Considered to originate from Asia several thousand years ago, the gong has long been used as a tool for healing, ceremony and transformation. For some, the resonance of the gong represents the sound of OM or AUM and it is thought that the first consciousness in the universe began with this vibration; the sound of OM. They are still hand forged to this day in a lengthy process taking several weeks, usually being made from a nickel silver alloy.
Symphonic gongs like the one I play, or rather the one that plays me, is thought to contain within it all of the sounds within the universe. Gong master Don Conreaux explains that "you don't play the gong, the gong plays you'. In my experience, the gong is an intuitive and responsive tool for healing, not merely a musical instrument. I find it reflects the energy of a space, my mood, and even when striking it in the same place twice it never gives off the same sound. It 'speaks' to me and the more I play, the more it speaks, with it's layers and depth of sound increasing.
The way in which the gong is used in sound therapy today to support health and wellbeing is relatively recent, but its core message remains the same.