Hunter and I had the chance to lead the ASU composition studio on a soundwalk and sonic meditation. We started by explaining a few modes of listening (causal, reduced, semantic), and then Hunter led us to the “secret” garden. Once there, we sat in a circle on the ground to do Pauline Oliveros’s Sonic Meditation I. “Teach Yourself To Fly.”
Following this, we invited the studio members to share about their walk and meditation experience. The relationship between sound and space was commented on, how walking through a building with a roof drastically changed how sound was relayed, echoing off the various surfaces. Someone also talked about the group experience and how strange it is to walk quietly with a group of people.
Regarding the meditation, one person shared that their voice was much higher than they had anticipated and it actually led to a brief moment of identity crisis. This relationship between voice/sound and identity is something I’m researching, specifically in the case of artist Christine Sun Kim, so it was interesting to hear more about that firsthand.
To conclude our time with the studio, we did a soundwalk back to where we had started. During the previous discussion, multiple people had expressed an interest in doing the walk without visual cues, so we paired off, allowing those who wanted to experience it with their eyes closed to be led by others. Our pace was much slower going back, but we were also much more spread out. Those who did the walk “blind” again commented on how walls and roofs make a huge difference in receiving sound. They also said the changes in texture from grass to cement to bumpy cement felt more intense, almost like their feet were listening too (yay for embodied experiences!).
I really enjoyed adding in the meditation to our soundwalk, and maybe we’ll do it again in the future. Maybe you’ll even join us for it :)
April 2, 2018
3:10 - 3:50pm
Until next time!