• Bryon Harris

Michael Kollwitz - "Pile of Presents"

Written by Ionas Finser & Staff

Swirling chimes pan from side to side like unique snowflakes in the wind, setting the stage for Michael Kollwitz’s gentle introduction to his holiday single "Pile of Presents" off his Billboard charting album, Santa Plays the Stick. What sounds like an ensemble of five guitars is actually one instrument!

To someone unfamiliar with the Chapman Stick, the beginning of “Pile Of Presents” is a beautiful surprise.Throughout the song, the only musical elements not originating from the Chapman Stick are a few subtle pads and atmospheric effects. Kollwitz somehow manages to leave the listener transfixed for almost four minutes with only one acoustic instrument.

“Pile Of Presents” does a fantastic job in speaking to the time of year that it is set in.

Kollwitz employs many uplifting key changes that move the song along and evoke a sense of holiday spirit. In fact, the harmony, melody, and rhythms are all exceptionally bright. However, the atmosphere and textures of the song create the familiar intimate feeling of looking out the window of a warm house and observing the padded white insulation of thick snow. This effect is evidence both of Kollwitz’s genius and the nuance of the Chapman Stick.

The magic of Christmas is truly captured in “Pile Of Presents.” Kollwitz not only draws upon the feeling of winter in this song, but he also speaks to the nostalgia buried in the minds of every citizen of Western culture. An example of this is the use of references to the melodic content of popular holiday tunes. The primary theme of “Pile Of Presents” itself uses intervals that are reminiscent of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”

“Pile Of Presents” is in season and perfect to listen to while baking cookies or shoveling snow. Children and adults alike will be enchanted by the Chapman Stick and the exceptionally talented musician who plays it. Michael Kollwitz might be your best instrumental discovery this season and all year.

"Santa Plays The Stick" To Air On National Indie Radio

"Santa Plays The Stick" will be airing on National Indie Radio (WNIR) commencing December 1st through December 31st as part of BWH Music Group’s Holiday Radio Special. WNIR features the best independent artists in the world and is part of the highly selective and nationally renowned BWH Music Group platform. The Holiday Radio Special will feature original holiday songs as well as covers by exceptional independent artists. Station information can be found at www.wnir-radio.com


About Michael Kollwitz

Michael Kollwitz is one of the original pioneer players of the Chapman Stick, a contemporary American stringed instrument. Capable of astounding expressiveness, and simultaneous multi-part arrangements, “The Stick” is an amalgamation of elements of guitar, bass, keyboards, and percussion into one instrument that is played in a way similar to piano.

As a recording artist, Michael has had 26 independent releases. His last three albums, Serenity I, II & III have received considerable international airplay, awards, nominations, and rave reviews. His music is also being played on airlines and in hundreds of U.S. hospitals on The CARE Channel. Serenity II made the Billboard top ten new age albums chart at #8 in 2018 in addition to receiving consideration for a Grammy nomination. Serenity III debuted in the top five on all three of the major new age charts including Billboard twice: #3 in January 2019 and #2 in February 2019. Serenity III also won a silver medal in the Global Music Awards in June 2019. Carlos Santana has described Michael’s music as “a gift of the heart.”

For more information on Michael Kollwitz, please visit his website.

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