September 13th, 2006
deep listening

I’m writing this from my class. It’s called “deep listening” taught by Pauline Oliveros. She was a contemporary of John Cage.
you can understand my excitement.
she is like a zen monk. calm and centered.
today we were asked to bring a found sound.
I brought my bike wheel.
I’m going to go play it now. Maybe I will let you hear a recording here later.
here it is:

I like the idea of ‘found sound’.
the possibilities are endless.
what can you hear right now?
right where you are sitting.

Sep 13 2006
2:26 pm
shari writes:

hi keri,
your class sounds fun and i love the idea of found sounds. i can hear the hum of my old refrigerator.
would love to hear your bicycle wheel music. :)
cheers!
shari

Sep 13 2006
3:19 pm
susan writes:

it’s so funny, because I just looked up from my computer screen and looked out the window to hear where ‘that noise’ came from – I had heard the wind rustling the flowering vine that grows in my courtyard.
how beautiful is the world if only we stopped and listened to it more often?

Sep 13 2006
3:24 pm
ethan writes:

Paul talking. Joe typing. Me typing. The air conditioner blowing. Justing typing on his laptop, which makes a light tapping noise. Joe talking. The faint noise of people behind me talking, all hisses and whispers. Sometimes I like to listen with my eyes closed. I fancy I can hear better if I am not distracted by what I can see.

Sep 13 2006
3:24 pm
Irene writes:

I can hear my twin boys bouncing on their bunk beds and talking about wolves and witches.

Sep 13 2006
3:43 pm
Kerstin writes:

Do I find the sound or does it find me? Right now I would say that the latter is the case as I am sitting outside a cafe in downtown Northampton as I write this. So you know the sounds I am hearing: traffic, a conversation at the table next to me, the wind blowing in the trees across the street, a distant plane in the sky, me tapping on my keyboard – but mainly trafic, Northampton Main Street is not exactly quiet :)

Sep 13 2006
4:20 pm
nadine writes:

Lovely rain, rain, rain… (and the barely audible soft snore of my dog lying on the mat at the front door).

Sep 13 2006
4:25 pm
Megan writes:

I hear lots and lots of keyboards typing – I am sitting in a computer lab – so there’s lots of click,click,click-idy happening!

Sep 13 2006
4:27 pm
keri Smith writes:

i’m so enjoying reading these. here’s mine from class today (in the span of 15 minutes, an exercise to listen with intent)…
1. hum of the ventalation system
2. clicking of a light fixture.
3. mouth noises, someone moving their lips.
4. bodies shifting on carpet.
5. sighing.
6. a slightly repressed burp (someone behind me.)
7. weights clanging in the gym downstairs.
8. a voice yelling “hey” echoing.
9. joints cracking.
10. a digital phone ringing
11. distant rumble of cars.
12. myself swallowing.
13. a door closing
14. something hitting a table, “clunk”.
15. myself inhaling and exhaling.

Sep 13 2006
4:27 pm
keri Smith writes:

i’m so enjoying reading these. here’s mine from class today (in the span of 15 minutes, an exercise to listen with intent)…
1. hum of the ventalation system
2. clicking of a light fixture.
3. mouth noises, someone moving their lips.
4. bodies shifting on carpet.
5. sighing.
6. a slightly repressed burp (someone behind me.)
7. weights clanging in the gym downstairs.
8. a voice yelling “hey” echoing.
9. joints cracking.
10. a digital phone ringing
11. distant rumble of cars.
12. myself swallowing.
13. a door closing
14. something hitting a table, “clunk”.
15. myself inhaling and exhaling.

Sep 13 2006
5:47 pm
deeleea writes:

Traffic… sadly it’s masking the ocean, my usual soundscape. I’ll be listening out for that tonight as lay me down to sleep.
I miss it during the day.

Sep 13 2006
6:15 pm
justine writes:

my little girl playing with her duplex, and the noise from the main road that we live on, and my husband making a coffee in the kitchen…..
Love your site :)

Sep 13 2006
10:23 pm
paula writes:

the bicycle music was great! really beautiful. thank you.

Sep 13 2006
10:47 pm
Robyn writes:

It sounds like a fun course but … teacher hat goes on :-) … one wonders how deeply you are listening if you are writing blog entries?
I have a mental image of my own computing students passing e-notes when they should be doing their classwork.

