sound as magic
to listen is to intentionally receive. to be still and present. to witness with all our senses all that surrounds us, all that exists within us, and reconnect with ourselves.
through listening, we remember that we are capable of holding all the complexities of life within us. the contradictions. the emotions. the pain. the joy. the grief. the anger.
all of it we can hold.
in our ability to listen we are infinite.
endlessly connected to one another through the sounds we make as we move through the world and the sounds we hear.
meditations on the tarot: death-transformation (excerpt)
my sonic journey
the earliest memory i have is hearing my dad sing to me as i lay on his chest. his steady rhythmic breathing, slowly rising and falling, his heart beat, and the soft hum of his voice. i must have been 2 or 3 years old. in that soft and safe moment i was only conscious of a few elements: the sound of his breath, the faint song he hummed, and love.
since then, i’ve noticed that i connect to my memories through sound and feeling. at first it started with just the faintest spark of awareness. the sound of a squeaky door or that wind through the pines. eventually i started recording sound phenomena. essentially recording any time i felt intuitively drawn to a sound.
when my dad passed in 2007, i had one recording of his voice. one. to this day this is the only recording i have of this person. at that point, i began to listen more earnestly, with the purpose of connecting and developing presence in each moment. through this listening practice, i realized that to listen is to share time and space. the vibrations sit squarely within every cell in our bodies. and in this sonic connection, we are able to transport ourselves from one moment to another instantly. this is what my work has focused on for the last several years.
how to connect to both external and internal through listening. also reflecting on what sonic elements are essential to recreate a moment or a memory? is it the contour of the plane 20,000 ft above? the divine timing of that flock of geese squawking into the dawn? what is it that makes a moment sacred? how do we choose what to listen to? what can listening tell us about ourselves? what can listening provide us that other sensory modalities cannot?
since 2007 i have collected hundreds of field recordings, some of the natural world and some human made sounds. my sound collection is comprised of recordings where i felt most connected to what I hold as sacred. to my dad. to mother earth. to spirit + magic. to my grieving self. to my ancestors. to the collective.
listening as ritual, sound as magic
listening is a portal to the very real magic of sound that exists within us and around us at all times.
when we listen we are practicing a sacred ritual. this is not the kind of listening where you simply register sounds, that’s hearing. instead, listening is the awareness of sounds, your perception of sound, and impact and connection that sound has on the self.
magic is the intentional application of our awareness, our energy, and our actions for creating positive changes in one’s life. by intentionally shifting our awareness and observing sound, listen allows to access the elements, the energies of the earth and all living beings, and most importantly our own intuition and somatic memory.
we become more connected to ourselves and each other. recognizing how our energies effect one another. and how we can work with those energies.
listening as embodiment
that sound has the power to move our very being is no coincidence. on the physical level, sounds vibrate and move our bodies. that effect has an impact. it stirs sensations and emotions within us that go beyond purely linguistic experiences. it takes us into the realm of somatic and sensory. of knowledge that resides in our bodies. bodies that are made up from the elements, the earth, and the matter that all creatures are formed from.
listening connects us to each other. everytime you walk out your door to meet the day, what do you hear? the cars. the rushing din of traffic. the planes high above. all these sounds are physically residing in your body. as you are listening, these sounds are traveling as waves that vibrate your body. in the process of listening you are physically embodying the sounds that you hear.
in this process of embodiment, listening becomes a way to hold space and share a variety of experiences, that are simultaneously complex and contradictory.
why does this matter? when we are connected we have greater compassion and empathy. when we are connected to ourselves, we begin to cultivate self-love and care. when we listen, we remember that we are not alone, that we carry the world at all times, within us and without.