Re: [Harp-L] Chris Michalek R.I.P

A big hole, indeed. This is a terrible loss to the harp community.

On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 2:49 AM, Rick Dempster <rick.dempster@xxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:

> Very sorry to hear this. I crossed swords a couple of times with Chris on
> harp-l; nevertheless, he was generosity itself when I later posted a piece
> on his Buddhas Garden site. I bought one of his custom Golden Melodys, which
> was beautifully  modified and adjusted. I found Chris' tone incredible, and
> his approach to the instrument appealed to me the most of all 'modern'
> players. I found his use of overblows the most convincing, and I have worked
> on Chris' approach to tone over the last couple of years, shifting my
> vibrato from throat to front-of-mouth. I still can't capture Chris' amazing,
> 'Wonder-ful' sound (incredible on a diatonic) but I have certainly been
> influenced by him (not that that is any reccomendation!)
> At one point I mentioned that I wouldn't mind taking a couple of lessons of
> him via Skipe, but that it might have to wait as I was a little short of
> money. He immediately offered to give me some lessons without charge,
> something which I most certainly was not soliciting. I didn't get around to
> takng him up;I never shall now.
> A real loss.
> He recorded this last year;apposite at this time of year, and beautiful:
> Vale Chris.
> >>> "Brendan Power" <bren@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 17/12/10 9:16 PM >>>
> I just got a message from George Brooks saying that Chris has died after a
> short illness... I am utterly shocked!!! I find it hard to take in, but
> George says he was called by Chris' wife Laurie, so it must be true,
> horrible as that is to contemplate.
> You had to know Chris personally to appreciate him. His posts online were
> pretty extreme at times I agree, but he's the epitome of that saying "His
> bark is worse than his bite". Chris had a heart of gold, and was incredibly
> generous to me and lots of other people. The 2000 Harmonica Summit he
> organised single-handedly was a landmark event in the harmonica world;
> that's the first time I got to know him, as he put me up in his house. We
> became friends, meeting at successive SPAHs, and I spent a great three days
> with him in June at his and Laurie's home in Phoenix, where Chris organised
> a gig/workshop for us. Remembering how lively and energetic he was only a
> few short months ago makes his sudden death all the harder to accept.
> At the Summit in 2000 I met his wonderful parents, American Dad and
> Vietnamese Mum, who met when his Dad was in the Vietnam war. Wonderful
> people; his Mum worked as a surgical nurse and gave me some exquisite small
> scissors and tweezers that are still in my harp tool kit today.
> After the recent SPAH in August Chris invited Buckwheat, TJ Klay and me
> again back to his parents' place in Minneapolis/St Paul, and we had a
> brilliant afternoon playing, joking, firing his Dad's home-made pipe gun
> and
> enjoying a delicious meal of Vietnamese delicacies cooked by his
> big-hearted
> Mum.
> That afternoon I tried the sample Buddha Marine Band that he was showing
> people at SPAH, and it was absolutely incredible! Among the 2-3 most
> responsive custom diatonics I have ever tried.
> Sure he talked himself up, but he certainly walked the walk as a customiser
> as well as a player, big time. His playing, especially the gorgeous 12th
> position sound he got, was very influential, especially through his
> generous
> YouTube teaching videos. He was a great mentor to many of the best young
> players around today, as I'm sure they will attest.
> Personally I liked Chris's strong opinions on everything. They always made
> sparks fly, never boring! It's a pity that many of those offended by strong
> posts online never got to know him in person, or they would have seen
> through the bluster.
> Chris was one of the great characters of the US harmonica scene, and he
> will
> leave a big hole.
> There is lots more to say and I know many others will feel the way I do.
> Buddha, and keep tootin' wherever you are!
> Brendan Power

Arthur Jennings

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