Image from Source Sonic Meditations 1971

'First published between 1970 and 1974, the Sonic Meditations are a landmark in post-experimental music. They not only break with conventions separating composer, performer, and audience, but also reach towards developing musical forms of consciousness in which harmony is removed from the habits of music theory towards considerations of balance, healing, understanding, and social relations'. (cafe oto)

What if listening begins with the whole body?
What if tuning means to feel a common bond with others and the surroundings?
What if scores trigger auditory fantasies?
What if sounds expand awareness?
What if music is a group of people finding the current of a river?

The Sonic Meditations created by Pauline Oliveros are 25 ‘recipes’ for tuning listening awareness and for making sonic experiences that are accessible to people from all ages, with and without musical training

Introductory workshop last approximately 2 hours.  

Track recorded at Supernormal festival by Stephen Shiell

Sonic Meditation new edition published by Ministry of Maat (reviewed in the Wire by Irene Revell)

One of the most seminal works in late 20th century avant-garde musical thought, Sonic Meditations not only departs from standard musical notation, but with the entire conception of where music grows from, and how it can be realized. Her focus lies on the cognition of sound – largely through the practice of meditation, and group participation. Oliveros highlights the virtues of meditation for making sounds, imagining sounds, listening to, and remembering sounds, and sets into action twelve text scores to help practitioners realize these new relationships. Sonic Meditations is as much a workshop for use, as it is a series of pieces. The short volume is particularly important because of its focus on community, the social power of sound, an extended recognition of its sources, and its deconstruction of hierarchy. Though undoubtedly a new way of composing, it also proposed a new way of existing in the world, and interacting with others." - Bradford Bailey

"Pauline Oliveros' Sonic Meditations are a series of "word pieces" designed to develop our listening skills and appreciation of sound in its myriad forms, both real and imaginary. They can enrich the lives of those without any musical training and are also the foundation of Oliveros' virtuosic performance practice, a form of solo and group improvisation that evolved over the course of her artistic career. The Sonic Meditations not only teach us how to make music, but also how to live together which, given the present moment in human history, is more crucial than ever before." - David W. Bernstein 

BBC program on Sonic Meditations I participated with artist Ximena Alarcon.


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