Andy Goessling:  2/5/59 – 10/12/18

This website is meant to share some insights into the musician Andy Goessling, a wonderful and complex person who not only loved music, but was also fascinated with the world and its denizens that shaped the music and instruments we play. On the pages within are many of the bands and projects Andy worked with, showing the variety of styles, instruments and music that he was a part of. With his interests so diverse, this seemed the best way to give the reader a glimpse of Andy’s gifts, what he brought to the music and people he so enjoyed playing with.

The music that Andy played was more than his imagination and greater than his professional knowledge. It was an extension of his beliefs, driven by a curiosity to know and understand more than just “music”. He would wonder: Where was this instrument made? Who did this song come from? What do these facts tell us about the maker? What does this instrument want to say?

As an example, when crafting his own tunes, Andy listened to how the guitar wanted to be played. He allowed the tone and feel to guide his fingers, letting himself become a gateway to the voice of the instrument. When adding to someone else’s song, Andy would peruse his collection and reach for an instrument, though not necessarily the one everyone else thought of, and create a different approach that captured the spirit of the song. Andy was greatly valued by the musical community for his ability to see another angle or view point, then use it to enhance the musical soul of the tune.

With his deep curiosity of music as a start point, naturally Andy was a multi-instrumentalist. The stories of various instruments intrigued him. Beginning with his zither and recorder, Andy began his lifelong passion of learning and playing as many wind and fretted musical instruments he could literally get his hands on.

There were many facets of Andy that showed the love and empathy he had for the music within his instruments. Each one had a tale to tell, starting with its manufacture and the notes it was meant to produce. Andy’s interests lead him not only to songs, but to understand the sources of the instruments themselves. Though he learned much about the metal wind instruments he played, it was the natural ones, like wood, that he warmed to the most. We would walk among the trees at home, observing their growth patterns and he would be imagining what things could be made from them. The connection of life into music was important to him. Andy would craft little flutes from deer bones he found, happily showing me the differences of where the holes were drilled. Even the furniture in our house was chosen for its wood, like chairs with old veneers or the 19th century rosewood pianos, though no longer playable, used and honored as desks.

For Andy, every guitar, sax or mandolin he brought home was a new being to learn about. Though some were meant to be more road worthy for his touring gigs, most were brought home to deepen his understanding of who these things were. With that intent, the character of the instrument would be discovered, and if not currently fitting with Andy’s music needs, he would make it available to someone else who would play it, as having the instrument live out its life as the maker intended was a gift Andy wished to pass on.

Listening to Andy play at home was such a deeply personal and wonderful experience. It would start with him investigating a recent acquisition or practicing a part, but often a subtle transition took place. The tune would start to describe the day and/or his feelings. The song might shift to explore the depth of the instrument being played. It could turn into a story, a journey or a picture of a moment. All these possibilities would ring out into the air, Andy speaking to me thru his music. It’s his own ethereal response to “How was your day, dear?”

I have shared a little of what it was like living with my husband Andy, I hope you will enjoy exploring the other stories within.

Play on, with love,

Alison Goessling