On Sunday May the 31st, the magical and bright-eyed David Hickey of Hamilton, Ontario visited Shanti for the third time for his Crystal Journey performance. He arrived Saturday evening with his beautiful wife and daughter just short of 2, in a ginormous white van filled with a stunning set of quartz crystal singing bowls, a vibraphone, santoor, and 8 18 Paiste Planet, symphonic and sound creation gongs. He also came with a table full of beautiful mala beads and CDs of his sets to share. Crystal Journey has toured and touched Canada and the US from coast to coast for the past ten years, performing over 1,000 live shows, and we were lucky enough to have David and his family of gongs back again for another cozy, meditative and rainy Sunday afternoon of “gong bathing.”
Each of his gongs feature a “strong fundamental note tuned to represent a natural harmonic series based on the orbital properties of the Sun, the Earth, the Moon and the other planets. It’s like having a full orchestra” or a “sound odyssey.” These gongs resonate in harmony with the celestial bodies, and communicate a distinct aspect of the Music of the Spheres, first documented by philosopher Pythagoras in the 6th century BC.
David’s sound odysseys, also known as sound journeys, take place usually in two 40 to 50 minute sets. Nothing is ever amplified or rehearsed, leaving him a lot of space to intuitively see what feels and sounds right, to improvise spontaneously in each passing moment. This is yoga. At his performances, guests are invited to sit or lay down as close to the gongs as possible to feel the subtle frequencies and vibrations of his gongs and bowls, and to really connect with the set up close. There aren’t words that exist that fully match the sensations felt at one of his concerts; you simply have to experience them yourself. It’s a beautiful process and journey to be a part of. “It took me to another place,” our head chef Sheran says.
Essentially, every thing and everyone is in a constant state of vibration. The planets vibrate. All matter vibrates. Everything consists of atomic material in constant motion. Motion is manifested in everything in the Universe, and nothing is at a state of complete rest. This motion generates frequencies which thus generate sound in the form of waves known as sound waves. Whether we hear them, everything has a sound, a vibration, all of its own. These frequencies of movement determine specific sounds. Hazrat Inayat Khan, an ancient Sufi master, says that “the knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole Universe.”
Sound waves have a tremendous influence on human functionality. Sound is vibration that causes resonance and rhythm in our bodies. It moves us both physically and emotionally, and therefore spiritually as well. Because of the demands we are subjected to in our modern day to day lives, the increase in stress-related dis-ease is of little wonder. Many external and internal influences have a proven effect on our well being, including the sounds of a gong and a singing bowl meditation experience. When asked about the intentions behind David’s sound creations, he says his aim “is to try and bring some peace to the current times that we’re living through on the planet. A lot of people, myself included, are having a time of it, just trying to adjust to all the energies that we seem to be bombarded with. We clear one thing out, and another thing comes up, then we clear that out, and another thing comes up, and it seems to be endless, so I really find that this music helps with not only clearing it, but helping to understand it, why we’re clearing it, and then letting it go. It’s a very peaceful process.”
If the opportunity arises for you to partake in one of David’s sound journeys, I highly, highly recommend you take advantage of it! Allow your body to melt and soul to dance among the gongs and bowls, dissolving into loving spaciousness and freedom. If you are curious about his whereabouts and want to learn more about his performances and his instruments, head on over to his website at www.crystaljourney.ca. Here you will find a photo gallery as well as videos of his work.