Experience Guadalupe Maravilla’s Healing Sound Baths at Home
The artist shares a guided audio experience inspired by the restorative power of sound.
Jan 26, 2022
Guadalupe Maravilla describes his current exhibition at MoMA, Luz y fuerza, as a “space of healing.” Inspired by Mesoamerican myths, Salvadoran traditions, and his experience as a refugee fleeing civil war, Maravilla combines readymade objects with natural and fine-art materials in works that resemble shrines or altars. Five of the sculptures called Disease Throwers on view in Luz y fuerza include gongs. They can be activated by Maravilla or a collaborator, creating an immersive sound bath with the potential for healing.
While undergoing treatment for cancer, Maravilla was introduced to sound therapy, a healing practice that uses vibrations produced by instruments. According to the artist, this practice “cleanse[s] the water in our bodies, which can carry stress, impurities, and, in some cases, diseases.” Now a trained sound healer, Maravilla regularly holds therapeutic sound baths for undocumented immigrants, cancer patients, and others in need. The gongs are tuned to specific frequencies intended to resonate with the moon and other planets in our solar system. Over the course of this exhibition, the artist will be regularly activating the sculptures in immersive sound bath sessions that visitors can sign up to attend.
You can experience Maravilla’s sound baths wherever you are—in both English and Spanish—by listening to the audio recordings below. The artist will guide you through the process.
—Paulina Pobocha, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, and Martha Joseph, The Phyllis Ann and Walter Borten Assistant Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art
Hillary Ramos performing a healing sound bath as part of the installation Guadalupe Maravilla: Luz y Fuerza, November 3, 2021
Introduction by Guadalupe Maravilla (English)
Introducción por Guadalupe Maravilla (Español)
Guadalupe Maravilla, Hillary Ramos, and Sam Xu performing healing sound baths as part of Guadalupe Maravilla: Luz y fuerza, November 3, 2021
In Sound Bath 1, Guadalupe Maravilla and fellow sound healer Sam Xu use gongs from the Disease Throwers sculptures and other instruments such as tuning forks and triangles. This sound bath is 50 minutes long and includes a five-minute conclusion to help ground you after the experience.
Sound Bath 1 (English)
Sound Bath 1 (Español)
Guadalupe Maravilla using a triangle to perform a healing sound bath as part of Guadalupe Maravilla: Luz y fuerza, November 3, 2021
In Sound Bath 2, Guadalupe Maravilla and fellow sound healer Sam Xu use gongs from the Disease Throwers sculptures and other instruments such as tuning forks and triangles. This sound bath is 15 minutes long and includes a five-minute conclusion to help ground you after the experience.
Sound Bath 2 (English)
Sound Bath 2 (Español)
Visitors experiencing a healing sound bath as part of Guadalupe Maravilla: Luz y fuerza, November 3, 2021
You can experience these and other sound baths on the MoMA Audio playlist Guadalupe Maravilla’s Healing Sound Baths, with an introduction and conclusion in English or Spanish.
MoMA Audio is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Special thanks to Sam Xu for collaborating on these sound bath performances; Zubin Hensler and Marc-Auguste Desert II for recording and mixing; and Sara Bodinson, Arlette Hernandez, Martha Joseph, Paulina Pobocha, and Gee Wesley for producing.
Sound Baths can be soothing and healing for some nervous systems, but not all. If you are sensitive to sensory stimuli or you have unprocessed trauma, the experience might bring up unexpected emotions, sensations, physical responses, and/or disorientation. Go at your own pace and check in with yourself. If you notice yourself beginning to feel overwhelmed or feel dissociated, it's a good idea to stop listening and take steps to get grounded.
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