There are so many different styles of playing the gong in the rapidly growing world of sound-work. We all have different training, we all develop our own connection with the instrument, so sounds vary a lot. Our belief is that we need to shed our egos, like letting a heavy coat slide off, and play in a state of absolute neutrality and `in the moment`.
We ask the gong to take over and let it take the lead. Sometimes they raise their voices and the sound can be quite intense. However, more often they are increasingly asking for more space between strokes so that the note can have space to live, or they are asking for a gentle droning sound to fill the space without taking it over. Sometimes a combination of all these. Sometimes they conspire to build a discordant tension in the sound-space first, which makes the gentleness of the subsequent softer tones more immersive.
Our experience is that giving them space creates a much deeper connection for everyone present and a more powerful experience. Each single gong stroke has it`s own energy. There is a beauty in hearing the sound rise in volume, spread over the gong with hundreds of little overtones and then letting the vibrations gradually fade away. As they fade, they drag you in as your hearing needs to become more and more focused in order to avoid losing it altogether. Eventually, you`re not sure if it`s ceased or not. In searching for it, you lose a hold on this physical world and inhabit a place without time or presence.
It`s not inconceivable that one day we`ll offer a whole `gong bath` based on a single stroke.
I would add that these are our opinions and we are sharing what we find works for us.
John and June Shapter, Healing Sound Practitioners and founders of The Chiron Institute UK