Listening Bodies + Giving Tuesday

Hello, thank you for opening and reading this email. I know the amount of end-of-year-holiday emails can be overwhelming!
TLDR 
Click this link:
https://igg.me/at/listeningbodies
watch and donate!

  Today is Giving Tuesday. I wanted to tell you about an Indiegogo campaign I just started with my collaborator from Listening Bodies.

As I developed more and more as an artist and practitioner of meditation, I found a natural calling for teaching and that people were interested in my life experiences and what I was sharing.   After I completed my Deep Listening certification I found a synthesis of my music and meditation practice where they were no longer separate. However, one section of my practice and teaching that was missing was body practices… until I met Monica Gentile.
Her teaching style and areas of expertise (somatic, movement, dance, yoga (Hatha and Laughter)) fit perfectly with what I was teaching. Very organically and effortlessly, we planted the seeds of what is a holistic and integral practice called Listening Bodies.
We’ve taught in Philadelphia and Berlin this year and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. We taught classes for dancers, a sound walking class, an ASMR class and will lead a 2-day workshop in a few weeks here in Berlin. 
We have been invited to bring Listening Bodies to Mexico. We will teach our workshop at residencies, schools and project spaces in six locations in Mexico and two in Costa Rica. We will be paid small fees and offered a place to stay. However, we need to pay our own travel costs… thus the Indiegogo. A grant we were applying for did not work out, so we’re asking for your help!
If you’ve read this far you are a dedicated and supportive person! We need to raise $2500 for our flights from Europe and back and flights, buses, and taxis around Mexico and Costa Rica.
If you are reading this email you may have supported my work in the past. So now during this time of giving we are asking for more support to help grow our family of Listening Bodies to include artists and communities in Mexico and Costa Rica.
At a minimum check out our Indiegogo page and video (the end is funny 🙂 https://igg.me/at/listeningbodies

Have a safe, peaceful and light holiday.
With love from Christmassy Berlin, Michael and Monica 

P.S. Please feel free to respond to this newsletter email. I read all the responses and I love hearing from you. Also please feel free to add me to your own mailing list to keep up to date with what you’re doing and staying connected.

Summer of Listening

0

Happy summer everyone. Thanks for opening this email and at least skimming the first line 😉

I had an amazing time in Europe these past two months. I did a 3-week tour with William “Bilwa” Costa which took our Un/Natural Fields project to Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Austria and Poland with support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. After that, I did another set of shows with singer Katrine Faber in Germany and Denmark. I’m still waiting on some documentation to be posted, but I will share some live recordings and videos soon. I have plans to collaborate on more projects with both artists in 2019.

Faber McDermott performing at Spektrum in Berlin. Photo by Carl Krüger

I’ll be back in Berlin for a three-month residency at GlogauAIR working on and (finally) presenting a version of Echozoo this fall. Until then I’ll be in Philadelphia and I’m doing a series of workshops and concerts in the coming weeks centered around mindfulness and listening.
 


COURTS

Photo by Shawn Theodore, a fellow Artist in Residence

Before I get into the workshops, if you’re in Philadelphia this week, please check out the closing party for an amazing photo and sound installation I was honored to be a part of. I was an artist in residence at the Village of Arts and Humanities SPACES program. As part of that residency, I created music and sound design (along with the band Ill Doots) using people’s voices and basketball court field recordings from the Hartranft neighborhood in North Philadelphia exploring the culture of the past, present, and future of the courts for the show, Home Court: The Hartranft Basketball Court Revival. Check out the SPACES website for more info. The closing party is Wednesday, July 18, 6-8pm at The Village of Arts and Humanities gallery space.
 


Art of Listening Class

The Art of Listening
Springboard Studio
530 Carpenter Ln, Philadelphia, PA 19119
Sunday, July 22, 11 am – 4 pm
Suggested Donation/Danā $20
Event Info

A day-long class exploring meditative states of listening consciousness led by composer and dharma teacher Michael Reiley McDermott. Through listening, we can develop an intimate connection to our environment, each other and ourselves. In this day-long retreat, Michael will take us through listening exercises, periods of silent meditation, Dharma talks, performance scores of singing and sounding and a sound walk. The practices of Listening Consciousness are rooted in Theravada and Zen Buddhism, vipassana meditation, the Deep Listening techniques of Pauline Oliveros, Thich Nhat Hahn and the music and philosophy of John Cage.

