey Hart, Buddy Rich, and Gene Krupa to name a few.

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Garry inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame

JULY 2020

During this time of a global pandemic, racial unrest, and economic uncertainty, there is a peaceful serenity from the soothing sounds (the natural harmonic overtone series) of the “Healing Chime,” made by Woodstock Percussion.

The man behind those musical chimes is Garry Kvistad, not only a master tuner and instrument builder, but a longtime performing percussionist and champion of the arts.

“I’ve known from a young age that good sounds are healing,” he explains, “and I’ve made the study of music and sounds my life’s work.”

In addition to founding Woodstock Chimes, Kvistad—a self-described “old hippie” who has spent the past four decades in New York’s Hudson Valley—has been a member of three historic ensembles: the Blackearth Percussion Group, Steve Reich and Musicians, and Nexus.

“It’s always been a mission of mine to promote ercussion,” Kvistad states. “Even though we’ve been in the back of the orchestra, I wanted to turn people on to the enormous variety of percussion. There’s more to percussion than an occasional cymbal crash or playing a backbeat in a rock song.”

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See Garry in action

See Woodstock Chimes in action

Garry's tour schedule

Garry Kvistad joined the internationally-acclaimed percussion ensemble NEXUS in the Fall of 2002 when John Wyre, one of the group's original members, retired. He has been performing and recording with NEXUS co-founders Bob Becker and Russell Hartenberger since joining Steve Reich & Musicians in 1980. Garry is one of 18 musicians to win a Grammy award for the 1998 recording of Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians.

Due to the coronavirus, all engagements have been postponed. Check back for updates.

Garry's blog

Garry posts wonderful stories about music, performing, his passions and occasionally about his family. Everyone loves when he shows off one of the "toys" in his vast collection of musical instruments.

Check out Garry's blog

Garry's latest blog post: Sounds Good!

I’ve known from a young age that good sounds are healing, and I’ve made the study of music and sounds my life’s work. I have had a few “sound” mentors who have helped open my ears. Among them were Pauline Oliveros, John Cage (in photo), Harry Partch and Lou Harrison. Pauline taught us “Deep Listening,” whereby you meditate intensely on the sounds around you. John taught us that all sounds are equal, omnipresent, and there is no such thing as silence. Harry taught us that there is a world of sounds much larger than we know in the Western world. And Lou taught us that we need to experience solitude before we can hear the subtleties of the sound spectrum.

I had the honor of meeting all these amazing people and was privileged to perform with Pauline and John. Harry’s writings inspired me to make windchimes so that I could experience the sounds of the music of ancient civilizations.

So, the takeback for me is to be aware of your sonic environment as much as possible, consider all sounds as healing, listen three-dimensionally and receive music of other cultures with unbiased acceptance. This philosophy has helped me grow through sound exploration.

Stay safe and sound,

View photos of all Garry's "sound" mentors on Garry's Blog.

Garry's Sonic Mixes

Many of our customers ask which Woodstock Chime they should add to their collection. To help, Garry put together this list of chime combinations that have connections musically, culturally or historically. Check out “Sounds Good With” tab on individual product pages!

Check Out all Sonic Mixes!