On the 29th April, 2016, Alicia Davies and composer/pianist Lawrence Ball perfomed in a concert of improvised piano and gong music with healing intent at the beautiful Burgh House in Hampstead. It's the first time either have performed together, and this collaboration came about by happy accident, after Lawrence attended one of Alicia's regular Gong Bath sessions.
Music has the power to inspire, motivate, and entertain; but in many cultures outside the West the power of music to heal is a given. For this unique event, Gong Sound Healer and percussionist Alicia Davies joins forces with composer and pianist Lawrence Ball, whose experimental work with gong players dates back to the late '80's. Motivated by a shared desire to heal and uplift humanity and the planet we inhabit, they create 'Intentional Music': an unscripted dialogue - in the form of a duet of incredible subtlety and nuance - between tuned gongs and piano.
Leave aside any ideas of cacophonous gong bashing: the sounds you will hear caress rather than deafen the ears, and conjure up whale song, Buddhist chanting and choirs of angels, as well as the music of the spheres. The combined intention of the players is to use their skills to stimulate profound relaxation in the listener; a state in which self healing is more likely to occur.
There was a short preparatory guided meditation in advance of the concert to prepare the audience to receive the healing frequencies of the music.
* Gongs used in this performance included the Earth, Moon and Sun gongs from Paiste's Planet Gong series, plus a Chinese Wind gong and Tibetan Singing Bowls. For information on the location, follow this link to Burgh House's website.
Lawrence has been a creator of composed and improvised music for the past 38 years. He is classically trained, but influenced by many other genres, including jazz, Indian, Moroccan and particularly rock music.
"For me the most effective musical creation comes from a deeply stilling intention,” says Lawrence. "My music is almost all tonal with melodic phrases. it is not a rough course for the newcomer, its an ocean of exploration, the communication of internal realities through airwaves, using written scores, improvised and semi-improvised, computer-generated as well as orchestral and chamber music..
'The states of mind accessed through music inspire me greatly, music having been one means whereby I can access deeply joyful moods.”
Lawrence is also fascinated by spirituality and philosophy, finding ways - including through music - of applying it to contemporary living.
Music for personal
and global healing....
25 years' ago, before embarking on a spiritual journey that culminated in working with Gongs and Sound Healing, Alicia Davies’ life was turned on its head by the power, vitality, and joy of West African music. In no time, an absorbing fascination became a passport for many fascinating musical journeys.
She has performed at prestigious venues/events including the Royal Festival Hall, National Theatre, Purcell Room, and at Womad, Marlborough and Canterbury festivals with groups such as Badejo Arts, Jelimasa, Sabari, and Jamo Jamo Arts, and West African musicians Daby Balde and Doudou Cissoko (Senegal), Jally Keba Susso (Gambia), Atongo Zimba (Ghana) and Madagascan guitarist Modeste Hugues.
She has repaired Peter Gabriel’s personal drums, and written a book, “ Finding the voice of your drum”, on fundamental Djembe techniques, which she has taught to adults and children alike during her many years’ experience of facilitating both educational, private, and corporate workshops alongside artists from West Africa.
Deep veins of this great continents’ music also infuse ‘Xi.am’, her own creative project, which blends the earthy sounds of African instruments with elements of jazz, poetry and electronics.
She is currently working on various projects, including several collaborations with other practitioners of healing arts, music, and theatre.
- Piano and Gong improvisation
- Lawrence Ball/ Alicia Davies