The Tuning Meditation DEEP LISTENING® AND Community SOUNDING INTENSIVE
‘IF IT HAS A SPIRITUAL COMPONENT, I’M VERY GLAD. IT’S BECAUSE WE’RE NOT LISTENING TO ONE ANOTHER THAT THINGS ARE IN A MESS.’ -PAULINE OLIVEROS, The NEW YORK TIMES
Deep Listening® in this context refers to a listening practice created by renowned composer Pauline Oliveros 1932-2016. Oliveros' own intention of 'listening to everything it is possible to listen to all the time,' becomes embodied through the shared experience of listening and sounding her text scores, Sonic Meditations and Deep Listening pieces.
Deep Listening Intensive:: community singing to create new form together as improvising composers
Text Scores:: with only several spoken parametres, to be interpreted individually while listening to all a sound piece emerges
sounding:: making sound with your voice/ toning vowel sounds/ growling/ breathing/ laughing
sonic anatomy:: listening and sounding for well-being, with attention to the endocrine system on a vibratory level, speaks to the embodied harmony and authenticity to the spirit possible when sounding
listening meditation:: listening attention practices
global and focal listening:: like an involuntary breath towards peace
Individuals may experience a sense of wellbeing from this creative experience
This practice can inspire interpretations in other modalities such as the the deeply listening body of Heloise Gold, and the dream work of Ione
The Certificate Program established by Pauline Oliveros and Ione as an Online Portal will continue from the Center for Deep Listening, at Renssaelar in NY.
I facilitate gatherings of one to three hours, to explore the sounding and listening meditations of Pauline Oliveros, especially The Tuning Meditation.
WHo were your mentors: (ajay Heble)
I would say Pauline Oliveros was my most influential mentor and deepest creative relationship. I had no women teachers at university, but there was a trace of Pauline still there. When I was invited to perform with Pauline Oliveros by composer James Tenney, I had already been touring professionally for ten years with the songwriter Jane Siberry, who improvised lyrics and forms each concert as if the song was still being created. Playing a telematic improvisation with Pauline was like arriving at the destination I had been circling the world to find. With Pauline I found acceptance and deep understanding. I was never shown how to improvise, I had been given letters and words of a language of fearlessness by my early teachers of improvisation, Freddie Stone; Michael Snow, Casey Sokol, and Nobua Kubota of CCMC; Udo Kasemets, Gayle Young; John Oswald; all made a language of not knowing. And Fred Frith, knowing. Just as improvising with the live images of filmmaker Peter Mettler gave me a sense of gesture as clear as the patterns in a body of water. Pauline Oliveros with profound presence, in many moments of silence in nature, and many raucous electroacoustic sound fields we shared, showed me how to locate a universal sense of space and time, and with Ione, a recognition of being and empathy. I felt included, my voice welcomed.
Private Music Lessons
I design series of one hour lessons for children and adults, incorporating all sensory sources of sound perception and embodied creativity. Contact me here:
Listening Walks on Wards Island
In the summer contact me here to make an appointment:
EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST:
Sounding difference: the Text Scores of Pauline Oliveros
In November 2016, the month preceding Pauline's unexpected passing, we were privileged to gather in Toronto for a remarkable quartet performance with Pauline Oliveros, myself, Doug Van Nort, and Ione at the Music Gallery, XAvant 2016. We had a beautiful Deep Listening Circle in the Courtyard the following morning, where the intention to create sanctuary for Deep Listening was established and will continue in coming seasons at the Music Gallery. Since 2016 an ongoing gathering to listen and sound the Text Scores within an inclusive safe space has continued as Sounding Difference. We have given much thought, in conversation with the Dandelion Initiative, to offer pronoun identity acknowledgement, find the language of consent within the scores, to make the statement in respect of indigenous land acknowledgement as a Deep Listening meditation of the place, within the time sphere of 15,000 years. It has been remarkable to sing together in this way. I welcome you to join the Music Gallery list to receive announcements for this free community gathering.
There were a remarkable number of tributes and memorial events over the course of the first year after her death. This spoke to the radiant love and deep relationships Pauline had engaged in all over the world and beyond, through her presence of listening and her compassion. At the Park Avenue Armory Memorial, in January 2017, curated by Ione with Claire Chase and Ross Karre of ICE, I lead Pauline's Tuning Meditation in memory with love and honouring. The sound of the Tuning Meditation in the architecture of the Armory, with the tone of the day is a sound I will never forget, and is the point of departure for my ongoing practice with her Text Scores. I dedicate this work to the memory of Pauline Oliveros 1932-2016.
