If you go
What: Light and Shadow
Where: Unity of Atlanta Church, 3597 Parkway Lane, Norcross
When: September 21, 7 p.m.
Cost: Love offering
More info: 770-441-0585 or www.atlantaunity....>
Don't you love it when a plan comes together? Actually, I love it even more when what appears to be unplanned falls into place, as in the case with gongmaster Yogiray Kessler.
I recently attended a "gongbath" conducted by the Lilburn resident who also teaches yoga and has a master's degree in communication.
"Gongbath," Kessler explains, "figuratively describes the cleansing of negative energy and the sense of renewal that occurs after being bathed in powerful sonic waves. I have coined the term Gongscapes to describe my dynamic style of this healing technique."
As far out as that might sound, Gongscapes recently struck a chord with a couple of traditional musicians who have teamed up, in different ways, to help spread Kessler's message of harmony and healing.
His first encounter was with Alan Dynin who for more than 30 years has been known as one of the most versatile pianists in the Southeast. His repertoire includes classical to jazz, boogie to Beatles, gospel to new age, and he quickly masters even the unknown.
Lawrenceville author Fran Stewart told me, "I'm not a composer, but a few years ago I showed Alan a few simple tunes I'd written. He sat down at a piano and made my doodlings sound like a masterpiece."
Kessler had just relocated from Arizona last February and the two musicians met in March. Kessler introduced Dynin to sound healing and they soon found themselves in sync as a duo called Light and Shadow.
Jazz singer Jhelisa Anderson tuned in to Kessler via another path.
"I encountered the work of Yogiray through a friend who had attended one of his gongbaths and as she was telling me about this incredible sound, I immediately thought wow, this sound would be great for my Istanbul recording project. I called Yogiray to ask if he would be interested."
It didn't take long for the two to connect and coin the name Gongasoul for their blended talents.
"We fully believe that Gongasoul and Gongscapes are terms that will in the future be used to describe a new sub-genre of world healing music that does not exist today," Kessler said. "We'll be performing on September 29, under the full moon, at The Atlanta Food Truck Park, on Howell Mill Road in Atlanta."
Light and Shadow will perform at Unity of Atlanta Church in Norcross on Friday, International Day of Peace, which resonates with another local voice on the same wavelength.
John Randolph Naugle, President of Atlanta: City of Peace Inc. said, "We are very proud to have Gwinnett County as our headquarters and we are excited to hear about this International Peace Day event. The arts, particularly music, build the health of our global family. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, says it best: 'For social structure, the arts and culture are the cure.'"
Now that sounds like a plan that's coming together.
Susan Larson is a writer from Lilburn. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org