Paiste Gongs

GONG FORUM => GONG PLAYING TECHNIQUES => Topic started by: frettls on February 24, 2014, 01:05:23 am

Title: Gong meditation
Post by: frettls on February 24, 2014, 01:05:23 am
Hey Gongerz n Gongetz, I see allot of meditation sessions conducted facing away from the participants, and a lesser amount playing directly into the participants space.
What are the views on this topic ?  I know it is more a personal thing but if there is a particular reason to play away from a group,,,,,what would that be.

Thank you,

Title: Re: Gong meditation
Post by: Michael Bettine on February 25, 2014, 12:34:53 am
It's more out of habit that I face away when playing the Gongs. As a performing percussionist, I'm used to having the Gongs behind me, with the percussion in front of me. But I do have the Sining Bowls & Bells in front of me at a Meditation Session. So I do a bit of both…
Title: Re: Gong meditation
Post by: Paul Ford on February 27, 2014, 11:20:48 am
It's a very debatable subject, there are those who feel they trust their intuitive sense enough to trust the connection they have with those in attendance. To be able to play with their backs to those in Meditative states and feel comfortable with not having to observe.
I feel many musicians/ therapists prefer to display the front of the gong towards those in attendance for the visual effect. You might think that truly the gongs would be the other way around, less glitz but easier for the gong player who would prefer to play facing those in attendance.
Sometimes i sit and think, with the playing of one of the larger Paiste instruments, a 60 or 80 SG. How the sound dispersion would be, with for instance the gong not faced directly towards those in attendance, but facing to the side. Given the size of such an instrument, i doubt there would be any lack of amplitude, and the Gong player would have great visual coverage of those in relaxed states. Some people feel they need to observe, and with good reasons. And again some will check in on those in attendance periodically. I guess its all about practicality ultimately, what works for yourself.

Kind regards

Title: Re: Gong meditation
Post by: Jamie Bechtold Ford on April 30, 2014, 12:53:36 am
That is a great thing to bring up and many are strong in their belief that one way is better than the other. Personally I play with the front of the gongs facing the audience, then I have crystal bowls in front. I prefer how that looks and I have no problem connecting with the audience and I do feel they are getting the full effect. That is my preference but I think it should be up to person playing. What matters most is how you feel when you play and if you feel you are not connecting or they aren't getting the full effect then that is what you should pay attention to. Every space you play in is of course different as well.

Title: Re: Gong meditation
Post by: Michael Bettine on May 01, 2014, 07:03:08 am
The only times I've faced the audience is when working with a Yoga instructor so I could follow their movements. Otherwise, I usually have my eyes closed or am paying attention to what I am doing. My good friend, Kenny Kolter, always plays seated, facing the people. I prefer to mostly stand up, kneeling when I play the Bowls & Bells in front of me. I know others who put their Gongs in a square or circle shape surrounding them, like Frank Perry. In Frank's case, the audience is often in a circle around him. Don Conreaux usually has the Gongs behind him and plays facing away from the people, or at least sideways to them. And I have seen a few people sit sideways to the audience. I don't think any way is better than another. It's more important for the player to feel comfortable and to develop a sense of working with the set up they use.

The photo shows a session I did with Kenny Kolter a few years back. We each faced differently and had no difficulty relating to each other, or the audience.
Title: Re: Gong meditation
Post by: Phil McNamara on May 13, 2014, 01:42:15 pm
As a percussionist, I prefer the gong to my side so I can face the conductor and it is easier to play. For symphonic works, I use a low stand to facilitate this. Sometimes space and access for other players dictates that the gong goes behind me, facing the audience, which looks better from their point of view. For sound healing, my gongs face the clients and I play with my back to them, occasionally glancing over my shoulder to check that everyone is ok. Like Michael, I prefer to focus on the gong and channel the healing required and audiences tend to prefer seeing a line up of gongs in front of them. At some point, I intend to purchase a Symphonic Brilliant for my collection, partly so I can look at the audience in the gong!