I have followed Frank Perry's career and music for many years, and have read and reread all his writings on his website to learn more about the mysterious world of sound healing and singing bowls. Now Frank has taken over 40 years of his personal sound journey and put it into this almost 500 page book. There is much to learn here.
For those who don't know of Frank, he is one of the (if not THE) experts on the use of singing bowls, gongs, and ritual objects for both meditation and sound healing. Starting as a jazz and blues drummer in the 1960s, he moved into improvised music, and eventually work as a solo musician with a massive set up of the afore mentioned metal instruments. He has been working with, and investigating singing bowls for over 40 years.
The book is written in an easy, personable style, very much like Frank is talking to you. While he delves into the science of the sound and acoustics of the bowls, it never reads like a dry text book. The book starts off with an introduction to the use of sound (bells & bowls) historically in China, Nepal, Tibet, and the whole Himalayan region. The historical information here is important in the context of the use of the bowls over these many centuries.
From there, he goes into how to choose bowls, how to play bowls with different techniques, and then gets into detail about the many different types of bowls. In addition, there are exercises on how to obtain different sounds and harmonics. The book also gets very deep into the spiritual side of things, as the reader will find that spiritualism and the bowls are inseparable. One does not have to prescribe to any sort of religion or spiritual belief to understand what he's writing about, but again, the historical context of the ancient Bon and Buddhist beliefs is very intertwined with the story of the bowls.
Franks describes and classifies some 100 types of bowls, describing both their appearance and their sound. He also devotes a section to cymatics, or pictures of the sound wave patterns created by the bowls. These do well in illustrating what is actually happening with the sound and the bowls. There are also many charts that show an analysis of the tones/harmonics from different bowls, which aids in understanding how the types of bowls differ in the sounds/effects they produce.
Along the way, he tells many personal stories of his experiences and the people he’s met. He also relates stories told to him by others. These stories help fill in the “missing” information about the bowls. Additional information can be found on both his website ([...]/) and his YouTube channel ([...]) where he has a series of videos that go along with this book.
In conclusion, if you are a sound healer, a personal bowl user, or even just have an interest in these fascinating instruments, this book is for you. Frank Perry has done a fantastic job of gathering up thousands of years of information and presenting it in an easy to read and understand format. Highly recommended!