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When Dark Moon singer Lola Ulalume came across a gong at a meditation class, she realised immediately that this was the instrument she’d always been looking for. The “undeniable resonance” she felt that night inspired her to incorporate the instrument into Dark Moon’s music, with the intention of giving their audience a new kind of experience.
“The gong creates the space for the listener to elevate their state,” said Dark Moon in our interview about the Lost in Love and Fear album. “In the words of Albert Einstein: ‘Everything in life is vibration’. Sound vibrations have the capacity to have a deep effect over human function and the psyche, as they are heard – not just through the ears – but the entire body.
“The gong is very powerful in this way because it produces such an incredibly vast spectrum of sounds, and is therefore able to move every cell of our physical being and etheric body. These vibrations call in harmony and alignment, whilst opening up the mind to the other realms.”
For those looking to explore those other realms, the ambient instrumental Rainbow Bridge is a great place to start. The song was born out of a gong ceremony held by Lola during recording (she has a background in sound healing and shamanism), with the band agreeing that allowing people to share in the experience would help to “reach them further.”
While the gong is integral to Dark Moon’s sound and vision, the lyrics also play an important role on Lost in Love. “Lyrically the songs are very much about Lola’s own journey with life and spirit, which is a culmination of almost a decade of song writing,” they explained. “Essentially you are travelling through someone’s own journey through life, whilst leading you on a musical journey of your own.
“Our approach to the instrumentation and music mirrored this experience furthermore. Our aim was always to create a textured musical journey that would enable the listener to get lost in and move with. The two played out well together, with the vocals and sounds interweaving with one another, creating the picture by soundscape.”
Finally, I asked Dark Moon what it was like to record the album after years of developing their sound. “The process of making the album was incredibly therapeutic, like giving birth to many years of ideas and dreams,” they said. “The songs have journeyed with us over time, and it was cathartic to lay them down as they had evolved to become.”
Dark Moon themselves have journeyed a long way to get to this point, and for new listeners, the journey has only just begun. Where the journey will go, however, is down to the individual. To end with a quote from the band: “One cannot translate where the vibrations of the gong will take someone – that’s up to you!”
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