No meditation or musical experience necessary. Beginners are welcome.


Healing Frequencies


Healing Frequencies
with Maraliz Campos and Michael Reiley McDermott
Magick City
37 Box St. Brooklyn, NY
August 4, 9pm-11:30
$15 / pre-show // $10 / door
Facebook Event | Tickets

A night of healing frequencies and intentional dialog about listening, time and consciousness. Maraliz Campos and Michael Reiley McDermott, sound practitioners/musicians, present a discussion and concert and sound journey across aural landscapes with filtered and reimagined field recordings from Michael’s recent travels and artist residencies in Thailand, Myanmar, India, Germany, Latvia, Iceland, United States and Brazil.

Part two is a meditative ambient journey from Paraguayan-American artist Maraliz with crystal/Himalayan bowls, rattles, original samples, synth, vocals, tuning forks, etc.


Listening Bodies


Listening Bodies
with Monica Gentile (Lake Studios Berlin) and Michael Reiley McDermott
Mascher Space Cooperative
155 Cecil B. Moore Ave. Philadelphia
August 11th, 11am – 3pm
$10 / Before August 1 // $15-20 / After August 1
Tickets | Facebook Event A workshop exploring states of consciousness and embodiment. Open to dancers, musicians, artists, yogis, and meditators.

Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2016

I have music/sound design in two Philadelphia Fringe Festival shows in the next two weeks. 

This Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I’ll be doing some live sound design and music for Fran Markey’s new piece At & About the Edge of.

Then next week I have some brand new music in Zornitsa Stoyanova’s Explicit Female.

Also I’m hard at work on several new music / sound projects including Echozoo – my forthcoming iPhone/Android App which plays sonic portraits of extinct animals from your area.

As part of the research for Echozoo, I traveled to the Northwest United States to do some field recording. The trip was made possible by the support of the Echozoo Hatchfund backers (thank you!). My trip took me to Portland, Forks, The Hoh Rainforest and Turnbull Wildlife Refuge in Washington and the National Bison Range and Glacier National Park in Montana. I captured a lot of great ambient sounds of rain, wind, trees, crickets, birds, elk, owls, squirrels, bison and lots of unidentified sounds for the Echozoo App. Here’s a Flickr album with some photos from the trip. 

NGCB + Consciousness Hacking

Hi everyone, I wanted to share some upcoming events and some new music I’ve released today


Unplugged: Consciousness Hacking

Tonight (March 1) there’s a meet up in Philadelphia of mediators, coders and seekers. These gatherings are always a mind opening event. Beginners and those with no meditation experience are welcome!

I’ll be presenting a binaural beats system as a way to hack your consciousness and create altered states.

PromptWorks
1211 Chestnut Street Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA (map)
6pm
http://www.meetup.com/N3rd-Street/events/228705518/


Ephemeral

Two weeks ago Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet debuted their seminal work Ephemeral, for which I composed the score. I am really proud of this piece and I feel like it’s the culmination of my working relationship with Nora over the past six years. The dancers and technical crew performed flawlessly to packed audiences over three shows and it was wonderful.

Here’s two glowing reviews of the piece:

Also for the first time ever, I’m releasing the score of the ballet as an album today. You can download (MP3, FLAC) the hour long album from Bandcamp.


Sleep Music Concert

Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State

Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State
March 19, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. – March 20, 2016 at 7:00 a.m.
$10-$20 sliding scale
thefidget space (1714 N Mascher Street)

<fidget> Artist in Residence Michael McDermott will be performing an all night sleep music concert.

