We arrive at the yoga studio in the late afternoon darkness. It is so quiet and orderly in there, the floor gleams – a tabula rasa for my layout. I need 100 square feet for the singing bowls. First I lay down yoga mats two deep, soft but not too squishy. On top of the mats go heavy woolen blankets and on top of that various devices to put the singing bowls at different heights. Out come the singing bowls and cover cloths. I sort them into groups and sequences. I’m laying them out musically but also with an eye to instruction. I want to talk about the different types, how they might have been used and demonstrate different qualities.
An hour goes by and a pleasing arrangement emerges with the singing bowls laid in lines, curves, and little groups. There are places to walk among the singing bowls both for me during the concert and for people when they get their chances to wander among them later. We’ve put the trimmed and edged antique carpet squares under all the smaller singing bowls. The garnish is the dozen colorful mallets and ringing sticks matched for the type of sound I want to bring out from groups of singing bowls.
People start to come in. They get to admire, even touch the singing bowls but not ring them. Afterwards they get to fully play. Finally I greet the crowd and ring a large resonant singing bowl once to bring people to attention and end the last strains of conversation. I begin my talk as usual with no notes, just a mind full of ideas and nowhere near enough time to express them all. It is nice to have a hundred square foot stage to meander in. The room’s acoustics are just great, I need to project, not shout. I introduce myself, tell stories and do show and tell. After about half an hour I ring the big singing bowl again very gently. Then I start my concert.