Experience with Oliveros
A long time associate of composer Pauline Oliveros, and a profound influence, I was one of the original six who travelled to the Rose Mountain Retreats, in Northern New Mexico during the last half of Oliveros ten year tenure, and received the first Certificates in 1998, empowering us to to teach her Deep Listening® materials and Sonic Meditations.
I began to perform with Pauline as soon as we met In fact we met in performance when I was invited by James Tenney to improvise with Pauline over distance in Telepresence for her concert at the Kitchen in NY. vimeo.com/141649869
Compelled by Oliveros' listening practices and text scores as active/receptive techniques of composition, and because I think the world is a better place with this sound, I teach the Tuning Meditation as often as possible. I have an ongoing group at the Music Gallery since 2016 called Sounding Difference the Text Scores of Pauline Oliveros which offers an inclusive collective sounding experience.
I present Deep Listening® Intensives at university seminars and festivals such as : Open Ears Festival and Wilfred Laurier University in Kitchener/Waterloo; telematic performance with Columbia and New York from Guelph Jazz Festival; for the Tone Deaf Festival, Kingston ON; for the Mental Health Association, Green Lift: Mood Walks Summit 2015; for a safe space initiative at the Dan School of Drama and Music, Queens University, 2016; Obey Convention, in association with the Fountain School of Performing Arts, Dalhousie University, Halifax; in London UK, as an ordinary member of The Royal Geographical Society at the Annual Conference, in Human Geography: The Soundscape of Well-being, 2017, and ongoing as faculty at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in the Collective Composition Lab for dance and sound, 2017-2019
Oliveros: ‘To Valerie…’ Residency
In the summer of 2017 I took part in a residency curated by Xenia Benivolski and Su-Ying Lee, of Feminist Art Museum, at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. Christopher Willes chose to explore Oliveros' 1970 composition, 'To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in recognition of their desperation.' I was engaged as artistic consultant and performer. and encouraged Christopher and coproducer Public Recordings, to ask permission from Ione, who with the sudden passing of Pauline, was now executrix of the Pauline Oliveros Trust.
During the first long days, Christopher invited me to impart Oliveros' Deep Listening® pieces with the ensemble, an extraordinary assembly of musicians, and performers with out musical training from disciplines of theatre and dance, which included Thom Gill, Ame Henderson, Evan Webber, Germaine Liu, Alison Cameron, Brendan Jensen, Ellen Furey, Claire Harvie, Ishan David and Anni Spadifora. Gallery visitors were welcome to sit and listen, some returned.
The original sound recording of the original commissioned work, and the film by Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz , 'To Valerie..' were played in an open studio format once or twice each day, mutually enhanced by commissioned sculptural installations and an indigenous speaker series within the Feminist Art Lab residency we were part of.
The week culminated in a well-documented evening performance. 'To Valerie..' christopherwilles.com/valerie/ and surfaced again as a performance, coproduced by the Music Gallery and Art Metropole, in 2019. The ensemble expanded to include poet Aisha Sasha John and performance artist Brian Solomon and was staged in several educational venues throughout the week, with a final performance at the Council chambers of Toronto City Hall.
Banff Centre for Art and Creativity
In 2017, at the invitation of Artistic Directors Claire Chase, and Emily Molnar (Netherlands Dance Theatre, the Hague,) I joined the faculty in the Creative Gesture: the Collective Composition Lab, which invites composers, choreographers and dancers to explore the emergence of new work and new ways of collective arrival through improvisation. In the context of this program, I impart the text scores and Deep Listening® meditations of Pauline Oliveros as composition seed techniques, and draw from my own experience creating work with choreographers, to guide experiential discovery through the intersection of sound, listening and gesture.
a unique composition of Oliveros’ that offers mandala and text description of complex listening, that directs attention to the resonant frequency of the earth from an inner sonic anatomy. Our premier was at Hallwalls in Buffalo NY, 1998, released on Table of the Elements. We later remounted at Issue Project Room, Brooklyn NY, recorded for TAIGA records, 2010. And finally a resounding performance at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn NY, for Ten Years Alive on the Inifinite Plain, 2013. At the NY conference on the Art and Science of Deep Listening, at EMPAC, 2014, I presented on Primordial/Lift and Sonic Anatomy.
In 2016, I was invited by the Artistic Director of International Contemporary Ensemble, Ross Karre and Graham McKenzie, Artistic Director of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival to participate with Ione, in a performance of 'Primordial/Lift' in collaboration with ICE, Fritz Hauser and UK ensemble Distraktfold, on the anniversary of Pauline lifting off..