Q. How long have you been creating?
A. I remember as a young boy wanting to fix things and adapt objects for other purposes. That passion finally led me to repurposing an old lawn chair into a musical windchime.
Garry Kvistad with wife, Diane Herrick-Kvistad at the Cincinnati Craft Fair where the first Woodstock Chime was sold.
Q. How long have you been creating Woodstock Chimes?
A. My initial experiments began in the mid-1970s. In the spring of 1979, I built my first tuned windchime which I called the Chimes of Olympos. It is still one of my favorite Woodstock Chimes.
Garry Kvistad with the Adapted Lawn Chair, a metallophone he created to hear the scale of Olympos and the ancestor of all Woodstock Chimes.
Q. What Is your favorite thing about Woodstock Chimes?
A. Prior to me making Woodstock Chimes, there were no commercial chimes available that were musically tuned or that utilized acoustical properties. What I enjoy the most about Woodstock Chimes is that they are musical instruments that can sustain one’s interest for a long time. The older chimes on the market were mostly made by visual artists and the sound was very secondary at best.
Q. Describe a typical day for you.
A. The best way to answer is to say there is no such thing as a typical day for me. Now that musical venues are opening, I am performing more, so that means I am practicing more. Other than that, I enjoy riding my bike, swimming, scuba diving, golfing, and other outdoor activities. My wife and I have been watching a lot of movies at home for the last several years during Covid as I imagine many other people have as well.
Garry and Diane with Chick Correa, Jazz Pianist and Composer
Q. How do you get your inspiration for new products?
A. I was originally inspired by reading a book by a composer and instrument builder, Harry Partch in which he mentions many ancient scales. I was intrigued to hear what those scaleless sounded like since you cannot play them on a modern piano. Therefore, I had to build an instrument or a chime to hear them. Since then, we have had fun tuning chimes to popular melodies and ancient modes (or scales).
Q. What is your favorite thing to create?
A. I would be remiss if I didn’t say windchimes! But I have built many unusual instruments to perform compositions and always enjoy bringing those pieces to life with new instruments and tunings.
Garry performing with his renowned percussion quartet, NEXUS (called the High Priests of Percussion by the New York Times)
Q. What is your favorite color?
A. If you ask my family, they will say I am colorblind. My defense is that I don’t always know what a certain color is called since there are so many gradients out there. I love black-and-white movies if that tells you something.
Q. What is your creative outlet outside of work?
A. If you count being a handyman at home, I guess that would be it. Fixing things requires a certain amount of creativity. I hate to throw things away that can be either fixed or re-purposed.
Garry with Jack DeJohnette, Beloved American Jazz Drummer
Q. Who are the people behind the artist who helps you, inspires you, etc.?
A. Family would be first and foremost. I do listen to a lot of music of all styles. When I get tired of hearing depressing news on the radio, I turn on music stations and rejuvenate listening to J.S. Bach or other great musical inspirations.
Q. If you could create anything, what would it be?
A. World peace!