Crystal Journey
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Crystal Journey


Band World New Age


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"Hickey's crystal tones add groove to new age"

On a bad day, Hamilton, Ontario, does a fair impersonation of hell. So it's surprising to find out that this industrial city, all cinders and soot, is also home to some of the most heavenly music being made in Canada today: the ethereal soundscapes of David Hickey's Crystal Journey.

“It's the yin and the yang, right?” says the soft-spoken percussionist, calling in from a Sechelt tour stop. Five years ago, Hickey explains, he was running a Steeltown emporium named Positive Vibrations when he became fascinated by the sound of Tibetan bowls—brass vessels that, when stroked with a leather-wrapped dowel, give off a ringing tone that's reportedly conducive to meditation.

“Everything evolved from there,” he says. “I was invited to do some holistic shows in Toronto, which is where I heard my first crystal bowl—and the moment I heard the crystal bowl my life took another direction. I heard that crystal bowl and then I went to work on trying to figure out how I was going to work that into my life. And now it is my life, 24/7.”

At present, Hickey owns more than 40 bowls of different sizes, each tuned to a different pitch. “The size of the crystal bowl determines the tone, and the thickness of the bowl determines the note,” he explains. “I also have different mallets for different sounds. I have gong mallets for playing in a percussive style, and I have regular suede mallets for the toning which give me the ability to get the sound going a little louder, and then I have rubber mallets for the bigger bowls, because they require a little bit more friction to get them going.”

Based on the sound clips posted on Hickey's Web site (, he has been deeply influenced by Tibetan ritual music, and his current tour—which takes him to St. Andrew's–Wesley Church on Friday and Saturday (September 8 and 9)—is devoted to raising awareness of how that Himalayan country's spiritual traditions have been suppressed under Chinese rule. (He times his Vancouver performances to coincide with a visit by the Dalai Lama to open the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.)

But Hickey also takes inspiration from classical music, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and, especially, the Grateful Dead. “I followed them around for a number of years and saw them over 150 times, and just really fell in love with the music,” says the self-confessed Deadhead. “Each concert that I saw felt like a music lesson, just the improvising that they were doing. Every night was a different show, and I've incorporated that into how I play.”

Perhaps that's why Hickey's performances groove just a little bit harder than most new-age fare does. “This music isn't just for people who want to meditate,” he stresses. Nor does he want people to think of his concerts as a kind of healing ceremony.

“I started off calling this ‘a sound healing journey', but now I'm kind of shying away from that because of the expectation it creates,” he admits. “I really don't want anybody to leave disappointed—although, having said that, nobody ever has.”

- Alexander Varty, Georgia Straight

"Patients Respond"

I know the clients wrote messages on the card, but I really wanted to
share some of the feedback I received and observations we've made since
your performance at Claremont House.

They really enjoyed the experience. It was great to see so many of them
gathering together, totally engaged and sharing in the experience. I
was struck by the impact of your music on a number of clients who have
been depressed and disengaged from socializing. They really connected
to your music and said that it was an immensely enjoyable, meditative
and relaxing experience. One client in particular hardly ever speaks,
but he made many positive comments about your performance. I think your
music touched a spiritual cord that helped some clients connect to
positive emotions and energy within themselves. It was nice to see the
smiles on clients' faces as we talked about the performance.

I also noticed people engaging in spontaneous singing of Christmas
songs the day after your performance. It was amazing to hear the sounds
of voices coming together.

We really appreciated your generosity in performing at Claremont House.
I value music therapy and feel that your performance may help some
clients on their path to recovery, growth and healing. To be open to
new experiences, to realize there is much joy in the world and that
there are many more things they have yet to explore, is a valuable gift
that you provided to our clients.

Thank-you and best wishes in all your endeavours with your music. If
you do have time for another performance later in January, let us know!
- Julie, McMaster University Hospital

"Looking for "david hickey crystal journey canada my story"

I must share my experience of unlimited love and healing white lighte during a performance two nights ago. The performer is named David Hickey, he has been touring across Canada playing an huge array of quartz crystal bowls, glass bowls, brass tibetan bowls and a gong cymbal. His website is

This particular show I will talk about was held in a beautiful church in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast of BC; the room held perfect reverb. I was sitting next to a really great friend and were invited to come by two all-loving friends I had just met that day.

So David begins by sharing a little bit of background and intention and says his performance happens in two 45 minute sets with a 15 minute break: the first half being an easy introduction and the second half being a full-on journey. During the first session, I was very restless and was having a hard time sitting still (as usual, due to chronic pain). I watched him do his thing for a bit, but soon closed my eyes to take it all in. The sound was sooo soothing and calming, but still sitting in pain, I was extremely glad for that 15 minute break to arrive.

