Sound Sangha

🧘🏽‍♀️ Hello everyone, I hope you are doing well. I am pleased to announce that I’m starting a weekly meditation group called sound sangha (“Sangha” is a Pali and Sanskrit word that means “community”). This will be an exclusive meet-up for Patrons. It will be a 45-minute session, with 20 minutes of meditation, followed by a group discussion around a topic of listening and mindfulness held on Zoom. 

🧡 You can become a Patron and join the community of Mindful Listeners here: http://patreon.com/michaelreiley.  🐚 The focus of the group will be on the intersection of meditation, sound, and listening. We’ll work with classic mindfulness-based meditation practices, as well as the work of Pauline Oliveros (Deep Listening), R. Murray Schafer (Soundscapes), Kay Gardener (Sounding the Inner Landscapes), Ajahn Amaro (Inner Listening), Thich Nhat Hahn, and Nada Yoga (just to name a few). 

🐘 Listening can be a wonderful tool to develop mindfulness, clarity, and calm in your life. No meditation experience is necessary! Depending on the experience level of the group, I will adjust the guided meditation accordingly.

🎶 In addition to our weekly meditation group, you’ll have access to download basically all the music I make. I upload at least one form of soundscape music track a week to download for your collection or stream on the Patreon website or app.

 🗓 The first meeting with be Friday, May 7 at 12 pm Eastern Time, and every Friday at noon thereafter. 

🙏🏻 Thanks so much for your support and love over the past year as my Patrons! I’m really excited for you some of you to meet each other and for us to grow as a community. Please share with anyone who might be interested.

Weimar Workshop / Bauhaus.fm

I had a wonderful time co-leading a two-week workshop with the sound studies students at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in Germany. We had a deep and expressive time exploring Deep Listening, Field Recording, and Sonic Art with a very gifted and interesting group of students.

I also had the privilege to discuss my work on their radio station over at Bauhaus.fm on the show called “Every Dreaming Body is a Listener?!” with Brandon LaBelle. You can find a recording of the conversation on their website (in English).

Summer of Listening

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.

Philly Projects April 2018

Good morning or evening friends. Below are some events I’m involved with and news about the release of a new Landscapes album. Thank you for your continued support and interest in my musical adventures!


Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet presents HUMAN

I am really excited for this next chapter in my long collaboration with one of the most exciting choreographers working in contemporary ballet. This science fiction influenced ballet has stunning digital video, beautiful lighting, strong dancers, intricate choreography and an engulphing score that wraps you up like an electric blanket. Not to be missed!

April 20, 21, 8:00 PM & April 22, 3:00 PM (with artist Q&A)
Performance Garage
1515 Brandywine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Tickets


What Do Opossums Dreams Sound Like?

I’m happy to be collaborating with an old friend, Liza Goodell from Spiral Q Puppet Theater on this show. She has built a giant opossum sculpture that people are invited to lie down in. Inside will be my soundtrack of what I imagine an opossum’s dreams sound like while he’s “playing dead”.  Plus they’ll be work by Katie Parry, Tom Parry, and Marina Borker

ST. BERNARD LION: AN ARTISTIC EXPLORATION OF NEIGHBORHOOD FOLKLORE
April 20 – May 18, 2018
Opening reception Friday, April 20th, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
University City Arts League
4226 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104​
More Info


William Fields + Mikronesia @ Event Horizon
Still from William Fields’ visuals for Landscapes Live
Landscapes 3, Uttarakhand

If you missed my Landscapes show at the Rotunda (see the photo above from the show with William Fields’ brilliant real-time projections) and wanted to hear part of my surrealists’ field recordings creations from North India, I just released an album on Bandcamp, Landscapes 3: Uttarakhand  with gorgeous artwork by my fellow PECAH resident Isabel Moreno.


Lastly, for those who are into meditation or would like to learn more, I’ll be teaching four classes at Springboard Studio this week and next. This is a great class for beginners or experienced meditators who want to go deeper into the classic Buddhist text of the Satipatthāna Sutta. Each class will have periods of silent meditation, teaching, and discussion.

