I know I'm random but I found this super interesting. Didn't realize they were so expensive. The are beautiful.
Check out the transcript of the video below:
The unmistakable sound of the gong has held spiritual significance in Southeast Asia for centuries hand beaten from sheep materials, the labor-intensive, shaping, and delicate paintwork result in beautiful percussive instruments. Souvenir gongs can be bought for just a few dollars, but large finely tuned gongs made from the best materials can fetch tens of thousands of dollars. So what are gongs actually used for and why are they so expensive? This is Thailand's gong highway. A 21 mile stretch of road that is home to more than 50 family-owned gong companies, who collectively produce roughly seven thousand gongs each year in the heart of the gong highway, is a third-generation gong maker bunlak has been studying and practicing gong Making for almost 50 years later, [ Music ] the process begins by cutting the sheet material into a circle. No materials go to waste here, even the offcuts are used to make the largest shape possible. It'S at this early stage, where the eventual cost of each gong is determined today, once the edges have been smoothed, a welder attaches the sides. [ Music ]. This flat dish is then ready to be hammered into shape. The gongs made here in Thailand are the bost variety, where a center knob is surrounded by smaller nipples. This design is stenciled on the back of the gong, with a homemade compass and bangers begin to hammer out the shape. The bangers use templates engraved into tree stumps that allow the knob and nipples to be hammered out fully and evenly then comes the hardest part. The tuning [ Music, ], tuners, observe, and train for years to master their skill. He strikes the gong in different places and listens for acoustic imperfections using a mallet to make slight alterations. He continues this process hoping to reduce dissonance in the sound frequencies emitted from the goal: [, Music, ], [, Music, ], [, Music ]. Once satisfied with the sound. The gong is coated in enamel, ready for intricate artworks to be hand-painted. Bunlax workshop produces gongs of all different shapes and designs, including specially made gongs, which can sell for up to one million baht or around 33.000. This way, the cultural significance of gongs is clear to see in urban Ratchathani a major city at one end of the gong highway, where the world's largest gong towers stand proudly next to the water Kua Sawan temple. The use of gongs is deeply ingrained in Buddhism and, according to the tourism authority of Thailand, the gong highway is responsible for supplying most of the country's 30 000 Buddhist temples with their gongs. So what about the rest of the world in the west gongs have become commonplace not only in popular culture but also in meditation studios and symphony orchestras. The largest non-Asian gong manufacturer is paiste based in Germany. It'S been producing gong since 1906 and its largest gong an 80-inch symphonic model retails for around