Now for the second session. After I moved around and stretched out my body for the duration of the break, I sat down on the same pew and waited patiently. Coming back into the room, David asked the audience of almost 100 to focus on some kind of intention while listening to the second half. Instantly, I thought of my mother, who is also in much pain. He started playing the wonderous crystal bowls once again and I closed my eyes to fully concentrate on the resonating sounds as pure white healing lighte. I visualized this universal white lighte enter into the top my head and saw my mother floating above my head, totally encompassed by a spiral of this loving lighte. I felt then, that I wanted to extend this to everyone, so I began to visualize the lighte surrounding and entering my friend, sitting beside me. Then I saw everyone in the room being loved and healed in the same way, and eventually I extended it out to the whole world, all the while seeing the pathways of lighte connecting my head with everyone else's. Moreover, I was actually able to sit still with an almost complete absence of pain (something that RARELY EVER happens to me).

In the midst of tranquility, my visualizations turned to nothingness; I didn't remember a single thing from this point until the concert ended. The duration of the second half seemed to have passed very quickly, and I couldn't open my eyes even upon hearing all the comencing chatter in the room. I had entirely forgotten about the people, the room, the sound, my self and my breath. Samadhi, perhaps? I sure think so! I have reached similar states of non-being in the past, but never without a psychedelic catalyst. This time I was sober.

The rest of that night, I was filled with utter blisss. It didn't matter to me what was happening in the universe, as long as it was happening; I was content to simply exist. I also felt indecicive and just wanted to let the universe guide me in whatever direction it may, and it surely did, straight into the welcoming home of my two new all-loving friends who had originally extended the concert invitation. Here, I gained some new insights into the psychic nature of humans (but that's another story)!

Here is a poem I wrote the following evening while on the bus, leaving the Coast:

A sense of great calm; collective, careful and comforting.
Resonating pure tones turn to white lighte; encompassing.
Sharing this with others, allowing love to flow; grow.
Forgeting my self and breath; completely letting go.
- Bob,

"Winnipeg Free Press"

You've heard of musicians playing the spoons? David Hickey plays the bowls -- more than 30 in a single show.

But his are not your typical vessels of sustenance. They're made of quartz crystal and they feed your soul with their healing tones and vibrational energy.

The Hamilton, Ont., native's instrument is a modern version of the ancient Tibetan "singing bowls," traditionally made of metal, which can be found in Buddhist temples, monasteries and meditation halls around the world.

The humming or chanting sounds created when the bowls are rubbed along their rims or struck with a mallet are believed to clear space of negative energy. They are said to induce deep relaxation and meditative states.

Hickey, 38, however, is not a Buddhist monk, but rather a former health-care worker and devoted fan of the band the Grateful Dead. He's currently on a six-month Crystal Journey tour to spread a vibe of peace, harmony and healing to Canadians from coast to coast.

His bowl-filled Dodge van stops in Winnipeg tomorrow, when he'll perform at the Ellice Cafe & Theatre. Show starts at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $15 and available at the door.

We rang up Hickey on the road to get the scoop on Sunday's "mystical escape."

CV: Is this anything like that water-glass xylophone the guy plays in the McCain's fruit juice commercial?

DH: Yeah, some of the old-school people remember people who used to play the wine glasses. There was actually an orchestra called the Glass Orchestra. The difference is those are lead crystal; these are quartz crystal.

Each bowl is a pure tone -- purer than a piano or a harp.

CV: We're not talking about cereal bowls here. How big are these things?

DH: The smallest is eight inches in diameter and the largest I tour with is 18 inches. You could bathe a baby in it. It's about 25, 30 pounds and it's pure quartz crystal, so it's pretty big. They cost between $250 and $1,000, so they're pretty expensive, too.

CV: Why crystal quartz? Can't Pyrex mixing bowls sing?

DH: Quartz crystal is a receiver and conductor of energy and stores information. That's why they use it for computer chips.

Our body is crystalline in its structure, so the vibrations and the healing quality of the quartz, combined with it being turned into a musical instrument, help to realign the chakras, or energy centers, in our body.

CV: Wait a sec. You're not saying the computer industry is interested in re-aligning our chakras.

DH: These bowls actually came from the computer industry in Silicon Valley about 30, 35 years ago because they're used to grow silicon chips in. The chips are manufactured and then put inside the bowls because the bowls are such a pure frequency that they tune the computer chips.

Somebody in California, a metaphysical healer, got ahold of the bowl and...

CV: Are you in a meditative state when you play?

DH: I'm in very meditative state.

Setting up is my meditation; it takes about an hour. It's very Zen-like, setting the bowls up, creating the sacred space. I put tapestries up, the bowls are lit up by candles... it's very, very intimate.

CV: I'm already chilling out. Does the audience tend to go all Zen?

DH: We typically encourage people to bring yoga mats and blankets so they can lie down and some people do go to sleep. I've had people snoring.

I've said all along I might be the only musician who's happy if his audience is sleeping.

CV: OK, gotta ask. Who are your musical influences?

DH: My biggest influence musically was the Grateful Dead. When I first heard them and saw them play, I was transformed so much that I quit my job and went on tour and followed them for 10 years. I saw them 140 times.