Satipattāna: The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
Wednesday, April 18, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Sunday, April 22, 7:30 – 9:00 PM
Wednesday, April 25, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Sunday, April 29, 7:30 – 9:00 PM

Springboard Studio
530 Carpenter Lane, West Mt. Airy
 

2017 In Review

Happy holidays to everyone reading this! Thanks for being a part of an amazing year of sonic adventures. Without the connection I get by sharing these sounds, moments and memories with you all, this would be meaningless. In the midst of the busy holiday season I hope you’re all finding moments of connection and peace.
If you’re looking for a tonic to the holiday sensoral overload, I recommend two Mikronesia ambient albums I released this year. :dibba-sota is a quiet sonic meditation on Deep Listening and natural spaces and Dissolve is an hour long continuous piece of music that was described by music legend King Britt as “sonic sage”, great for clearing and cleansing a space. In the spirit of the season all the albums on my Bandcamp (including the Landscapes series) are “name your price”. So you can download for free or pay any price that’s good for you 🙂

dibba-sota

Also this year I released three albums in a series called Landscapes. These albums were created at artists residencies around the world this year. The intention of these albums is to allow the listener to experience a sense of place through listening and explore the sonic character of a geographic location. The environmental recordings are augmented with subtle effects and “sonic photography” techniques to represent our own coloring of sound through listening consciousness.

Landscapes 3: Iceland

In 2018 I’ll be continuing my nomadic life with residencies at Com Peung in Chiang Mai, Thailand and PECAH in Uttarakhand, India. I’m very excited to travel to Asia for the first time and focus on the soundscape recording, creation and Echozoo at these residencies.
In addition to traveling and releasing music this year I was glad to begin a new collaborative project Mixes from the Field, with fellow Deep Listener Sharon Stewart. This project seeks to connect people of all ages to explore modes of Deep Listening and the work of Pauline Oliveros through field recording, sonic meditation and music. Our initial project was supported by American Composers Forum for workshops in Philadelphia at Village of Arts and Humanities. My connection with VAH will continue in 2018 in an exciting community project around a basketball court in North Philadelphia that’s being renovated by the Philadelphia 76ers. More on this early next year….

VAH Students exploring the sonic spaces above Philadelphia

Mixes from the Field also led workshops and soundwalks in Berlin, Germany and Arnhem, Netherlands. We’re hoping to continue the work in 2018!
A quick note for anyone in Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve. I’ll be leading a dharma talk, discussion and silent meditation at Springboard Studio in Mt. Airy from 10pm through midnight. The theme for the night will be intention and the infinite potentials found in the ground of being. Hope to see you there! It will be my last night in Philly as I fly to Thailand on Jan 1!
Again, thanks for being a part of an amazing 2017 and I look forward to keeping in touch with you all in 2018.
with Mettā,
Michael

Mixes from the Field

‘m very excited to announce a new collaborative project, a new residency and a call for used keyboard donations for a community art and music school in Philadelphia…

Mixes from the Field

Last spring I met Dutch sound artist Sharon Stewart at EMPAC during a day-long meeting of Deep Listening teachers, students and community. After the symposium, during a layover at Penn Station and on the train ride back to Philadelphia we connected over our shared interest in field recording and sound art philosophies. From that meeting and a continued connection online we developed this new and exciting framework.

Mixes from the Field

Today, we’re pleased to announce a new website, teaching, performance and collaborative project called Mixes from the Fieldexploring the connection between environment, field recording, Deep Listening, sonic ecology and sound art.

This year I am honored to be Composer in Residence at Village of the Arts and Humanities with support from American Composers Forum. The residency will culminate in a week-long workshop with students at the Village and Mixes from the Field. During this week-long intensive we will be teaching the students about Deep Listening techniques, how to listen and remain connected to the environment and how to make music from the found sounds of their world. It will include hands-on technical workshops, field trips, sound walks and sonic meditations. The finished work by the students will be posted to the Mixes from the Field website and be part of the global community of listening and sharing.