For the past 10 years, Michael has been performing as an ambient music artist under the moniker Mikronesia. For this concert he will be presenting a long-form work based on the themes of death, bardo and reincarnation found in the sacred Buddhist text known as The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

The live performance using synthesizers, tape loops and slow motion surround sound sonic landscapes will warp the audiences’ perception of time as the music will reach the level of near stillness through the wee hours of the morning. This part of the concert will be meant to be experienced subsciouslessly as McDermott will cycle through his interpretation of themes of death and rebirth found in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The score will culminate at sunrise concluding the sonic lullaby. On display will be video tape loops by artist Alex Bond.

The show is twelve hours long. We invite you to bring blankets, sleeping bags and pillows. We’ll also have sleep inducing dream tea to aid in the journey.

Preview McDermott’s first foray into “Sleep Music,” Quiescent to get a taste of the sonic landscape: https://mikronesia.bandcamp.com/album/quiescent


Blackstar Video

Finally, last month I had the pleasure to play at a night celebrating the life and music of one of my heroes, David Bowie. Every set was really powerful and beautiful. I played synthesizer with the band Professor Maybe. We did two instrumentals from Low and Bowie’s last epic song “Blackstar”. Here’s a video from the show:

2015 In Review

Hello and happy holidays! I wanted to thank everyone for their support of my musical projects throughout 2015. Below is a recap of projects I worked on in 2015 with some free downloads, videos and other media.

In a River the Color of Lead

In a River the Color of Lead

Early this year I released my 8th solo studio album on NOREMIXES. The album is a continuation of my exploration of the piano as an object of beauty and noise. It was released digitally and as a vinyl record (with support from Kickstarter backers). I’m very proud of this work and hope you all got a chance to listen to it.

NOREMIXES Store


Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet

In February I was delighted to perform with my long-time choreographic partner Nora Gibson and her company Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet in the premiere of 257,885,161-1. This ballet was a meditation on the mathematical concept of twin primes. The premiere was well received and sounded and looked gorgeous. Excerpts from the premiere can be viewed here on Vimeo.

In 2016 I’ll be working again with NGCB on an even more ambitious project EPHEMERAL, a work about time for dance, light, and environmental sound score.

EPHEMERAL
Christ Church Neighborhood House Theater, Philadelphia
Feb. 19-21

Tickets can be purchased online and you can support NGCB’s second season on their Hatchfund page.


Field Recordings / Cities and Memory

This year I began to really explore the sound world of actual places through field recording. I published several works through the brilliant UK based site Cities and Memory. Here are three pieces they published:

  • Turtle River (Philadelphia) presented on World Listening Day and at the Oxford Contemporary Music Festival.
  • Corca Dhuibhne (Western Ireland) field recordings and reimagined sounds recorded in Dingle and the Cliffs of Moher. 
  • Utopia part of an international collection of artists who created an imaginary sound world for the Thomas More novel Utopia (1515)

The last piece I wanted to share was from the Papal visit to Philadelphia in September 2015. The piece contains recordings I gathered over three days as about a million people descended on center city Philadelphia to celebrate the historic visit by Pope Francis. As with many of these recordings, I sought to remove the element of time and create a shifting landscape of timeless space.
 

Philadelphia Papal Visit - Soundcloud

dark matter

Photo by Glenn Benge

This season I am Artist in Residence at <fidget> along with choreographer / artist Zornitsa Stoyanova. In November we collaborated on the performance film dark matter. It was premiered at the <fidget> Fall Experimental Music Festival.

The above photo is by Glenn Benge from the premiere.

Here’s a review from Thinking Dance

Excerpt from dark matter on Vimeo


Save the Date

In March 2016 I’ll be performing another concert at <fidget>. This is going to be a 12-hour long concert of sleep music! Bring a sleeping bag, pillow and blanket, enjoy some dream tea and snuggle in for 12-hours of dream drones and tape loop lullabies. I’ll be performing ambient music all night with visuals from Alex Bond focusing on themes of Bardo, reincarnation, Dream Yoga and sleep (un)consciousness.

To get a taste of the kind of music you’ll hear, please check out my 2014 sleep music album, Quiescent. It’s an eight hour mix of music for the four sleep cycles.

Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State

Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State
March 19 7pm – March 20 7am
thefidget space


Happy New Year!
Michael