Tag Archives: deep listening

Sound and Sense

Music of the Spheres from Emic Films on Vimeo.

I say we are obviously as nature around us is. So that is also how our music is. But then our music must also be as we are (if two magnitudes both equal a third . . .). But then from our nature alone can I deduce how our music is (bolder men would say “how the cosmos is”). Arnold Scho?nberg

When I began, I had a very weak voice although with some melodic quality. I did not feel at all in touch with my body.

Through the use of the various sound practices, I occasionally developed a vague sense of being enlivened and having more energy, but this sensation came and went. About one year after beginning, in a group musical practice, I experienced feeling as though sound were coming, not from my vocal box, from my a place in the middle of my chest, near the pulmonary center. At the same time, I heard a ringing sound above the musical notes. These, I later found, were called overtones. I also felt a warm, expanding feeling from the heart and a kind of emotional release of joy.

This condition came and went for another 6 months. Then I had another “heart-opening” experience, which was felt as both massive pain and release of tension around the heart; I cried uncontrollably and felt I was coming apart.

Following this, I began to use the primary sound/music practice of finding a note that resonated in the heart, and singing that note every day for 15-20 minutes, using various mantric sounds. At the end of about 8 months, I could always find my way to this sound. At the same time, any catches in my throat, voice or breath that came up I began to re-experience as inhibitions and old memories that prevented me from intoning a natural sound (that is, saying who I was). report of a client of Dr. Klotz; The Key in the Dark: Self and Soul Transformation in the Sufi Tradition Neil Douglas-Klotz

A Beethoven string-quartet is truly . . . a scraping of horses’ tails on cats’ bowels, and may be exhaustively described in such terms; but the application of this description in no way precludes the simultaneous applicability of an entirely different description. -William James

Rana Gorgani – Sufi dance – Auditorium Musée Guimet – Paris from Rana Gorgani Official on Vimeo.

What we call music in our everyday language is only a miniature from that music or harmony of the whole universe which is working behind everything, and which is the source and origin of nature. It is because of this that the wise of all ages have considered music to be a sacred art. For in music the seer can see the picture of the whole universe. (Pir H.I. Khan)

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Accidental Artist

Stephen Calhoun, artist

My one man show is hung and ready for the public to ‘have experiences’ at The Gallery at Gray’s, 10717 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. Yes, there will be an opening, and an associated catalog, an online gallery, and, some other initiatives. Fortunately for me, I am greatly benefitted by the enthusiasm of Deba Jean Gray, the gallery owner and the person who saw I was up to something artistically intriguing.

In crucial ways–and besides my being in the sociology of artists’ sense, a naive, and outsider, and untrained, artist–I am an accidental artist. Ms. Gray discovered me when she pulled a generative piece off the wall by the stairway in my step mother’s house in 2014. Later, after she toured my private gallery, she invited me to provide two pieces for an auction in May 2015. Those pieces were in a catalog amidst stellar company, such as Frankenthaler, Calder, and Stella. One of the pieces sold.

(It was only late in 2014 that it became possible for me to imagine that thirty years of private visual experimenting, begun first as a designer, then done as a painter, then starting in 2003, done as photographic/generative image-maker, might find my work engage a public.)

Four months later, I was prepared to show Deba and her associates my growing book. My visual experiments were rapidly evolving to become more ambitious. Also, I was learning in leaps and bounds, while dialing in much more technical control. I was spending all my time doing visual experiments, while trying to guide the most successful experiments up and out of the laboratory!

Nowadays, I work in photography or generative modes which integrate essential elements of serendipity. So, I see myself as an auteur of image-making–who dials in a delicate harmonization of the intentional with the fortuitous. Painstaking technical processes are involved in my, in effect, over-enlarging high resolution photographs, and doing the same with low resolution generative pieces.

My art reflects my life long interest in experiential development and a more recent interest in serendipity and contingency. My visual art is also of a piece with my musical experimentation; and it occurs to me I am bringing forth visual potentials which yield to a kind of visual equivalent of the deep listening developed as a holistic conception of sound experience by one of my main creative influences, composer Pauline Oliveros.

Ironically, 2015 was the year I steered my creative energies toward visual art, and away from music and sound design. Nevertheless, my creative process remains deeply musical.

Diver's Dilemma (2016)

Diver’s Dilemma (2016)

“What do you see hidden in the image?”

Each piece, by design, aims to support the viewer going into its complexity and tiny details to discover patterns, objects, symbols, faces, figures, etc. The artist does not program every discoverable feature. Far from it: the experience of each unique viewer, reveals sightings about which the artist is unaware of.

The pieces are intended to be experiential, and, are driven by my own conjoined experiential and experimental creative process. The primary process is a conduction drawn through phases: (1) capture, (2) cut, (3) create, (4) consummate. The last phase introduces the engaged viewer and realizes the culmination of the experiment in the unique experience of this viewer, this deep see’r.

I’m focused on providing experiences for viewers who freely choose to have an experience. For me, this completes the virtuous circle implicit in my substantiating such opportunities. My own creative purpose consequentially relies on the engaged viewer’s projective capacity. These pieces are primarily about enacting discovery.

 

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