Gong On the Run: Moving Into Sound

For most people, listening to the gong is a static experience. You relax on your back, a single gong is played in one position, and of course magic happens.

But what if you could hear the gong in a different way? What if the gong sound could become multidimensional, what if you could feel as if you were floating through a space field of cosmic resonance?

All this can happen. And here is how you can move into the sound of the Gong.

First, you can move yourself. If you relax with your feet toward the gong, try relaxing with your head toward the gong. It will change how the sound is experienced in that the sound takes you more easily out of your body. Of course if you prefer to stay more grounded, keep those feet toward the gong.

You can also move to the right or left side of the gong. There can be a perceptible effect in how the brain process the sound if it seems to be coming predominantly from the right or the left side.

You can move to the corner of the room away from the gong and the sensation of sound increases from the reflection of the corners. (Do not move to a corner near the gong as this is one of the worst places to experience the sound).

Generally speaking, the middle area of the room, perhaps about one-third back is a sweet spot to move yourself to hear the gong.

But what if the Gongs move? Now we are getting into a new dynamic relationship with the sound!

If there is more than one gong player and one gong, the gongs can be positioned around the room so there is separation of sound to create a stereophonic (gong at front and gong at back) or quadraphonic (gong on each of the four sides of the room) experience.

If there is a small hand-held gong, the gong can be carried around and through the room. Care should be taken that the gong is not moved too close or suddenly toward a listener’s head. I have heard the gong played as the player runs quickly around the room, which could either be extremely exciting or disturbing.

I love gong stands with wheels because the player (or an assistant) can move the gong around the room as it is played.  I have done this with four moving gong stands and players and created a caravan of sound – very trippy!

If the wheeled gong stand is high enough, the gong can be wheeled back and forth over an individual lying on their back, creating a gong “car wash” effect (again, careful with that head!).

A new possibility is the RotoGong 360, a device said to “give your gong wings.” You connect it to the gong stand and it allows the gong to be rotated in a 360 degree circle as you play it. The sound seems to come from different directions and gives a surround-sound experience.

You can approximate this rotational movement in a more restricted fashion by playing the gong alternately on each side to create a deep swing, side to side, thereby creating a magical “woo-woo” effect so highly valued by psychedelic connoisseurs.

You can also hang your gong from a rope over a tree limb and have all sorts of fun chasing it around and around each time you strike it. Please send pictures if you do this and no need to invite me.