Full Dome Gong Meditation

Surrender Neil Harris

Creating an Immersive Meditative Experience 

As co-founder of motion graphic studio SHOP, I’ve been working with the South West Creative Technology Network as one of the Industry Fellows. My knowledge is embedded in combining audio with visuals for live music events and broadcast, and through my personal interest in meditation, I plan to create an immersive, 360 degree sound meditation event.

Our society has become increasingly dependant on technology to communicate, function and exist. The benefits of the internet revolution are undeniable. People are now enabled to be more productive, more connected, more educated but technology is also negatively impacting on our attention spans, mental health and potentially preventing us from creating meaningful human connections. It is my aim that the project encourages people to switch off and surrender from their increasingly busy lives.

My project plans to collaborate with practitioners from both technological and meditative fields in an effort to further existing research and perhaps create a new form of meditation. Gong meditation, sometimes referred to as a ‘gong bath’ or ‘sound meditation’ is an ancient practise that involves using therapeutic gong vibrations to bring about healing. This is traditionally practised in more remote locations, and we hope that by bringing it to a centralised city location we can engage a larger audience in the benefits of meditative practise.

I will be working with Monika Kralj; our Sound Healing practitioner, Luke Reed and Olga Molchanova Reed; sound designers from and academic and industry backgrounds, and Arturas Bondarciukas; motion graphic designer and Computational Arts MA graduate from Shop.

We are planning two events; an immersive 360 full dome meditative experience at the Planetarium within We The Curious. The gong vibrations created live by Monika, will be supported through custom designed ambi-sonics 7.1 sound design from Luke and Olga to create a unique sensory experience. Arturas and myself will design full domepulsating visuals across the surface of the dome giving the audience the experience that the Planetarium itself is vibrating.  We will be using processed audio to map visuals across the full dome.

We will also be creating a group VR experience based on our audio and visual research. The shape of the event is in the process of being designed but the aim is to create a companion piece that utilises our research and also brings a fresh perspective on using a VR headset.

The breadth of the project encompasses diversity, by incorporating multiple ideologies and collaborators from varying disciplines and backgrounds. Our aim is to bring together multiple technologies and experts in their fields to enhance meditative practice and increase the scope of those who could benefit from it, including audience members from a wider social sphere than would normally be expected.