Sonic Meditation – Teach Yourself To Fly

Sonic Meditation – Teach Yourself To Fly

The concept of Sonic Meditations is an important work in the development of Deep Listening by Pauline Oliveros; with the need to explore the relationship of attention and awareness; with the need to tune mind and body; with the need to discover and grow.


Pauline Oliveros Sonic Meditation I: “Teach Yourself to Fly”

Teach Yourself To Fly is one of Oliveros’ compositions from her 1970 work Sonic Meditations. There are no notes, bars or treble clefs, just a paragraph of text that describes what should happen. A group of people should sit in a circle, in a room illuminated by a dim blue light. “Begin by simply observing your breathing,” says the score. “Always be an observer. Gradually allow your breathing to become audible. Then gradually introduce your voice. Allow your vocal chords to vibrate in any mode which occurs naturally.” It then instructs players to increase the intensity for as long as possible naturally, until all others are quiet.

Sounds carry intelligence

If you are too narrow in your awareness of sounds, you are likely to be disconnected from your environment. Ears do not listen to sounds; the brain does. Listening is a lifetime practice that depends on accumulated experiences with sound; it can be focused to detail or open to the entire field of sound. Octogenarian composer and sound art pioneer Pauline Oliveros describes the sound experiment that led her to found an institute related to Deep Listening, and develop it as a theory relevant to music, psychology, and our collective quality of life.

Pauline is a composer and accordionist who significantly contributed to the development of electronic music. The culmination of her life-long fascination with music and sound is what inspired the practice of Deep Listening, the art of listening and responding to environmental conditions. As a Professor of Practice in the Arts Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she produced highly regarded work as a composer and improviser. Pauline’s 1989 recording, Deep Listening, is considered a classic in her field.


Shamanic Meditation Music


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