The sound of traditional gongs has returned to Kamloops with a community event this winter.
Encore Music Productions and the Kamloops Japanese Cultural Association are collaborating with Rob Gretsinger to host a gong sound meditation at 7 p.m. in the Japanese Cultural Centre located at 160 Vernon Ave. on Jan. 26.
“I think of what I do as painting with sound in a lot of ways,” said Gretsinger. “I think a lot of what I do sonically is kind of visual, it certainly is to me anyways.”
While there won’t be a guided meditation, the aim of the event is to provide participants with a peaceful place to rest and enjoy the sound of various gongs exhibited at the performance.
The all ages event will feature an hour-long demonstration with a brief question and answer period about the equipment.
This will be Gretsinger’s second performance at the Kamloops Japanese Cultural Centre.
However, he makes monthly appearances at various public spaces around Kamloops.
“I want people to understand that this is not going to be some big, loud percussion concert,” he said. “The intention, for me, is to produce deep peace and help people to enjoy some quiet, soothing kinds of tones — even if they don’t meditate. That’s what I’m about.”
Gretsinger studied Japanese language and culture at university, and began pursuing music too.
He ventured into percussion instruments initially, and later had a gong displayed behind his drum kit “like Led Zeppelin or The Who,” but began to embrace gongs personally after seeing a performance centered around gongs.
But it was a personal experience that allowed Gretsinger to pivot into the pursuit of gongs.
“It opened the door for me to explore the gong in a deeper way,” said Gretsinger, noting that performing at a friend’s funeral with gongs resonated deeply for himself and others in the early 2000s.
Ultimately, that experience — and the reactions of those who attended — led Gretsinger to pursue sound healing.
“There was something therapeutic about using these gongs. I hadn’t planned anything like that but it got me interested in the therapeutic sound,”
“Since that event, I’ve gone a lot deeper trying to explore this area of sound healing.
At the very least, whether there’s an actual healing that happens, my goal is to bring a very peaceful intention which most people can use more of.”
If you would like to attend, contact Lance Yamada for more information at 250-319-7779 or email@example.com to register.
There will be a $5 cover charge to attend this year’s event.
To find out more about Gretsinger, visit: www.facebook.com/kamloopsgongs/.