The Sound of Peace

April 26, 2012 - East Hartford, CT - Amanda Hauserman meditates during a gong concert at The Conduit Center.

April 26, 2012 - East Hartford, CT - Amanda Hauserman meditates during a gong concert at The Conduit Center.

In an East Hartford strip mall that once housed a gunpowder mill, large metal plates are calling arms to sound. Specifically, the arms of Jeff Nickell and Owen James.

Several times a week Nickell and James are performing gong concerts in their wellness and meditation center; The Conduit Center. The gong waves coming from the center sound less like the rock-gong of Keith Moon, though, and more like the soothing improvisations of Keith Jarrett.

Surrounded by blankets and candlelight, concert-goers, some sitting in suspension chairs and some wearing Mindfold relaxation masks, say absolutely nothing while deeply resonant and living sound waves massage listeners into what Owen James calls, a “mind movie.”

April 26, 2012 - East Hartford, CT - Jeff Nickell (top).

April 26, 2012 - East Hartford, CT - Jeff Nickell (top).

Ancient gongs, it is reported, once heralded warnings of advancing dangers or dignitaries. Queen¹s drummer Roger Taylor, according to Wikipedia is, “known for having one of the biggest Tam-Tams in rock.” Which was probably used to end Queen’s classic song “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

“When you hear the sound of a gong,” says Nickell, “It’s a call for attention but then it resonates out into peaceful silence which is the most important part of the sound meditation with gongs. When we can value those moments of quiet, to be an opportunity to become more mindful and allow more creativity, I think that’s where we can change…the world. If we can change ourselves, we can change the world.”

April 26, 2012 - East Hartford, CT, Owen James (top) plays a crystal bowl.

April 26, 2012 - East Hartford, CT, Owen James (top) plays a crystal bowl.

Posted in Mark Mirko, Peace & Photojournalism and tagged with , . RSS 2.0 feed.
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