Village of Arts and Humanities


Also Mixes from the Field will be hosting a day-long Deep Listening / Field Recording workshop for adult artists on Saturday March 25 at Art Church (52nd and Webster Street) in West Philadelphia. Look for a detailed announcement email coming soon…


CALLING ALL LONELY KEYBOARDS

As part of my residency at Village of the Arts and Humanities, I’ve expressed interest in starting to give keyboard lessons after school to the students there. The Village already has an impressive lineup of free music performance and production lessons for students. They already teach guitar, drums, music production, singing, rapping, podcasting, but not keyboards/piano! Why? Because they need some keyboards! This is where you can help.

  1. Do you have an old or new keyboard with a minimum of 50 keys (synthesizer or digital piano) that you’d like to donate? It should have full sized keys with touch sensitive velocity.
  2. Would you like to “sponsor a keyboard” by helping to purchase a keyboard for VAH?
  3. Do you know of a music or piano store who might like to donate a keyboard to VAH?

Once we have a few keyboards I’m going to start giving lessons there as part of my composer residency. In addition to teaching keyboard technique, the keyboard can be a gateway into the wide galaxy of music theory, chords, songwriting, collaboration, improvisation, playing by ear, sound design and self-expression.

Please get in touch at [email protected] or 267-312-2821 if you’d like to be involved!

Thank you!!

Michael

LUCID

7th Annual Fall Experimental Music Festival
November 12, 2016 at 9:00 p.m. – November 13, 2016 at 6:00 a.m. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2698662​
Facebook Event

Press Release:

For the second time this year, composer and <fidget> artist-in-residence Michael Reiley McDermott will perform an overnight sleep music concert.

Lucid will be an 8-hour sleep music performance exploring the liminal space between sleeping, dreaming, meditating and listening. As participants sleep and explore their lucid dream space McDermott will create a soothing, supportive, continuous score exploring the themes of death, bardo and rebirth found in “The Tibetan Book of the Dead”.

The concert begins at 10pm Saturday and will go until 6am Sunday morning. Please bring sleeping bags and blankets for your journey. There will be wine and dream tea available. Come early for a pre-show talk by McDermott and <fidget> co-director Peter Price at 9pm.

Tickets for this 10+ hour event are available at different levels of support named for the six stages of Bardo described in “The Tibetan Book of the Dead”:
Kyenay – $6 (online only)
Milam – $12 (student/artist)
Samten – $24
Chikhai – $48
Chönyi – $96
Sidpa – $192

As preparation for this sleep music concert I took part in a Dream Over at the Rubin Museum in NYC last week. It was a magical night sleeping among ancient Buddhist artifacts and artwork and sharing the space with dozens of other dreamers. You can read a review of the event at Artsy


HOH RAINFOREST

In August 2016 I traveled to the Northwest United States to do some field recording for my Echozoo project. The idea was that I would record some ambient sounds from habitats from a biologically unique place in North America for designing the imaginary sound habitats for Echozoo. My travels took me to Glacier National Park and the National Bison Reserve in Montana, Turnbull Wildlife Refuge and Hoh National Forest in Washington.

Of these four locations I found the Hoh Rainforest to be such a unique land and soundscape. I decided to create a sonic portrait in my Sonic Photography series of sounds recorded in the Hoh Rainforest. I spent two nights staying in a tent at Huckleberry Lodge. TV personality Mick Dodge from the National Geographic show The Legend of Mick Dodge lives at this lodge. Mick and I had some nice conversations about the sonic characteristic of the Hoh Rainforest. He told me about the low growl of Hoh River and its connection with the native Hoh tribe which found its way into this piece.

With this Hoh Rainforest piece and many of these Sonic Photographs, I am attempting to create a liminal journey between the real and imagined sound world of an environment. Like a photographer who would use photographic development techniques, I work with collage, saturation, filtering and creative lighting to reframe the beautiful sounds of this rainforest as a surrealistic journey for the ears and mind.