On Sunday around 170 gong players will gather at Olympia to go for the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest gong ensemble. And of course our sound therapist Sonja Gundry will be there gonging with the best of them!
The event, which will be an amazing spectacle and sound extravaganza at Olympia, London, is part of a synchronised gong-playing session worldwide – the intention being to ‘send a giant wave of peace and love around the world’. Someone is even flying in an enormous 60in Paiste gong from Australia!
Gongs, majestic brass or bronze cylindrical musical instruments, have been an important part of eastern culture since the second millennium BC. Only a few families knew the hallowed tradition of gong making as it was passed down from generation to generation. In Asian families the gong was a symbol of wealth and status. In some countries the gong was used to drive away demons and to celebrate someone’s life at a funeral. Touching a gong was thought to bring fortune and strength, and gong playing was, and still is, believed to have deep spiritual connotations.
Today gongs are enjoying a surge in popularity worldwide, as increasing research shows that their bold, majestic sound promotes deep relaxation and healing. Our brains operate at several different levels, depending on the amount activity going on in our heads at the time. And the reason gongs are so beautifully relaxing is they slow our brains down to alpha or theta level of activity, with theta being a deep state of meditation.
Sonja, a qualified Therapeutic Sound Practitioner, is a member of the Therapeutic Sound Association (TSA, which is conducting research on the physical and emotional benefits of sound therapy and gong baths.
For details of Sonja’s next sound bath click here