Celebrating Listening

In the early eighties I had the privilege of participating in Sound Symposium workshops with Pauline Oliveros in St. John’s. Learning the ways of listening at this stage in my development had a (trans)formative effect in my life. Slowing down and listening to interiors, to the sounds and rhythms of the city, and to the natural world, became the foundation of my art practice and continues to feed my capacity to hold safe, listening spaces for others. These early experiences fed an embodied sense of inquiry, taught me to trust in the power of listening and the ways of improvisation. Pauline’s practice called Deep Listening is a joyful, contemplative, and critical practice at the intersection of art, science and healing. Deep Listening is Pauline’s extraordinary gift to the world.

“Deep Listening is listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, or one’s own thoughts as well as musical sounds. Deep Listening represents a heightened state of awareness and connects to all that there is. As a composer I make my music through Deep Listening.” – Pauline Oliveros (1999) Quantum Listening: From Practice to Theory (To Practise Practice).

On Friday, Nov 25, composer, philosopher and teacher Pauline Oliveros died at the age of 84. My heart goes out to Pauline’s loved ones, many friends, students and colleagues around the world who will miss her greatly.