10 Nights of Gong / Sonic Performances / 10 Gong Research Themes
A Sonic and Performative Ethnography of Gong Master-Teachers
From JUNE 17 – 26, 2021 in Regina, Canada, Stacey has curated an 10-day outdoor event for the courtyard of the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Regina. Stacey will present 10 main themes from her research with 2 gong master-teachers, Don Conreaux and Sheila Whittaker. Each of the nights, she will give a 10-minute research talk followed by a 45-minute improvised gong sound immersion. Some days will have special collaborative guests! Registration is required – click here for detailed information and to register. NOTE: each night is fully booked; there is a wait list. If weather permits, we will be outdoors and can accommodate 6 more attendees, so join the wait list and let’s see what the weather is like each night.
Here is a Sneak Peak of the Gong Research from the Online Audio Museum Tours:
Theme 1: Holistic Resonance
“Total gong sound is truly pure holistic resonance. … The experiencer is wrapped in a cocoon or womb that is so charged with powerful wholesome tone that at some point the person seems to disappear completely into the sound field. This is a phenomena that can be called conscious dematerialization through sensorial sound saturation.” – Don Conreaux, Magnum Opus of the Gong, Vol I
Gong baths are offered as a sound immersion or sound meditation for groups, small or large. Gong baths are also offered as sound treatments for individuals in one-to-one session. The client lies on the ground or a massage table, and gongs are placed around the client. In this audio, gong master-teacher Sheila Whittaker is giving a gong bath to her assistant, Pauline, as an example for the gong trainees. This was recorded in a community space in Buckerell, UK. You may hear the sound of the wooden floorboards creaking while Sheila walks around the client to use different and multiple gongs. Enjoy this sampler of a one-on-one session given by Sheila.
Sheila first explains to the gong trainees: “Now this treatment is going to be shorter than I would normally do, of course, I am going to kind of condense it. So, I would normally do treatments between 40 and 50 minutes. Occasionally we run over. For this demonstration, I’m just going to do about 15 minutes or so, so what I’m doing will be condensed. I would normally take a lot longer. For a one-to-one session in this sort of scenario, I do the Universal Greeting at the beginning. … [Gently speaking to the practice-client laying on the ground]… Just focus on your breathing, Pauline. Allow the breath to take you deeply inside, to the still space. [Begin Universal Greeting to the client] I offer you peace. I offer you friendship. I offer you love. I hear your needs. I see your beauty. I feel your feelings. All wisdom flows from the highest source. I honour that source in you. Let us work together. For you are my own true self…”
——— Gong bath ———
——— Silence ———
Client (Pauline): “Um, yah, beautiful, thank you.”
Sheila: “So you are in this kind of cocoon. Whether you are on the floor or on the couch; you know you are in your sort of own cocoon. … I always have to say, my bottom line is always, if it feels right, go that way. If it doesn’t then no. You must use instinct, intuition. Do what feels right … [while playing gong for a client…or in life].”
Image below: Gong master-teacher, Sheila Whittaker, giving a sample one-on-one gong bath to a client (Pauline) during a gong training in Buckerell, UK, January 2020.