Sonic Meditations 100
Participants : Marie-Cécile Reber, Beatrice Vorster, Hannah White, Monika Dorniak, Artur Vidal, David Agudelo, Emmanuelle Waeckerle, David Matias and Laure.
A bit of documentation from last session.
-As an introduction Artur Vidal proposed to watch a video created by artist Rehana Zaman. In this video Lourdes explain what Mexican albures are and how do they relate to listening. (especially from 7’40 to 8’54)
More information about the artist:
(I heard of this video thanks to an online video festival curated by artist Anuka Ramischwili-Schäfer. https://camdenartcentre.org/public-knowledge-frictions/ )"
-Then we did a body warm up that included a mix of two Oliveros breathing exercices from her Deep Listening book (see images below) and the following indication from Sonic Meditations: 'begin by simply observing your own breathing'.
- The first piece we were looking at was Marie-cécile Reber's Watering Seeds. You can find below the score that drew our attention towards, among other things, the sound of growing flowers.
A Guided Meditation
For this guided meditation you need two bowls. One empty and one filled with water.
1. Preparing the earth for flowers
You are standing.
With each inhalation you absorb the good energy of the earth (or earth good energy) With each exhalation you send this energy to a soil pile dedicated to your flower seeds
Now with your feet parallel and shoulder width apart
Bend forward and collect with your hands (the) good energy from the earth With each inhalation, you straighten up, palms holding the energy
With each exhalation you send this good energy to your soil pile
Palms facing down you push the energy toward the pile
When you are finished, sit down.
2. Imagine your environment
Imagine you are sitting in the middle of a meadow.
...what do you see around you ?
...what are the sounds surrounding you ?
...what is the atmosphere like in this environment ? ...what sounds are the flowers making while growing ?
3. Watering seeds
Now we will plant seeds and water them until they become flowers.
To water the seeds you pour some water from your full bowl into your empty bowl Plant the seeds where you would like the flowers to grow
Pay attention to the seeds
and start watering them
Send energy to make them grow
Imagine and enjoy how they grow
When the seeds need water, water them
Continue this process until you can see and smell the flowers.
The piece is finished when you can feel the flowers energy...
Marie-Cécile Reber 4/20
- Monika Dorniak also proposed an original composition. Her piece put into perspective our interest towards Deep Listening by offering to us an osmic experience as well as a sonic one. Below you can read the text she shared with us on that evening:
In German 'ear' is called 'Ohr' and in Hungarian 'nose' is called 'Orr' – this linguistic connection between the ear and the nose made me wonder how connected our olfaction and aural sense are. This anatomic curiosity inspired me to create an exercise to refocus the senses and embody this new synaesthetic perception to provide us a new way of perceiving sound and smell. Start by inhaling not just the oxygen that provides your body with new energy, but absorb the olfactory information of your present situation. Rather than naming these odour-informations, transform them into sounds. Now, perform that information for your ears, and imagine how the two senses connect. Can your ear train your nose to smell in a certain composition, or can your ear learn from the nose to taste with the mouth?
- Composer Emmanuelle Waeckerle led the first piece of Oliveros' Sonic Meditations, 'Teach yourself to fly'. I have included below the score. Emmanuelle also shared with us a few quotes about that piece that she found in Software for People ('on Sonic Meditations') emphasising the interplay between making sounds voluntarily and allowing change to occur involuntarily.
-Ian Thompson shared with us a text by Oliveros about soundscapes as well as a listening exercice.
-After a small break, Hannah White proposed a piece playing with possibilities offered by videoconferencing apps. Below you can find the score:
Healing Dream Screen
Hannah White, 2018
A sonic meditation for the online environment – here written specifically for the platform ‘Zoom’ but can be adapted to any online group video communication platform
I invite you to pin the image of yourself so you can see yourself biggest in the Zoom window - please decide for yourself how big or small to make the window depending on what feels comfortable for you.
Sit with yourself for a while, keeping your eyes open. Imagine the image of yourself to be your dream screen self.
Let any thoughts that arise float on by, open your ears to your surroundings and focus on your breathing.
Begin to interact with this dream self reflection on screen. Explore sounding to your dream self and moving with your dream self. Explore the sounds and movements you feel are most beneficial to you at this moment. After a while settle on one sound and/or movement that you like the most. Repeat this a few times so you are comfortable with it. This is your dream ‘gif’ to yourself.
At the sound of the bell choose someone in the group. Pin their image so they appear largest on screen, and give them your dream screen self song/dance gif, whilst witnessing their gif gift to someone else.
-Finally Laure proposed to conclude this session by reading Oliveros text 'The Earthworm Also Sings'. You can find it on the link below (accessed 26/06/2020):
A few books that were mentioned during that evening:
Eribon, Didier. La société comme verdict. Paris: Flammarion, 2014 .
Oliveros, Pauline. Software for People: Collected Writings 1963-80. Kingston: Pauline Oliveros Publications, 2015 .
Oliveros, Pauline. Deep Listening: A Composers Sound Practice. New York: iUniverse, 2005.