Listening – the invisible art form (Lecture)

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by an overload of sense-stimulation? The background music of the malls and the shops, the intertwining tunes of the cell phones, flimmering commercial banners, neon signs, flickering screens, the half muffled sounds emanating out of earplugs..?

This is the world we live in today, a world where distractions are labelled as enriching experiences. A world where we spend huge sums on learning to practice mindfulness and internal silence while at the same time stuffing our environment with an ever-increasing amount of noise and distractions. In this world of distractions I am concerned with the comprehension of Music and the art of mindful focus, externally as well as internally.

In order to comprehend music we need to be able to listen to it. To be able to listen is to be able to focus. The ability to focus is not something which we are born with, it is an acquired skill. The difference between hearing and listening is that while hearing is an automatic response when encountering sound waves listening on the other hand involves directing one’s attention towards a specific part of what we hear.

Today this act of directing our attention has become an endangered ability which are being increasingly threatened by the very sound-saturated world we live in.

In this lecture about listening you will learn more about what actually happens in our brain when we listen, how we all have our own default listening-intention when listening to music and how we ourselves have the possibility to affect and change this intention. Finally: how changing our listening intentions might alter our perception and experience of what we are listening to.

The lecture will take the listener on a guided tour through different musical landscapes and exercises of listening, exploring new approaches to unknown musical Territory.