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Gallery of Sonic Arts (Stacey Bliss) presents:

10 Nights of Gong Research with Sonic Performances & 10 Gong Research Themes

This sonic gallery in 10 exhibits includes research, performance, and sound studies in education. It has been a 2-year endeavor with 2 internationally renowned gong master-teachers, Don Conreaux and Sheila Whittaker. From 2019-2020, prior to the world-wide pandemic, I spent time with the 2 master-teachers, and participated in gong trainings in Punjab, India, New York City, USA, and a small hamlet, Buckerell, UK. This research also involves gong-students and improvisational artists I've met along the journey of gonging around the world. This research is part of what Elliott and Culhane (2017) have termed "imaginative ethnography"; it is a sonic ethnography (sound-related culture + audio) and performative ethnography (10-days of live gong research presentations + gong baths aka sound immersions).

10 Themes / 10 Exhibits:  Here on this audio tour, you can find the 10 themes from the research, one in each exhibit, and listen to: Don or Sheila talking, samplings of gong baths, some research notes, and improvised soundscapes. These 10 thematic exhibits give you a sonic experience of the gong research. It is recommended to listen with headphones for optimal sound.

Scholarly Notes: At the intersection of critical studies in improvisation and sound studies in education, this work follows assertions of scholars that sounds are affective vibrations that resonate and form educational systems of knowledge and sense-making or meaning-making (Gershon, 2011; Stewart, 2007; Tsing, 2005). Improvisational playing for or with others allows for what Caines and Heble (2015) suggest is an embodiment of “real-time creative decision marking, risk-taking, trust, surprise, and collaboration” (p. 2). Broadly and in sum, improvisational playing gestures towards responsibility, hope, and adaptation. We all could take a dose of all that.

Thank you to the following organizations and people who have supported this project:

SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) for supporting my two-year fellowship (2019-2021); Dr. Rebecca Caines for her mentorship; the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance (MAP) at the University of Regina for hosting me during the two-year fellowship; Art Gallery of Regina (AGR) for partnering in the presentation of the 10 Nights of Gong; and, The Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre - City of Regina for providing space for the 10-night live event.

A special thank you to gong master-teachers, Don Conreaux and Sheila Whittaker, whose generous spirits are what is at the core of what it means to be a living/breathing gong. Also, cheers to the inspirational gong students, artists, and musicians whom I have had the pleasure of meeting along the gong journey.

I hope you enjoy the audio tours here in 10 exhibits with 10 themes of gong philosophy and praxis. Enjoy and gong on!

About the Artist-Researcher: Stacey Bliss is an educator, researcher, gong journey-woman, and improvisational sound artist. She is interested in multiliteracies and sound studies in education. From this research and ethnographic research over the past 5 years, she is developing what she terms resonant literacy. In brief, resonant literacy denotes skillfulness in reading varying sounds, vibration, and energy between self and others as well as ability to take up a critical listening positionality. She is also developing a larger framework for literacies that go beyond text and digital realms; a model for new(er) literacies which she calls Post-spatial Literacies or Literacies of the Heart. See more of Stacey Bliss' work at www.blissresearch.org.

Audio tour background gonging: Sheila Whittaker, Buckerell, UK, Jan 2020.

References:

Caines, R., & Heble, A. (Eds.). (2015). The improvisation studies reader: Spontaneous acts. Routledge.

Elliott D. & Culhane, D. (2017). A different kind of ethnography: Imaginative practices and creative methodologies. University of Toronto Press.

Gershon, W. (2011). Embodied knowledge: Sounds as educational systems. JCT Online, 27 (2), 66-81.

Stewart, K. (2007). Ordinary affects. Duke University Press.

Tsing, A.L. (2005). Friction: An ethnography of global connection. Princeton University Press.

 

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  • Alena Skrabina

    5 out of 5 rating 06-27-2021

    Such a delight to listen and immerse yourself in this magical atmosphere! I am a visual person but being able to listen truly adds to the richness of the experience. All the subtleties, and tastes, and hues of impressions! It was delightful! Truly felt like visiting a museum. Art, meaning, depth... Thank you so much for doing this and sharing it with the world.