On this tour, John Lennon and George Harrison have come forefront in bringing the energy of their spirit and music to what I'm doing. I've been opening my shows with Imagine by Lennon and playing the bowls while that song is playing. It's a pure message of peace and that's our mission statement.

© 2005 Winnipeg Free Press. All Rights Reserved.
- Carolin Vesely


Crystal Journey, release 2004
Samadhi, release 2005
Echoes of Atlantis, Release 2005
Sacred Journey Home, release 2006
Blue Star, release April 2007
Journey Through The Solar System release Oct 2008
"Knowing" Double Live CD release March 2010
"Time Accelerated" Release Date March 9th 2011
"Journey Through The Chakras" Release Date Summer 2011



Based in Mount Hope, Ontario, I perform with Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls. Each produces a pure note or tone, the purest there is, you have to hear them to believe it. I play them in combination with 8-10 Paiste Planet and Symphonic Gongs,Vibraphone and Santoor. Each gong features a strong fundamental note tuned to represent a natural harmonic series based on the orbital properties of the Sun, the Earth, the Moon and the other planets. It's like having a full orchestra. I also perform with other beautiful organic instruments that add the finishing touches to an amazing performance. The intent of the performance is to create beautiful improvised, meditative and healing music. Each of my performances are totally improvised and unique. The music attracts a full range of listeners. My concerts are in two sets, each lasting about an hour. I have been touring Canada coast to coast the past nine years and have performed over 800 shows and have released 8 CD's. I have played the Bowls and Gongs accompanied by various vocalists as well as instruments such as the harp, piano, keyboard, guitar, mandolin, flute, didgeridoo, orchestra bells, tabla's and djembe as well as a performance with the Winnipeg Chamber Orchestra last June. Crystal Journey has dedicated it’s intention for the music to help raise awareness to our environment and such social causes as Tibet and Burma and has raised funds for various charities as well- The Monks of the Gomang Monastery, Indonesian Tsunami Relief, churches and more. My musical inspirations for this are, Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead, John Lennon, George Harrison, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and Frederick Chopin to name a few. Some notable performances include:

Chinese New Year Celebration, Toronto Center For The Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - Feb 2006
Tibetan Cultural Pagent, Centrepointe Theater in Ottawa, March 2006
Opening Performance for Alfa YaYa Diallo - Hamilton, ON - Feb 2006
Art of Living Centre, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - Quebec City, QC - 2005
Addiction and Rehabilitation Clinic - Halifax, NS - 2005
Hospice Conference - Alliston, ON - 2005
Spring Tune Up, Hospice Conference - Hamilton, ON - 2004 & 2005
Wicca Fest - Honeywood, ON - 2004 & 2005
Bloorview Childrens Hospital - Toronto, ON - 2005
Raw Food Festival - London, ON - 2005
Water for Peace Festival - Southampton, ON - 2005
Red River Lodge Safe House - Winnipeg, MB - 2005
Whitefish Ojibway Community - Birch Island, ON - 2005
Circle of Friend Cancer Support Group - Thunderbay, ON - 2005
Pioneer Ridge Nursing Home- Thunder Bay, ON- 2005-2006
International Buskers Festival - Halifax, NS - 2004 & 2005
The Music Room - Halifax, Nova Scotia - 2005
Kaleidoscope Festival - Ottawa, ON - 2004
Hamilton Place Performing Arts Centre - Hamilton, ON - 2004
Starbelly Jam Festival in Nelson, BC- July 2006
Global Inspiration Conference in Nelson, BC- 2006
Saint Andrews-Wesley Church, Vancouver- 2006
Performance with the Winnipeg Chamber Orchestra- June 2006
Whole Life Expo in Toronto-2003-2004-2006
Chinese New Year Celebration, Exhibition Place, Direct Energy Centre, Toronto, Ontario- Feb 2007
Glenn Gould CBC Studio, Toronto, Ontario- April 2007
Hillside Festival, Guelph, Ontario- July 2007
Yoshadra Ashram, Kootney Lake, BC- August 2007
Whistler Summer Festival, Whistler, BC- August 2007
Havergal College, Toronto, Ontario- November 2007
Global Sound Healing Conference, San Francisco, CA- May 2008
Globe Sound Conference, Los Angeles CA- May 2008
Cross Canada-US tour April-June 2008
Journey Through The Solar System Tour, Oct-Nov Ontario, Canada, final show at CBC Glenn Gould Studio
Cross Canada-US tour April-Oct 2009
Cross Canada Tour May-July 2010
Hamilton Place Studio Theatre New Years Eve 2010
Ottawa Winterlude Festival, Opening Act Feb 4th- 2011
Ottawa Winterlude, Feb 5th-6th and 18-20th- 2011
Mayan Time Acceleration Concerts Oakville, ON Feb 11 and March 9-2011
I have also done pro bono gigs at nursing homes, hospice confrences, schools and rehab clinics.