January 14, 2012

Snow Melting into Music

Brian Pertl, Dean of Lawrence University's Conservatory of Music where my son is now a student, writes that, "Part of becoming a better listener is to embrace silence."  He goes on to write about the conservatory students' experience in 2010 with visiting artist Gordon Hempton, Grammy award-winning natural sound recordist.  "Silence in nature, Hempton reminds us, is never truly silent, but rather contains worlds of music just waiting to emerge. To listen into such silence takes a quiet mind," writes Pertl.

In my walks and programs, I often emphasize the importance of quieting the mind and cultivating deep listening as a foundation to forming a more intimate and inspired relationship with the natural state of this world...of which we are a part.  Yesterday, this lesson was offered spontaneously by a pair of swans coming in low over the heads of my students who were amazed by the remarkably flute-like tones made by the powerful beating of their wings.  This morning, I'm delighted to discover this understanding so beautifully articulated in the context of my son's college learning experience too. 

Inspiration for this post came from http://blogs.lawrence.edu/conservatory/2010/10/%E2%80%9Csnow-melting-into-music%E2%80%9D-the-art-of-listening.html.

Thanks to photographer, Stephen Gingold, for sharing the link to this clip on Hempton's silence conservation efforts, "One Square Inch of Silence," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0xHfFC_6n0&feature=related.

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