Sep 14 2006
12:21 am
Donavan writes:

Awesome!
Love the bicycle sound.
When I was a kid, I used to listen to the sound of my own heart beating when I layed down to sleep. I imagined it was a friendly giant knocking at my door bringing me cookies and milk.
:)

Sep 14 2006
3:20 am
mk writes:

listening to the exhaust fan from the back of my computer and the cars and buses vrooming by outside my window.
i just happened to google gary synder 2006
& discovered your blog a few months back.
i did it again tonight as i just got back from
a wonderful talk on happiness.
and low and behold you are in a deep listening class! where are you?
\/ I am into sound and did a deep listening workshop w/ pauline this summer and yes amazing – all this is connected and somehow I feel like we should met? talk? share sounds? or mushroom tart?
i emailed people recently if there was any sound blogs out there that they could recommend and i turn to your page and you’ve got a sound! – bike spokes to boot!
so very fun to hear in this way becuse they are so visually stunning and here you get to hear only – like listening to someone’s talking over the phone instead of seeing them speaking face to face.
i also love John Cage ~ mushrooms – your quotes and writings an inspirations are so uplifting and we seem to share so many threads!
I sang a song to John Cage in the woods – to a mushroom.
i want to hold a fest. for him
i attended his 80th b-day celebration where my friend performed. I was too shy (overtaken) to go up and shake his hand as many people did in the audience.
anyways thanks for expressing you thoughts and sharing!

Sep 14 2006
8:08 am
keri Smith writes:

miss robyn,
we were on a break when I wrote. I also have a problem with computers during class time.
i am a most attentive student. a sign of respect to the teacher.

Sep 14 2006
8:08 am
keri Smith writes:

miss robyn,
we were on a break when I wrote. I also have a problem with computers during class time.
i am a most attentive student. a sign of respect to the teacher.

Sep 14 2006
10:35 am
bev writes:

I hear the hummmmmm of the computer and someone laughing out in the hallway.
Great lesson! Thanks sweet, Keri.

Sep 14 2006
10:39 am
amanda writes:

I swear to god, as soon I finished reading your post, my husband blew his nose. awesome!

Sep 14 2006
12:47 pm
sheila writes:

right now I can hear my co-workers talking about what they’re going to have for lunch — and the air-conditioning unit in our office, people on the phone. The opening and closing of the microwave door.
The best sound I heard this summer was of an approaching rainstorm at the cottage — I sat in the screened porch one afternoon, the air was very heavy and still, and I heard a low rumble of thunder, then the sound of raindrops hitting the leaves in the distant woods, then closer and closer as the clouds moved overhead. At first I didn’t recognize the sound, it was like applause getting louder — I don’t think I’ve ever heard the rain quite so distinctly before. It was lovely.
Another time I heard a tree fall in the forest (Yes, Bruce Cockburn, someone does hear!), which was rather startling — it sounded like fire-crackers going off and then a huge cracking, splintering, screeching as the tree collapsed in on itself and then went over with a crash. Not so lovely.

Sep 14 2006
1:40 pm
Meg writes:

I interned at EyeBeam Art and Technology Center in NY a few months ago and Pauline was there for an event.
It was incredible. You are truly lucky to have an experience like this!

Sep 14 2006
4:10 pm
ainelivia writes:

sounds like a pebble in a tin box, wonderful, thank you

Sep 14 2006
6:08 pm
herhimnbryn writes:

great images and sounds……
What can I hear right now?…….
The ‘tick’ of the log fire as it heats up.
My dog sighing as he curls up on his bed.
Magpies warbling in the garden.
Newsreader on the radio telling me it’s going to be 27 degrees today.
The Bear snoring in the bedroom.
The coffee pot on the stove, perking.
Good morning!

Sep 14 2006
9:06 pm
Melly writes:

your found sound got my cat Arrow’s full attention 3 times. His ears and face went directly toward the speakers. Thank you.

Sep 14 2006
11:25 pm
VelvetBrick writes:

love, love, LOVE the bike tire sound…. thank you for a trip back to childhood!

Sep 15 2006
5:31 am
Maria writes:

I can hear the tickety tick from people typing, and fractions of conversations held all over the office landscape where I sit. Most of the time I will escape the constant sound by listening to loud music on my headphones as I write lines and lines of code.

Sep 15 2006
7:37 pm
rama writes:

your found sound helped me appreciate the hammering outside my window. (thanks!)

Sep 18 2006
7:49 pm
Sabine writes:

Two clocks ticking in synchopated harmony
My two pet rats crawling arund the desk, periodically stepping on he keyboard
the computer’s soft hum
my own breath, calm and relaxed

Sep 18 2006
7:50 pm
Sabine writes:

Oh, and by the way, is that a baseball card on your bicycle spoke? I have on on mine. It makes a similar sound…


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