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).

Music from the Heavens

Wishing you and all sentient beings safety and peace during these turbulent times.

TL;DR: Check out Celestial Music Box and support by Patreon to get access to the sounds.

I’m announcing an exciting new sleep music listening experience and I would love if you were a part of it.

In 2016 I started doing Sleep Concerts. During these concerts I play soothing ambient music for 6-12 hours while people sleep. They are very fulfilling and often moving experiences for me, but they are also exhausting often requiring several days for me to physically recover. During once such concert in 2017 in Brooklyn, NY I had an idea: what if something natural could trigger the notes while people sleep? Biorhythm sensors? Air temperature? A music box?! What if the stars in the sky could trigger sounds like raised dots on the metal cylinder of a music box? During the wee hours of the morning while emerged the clear meditative state that often arises from playing controlled, gentle music for so many hours, Celestial Music Box was born. It took several years of thinking and research, but it’s finally ready!

Imagine listening to music that uses the coordinates of the overhead sky at night to trigger notes while you sleep. Imagine going back in time and listening to the night sky the day you were born, your child was born, you met you soulmate or someone you loved left this planet? Imagine listening to the night sky over Greenland the night Amelia Earhart flew over the Atlantic ocean?

With Celestial Music Box you can choose the date and location to generate the star map above and listen tot he music that star map generates.

If you are having difficulty sleeping or would like to hear a system of music supported by the sacred geometry of the universe itself, this is for you!

Celestial Music Box will be released on June 20, the Summer Solstice, the longest night of the year.
This music will be exclusively available to my Patreon supporters.

So in addition to the free music from Meditative Soundscapes I post there, you will be able to listen to generative sleep music system that I am sure will resonate deeply with many people.

Be a part of the community of Celestial Deep Listeners.

Echozoo Launch

At long last, a project I’ve been working on for over four years has arrived!

Recreating the sounds of extinct animals is a call to listen in the present.

Echozoo is an audio portal to the past, an invitation to the present, and an urgent message to the future.  Reimagining the sounds of earth’s ancient history beyond a human scale, reconstructing the sound of extinct animals and their habitats, Echozoo connects listeners with the sounds of the distant past. Created with field recordings of living animals, these are digitally processed to re-create the sounds of their now-extinct relatives and recomposed into immersive audio experiences. These long-silenced voices are re-sounded and heard within an imagined soundscape of their habitats, encouraging us to hear imagined ecosystems together with these ancestors in a powerful meditation on nature and the current loss of biodiversity in our natural world.

Echozoo Promo

Explore the Echozoo Portal here at echozoo.org. You can listen to samples of creatures on the interactive map showing the region where these extinct creatures once lived.

You can support this largely self-financed project by buying one or more of the three-volume collection of extinction songs.

Berlin Projects

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Good morning or evening friends. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US! I hope this day is filled with the feelings of gratitude and abundance for the collective interdependence of life. I am halfway through my three-month residency at GlogauAIR in Berlin and I just wanted to share some projects in my life for which I am grateful.


Spektrum Performance

When I arrived in Berlin, I performed at one of my favorite venues in Berlin: Spektrum. I gave a concert of my field recording landscapes sounds where I created a surrealists collage of environmental sounds from around the world during my travels. I also made a video of found footage from around the world wide web that I showed at the performance. I am very grateful to Aude Françoise from SCOPE, Ienke at Spektrum and DJ Solitue who presented a mix of former Liebig12 residents and for connecting me with Spektrum last year.



Scope Sessions

The second event I did was a talk on my work and process at Scope Sessions. I focused on my work synthesizing Deep Listening, meditation, Buddhist philosophies, field recording, and ambient music. I also played some samples of my work. It was very well received and help crystallize some things for me in my world. I am also very grateful to meet the host Tobias Raayoni Last.

Speaking at Scope

Speaking at SCOPE Sessions


Red Bull Session

Last week was very busy for me here in Berlin! I welcomed two close friends to town at the same time. My collaborator from Mixes from the Field, Sharon Renee Stewart was in town. We met some Deep Listening friends, did some walking and field recording. At the same time, my old buddy and music legend King Britt was in town. We hung out for three days, recorded an episode for my podcast, and recorded at Red Bull Studios Berlin. I’m super grateful to King for inviting me to the recording session with Hainbach, Christina Wheeler and Clara Hill where I got to play one of my favorite instruments, the Fender Rhodes piano! The sessions were magical and the sound at Red Bull was extraordinary. I can’t wait to hear the final mixes of this collaboration.

Sharon Recording at Templehof

Sharon recording at Templehof

The crew at Red Bull Studios


Listening Bodies Project

This time in Berlin has allowed me to deepen my working relationship with choreographer/dancer/movement researcher Monica Genitle. We organically came together to develop a teaching framework that combines my music and Deep Listening practices and her somatic body practices. We’ve done two classes here in Berlin. One at Lake Studios Berlin for dancers and one sound walk workshop at GlogauAIR and SomoS (we had a fairytale-like sound walk in the first snow of the season at night). We will do one more class exploring synesthesia and ASMR as listening body practice at Liebig12. And on Dec 10/11 we will offer a two-day workshop at Tatwerk in Berlin. We will have more exciting Listening Bodies news next week about our plans in 2019!

From the Listening Bodies Sound Walk

From the Listening Bodies Sound Walk along the Paul-Lincke-Ufer
ListeningBodies.com for more information…
Once again, thank you all for your support.

Have a safe and peaceful holiday.

<3 MRM

Listening in Asia…

Greetings from Yangon, Myanmar! I’ve had an amazing two months in Southeast Asia. In January I was Artist in Residence at ComPeung in northern Thailand where I was making field recordings, sound designing for some upcoming projects and experiencing the beautiful landscapes, people, smells, sights and sounds of the region​.

recording the landscape in Bagan, Myanmar; photo by Monica Gentile   Here’s a piece I made inspired by the landscapes of Thailand and Myanmar. Traveling in the land that’s home to Theravada Buddhism has been profoundly powerful. There’s so many temples, stuppas, pagodas, monks and lots of psychedelic Buddha shrines! To see all this first hand has changed me and given me perspective on the practice, dhamma and the nature of connection.​ Click below to hear and download this new piece of music “Once You Hear This You Will Always Be a Part of the Song”.

My next stop will be a residency in North India at PECAH in the Uttarakhand region in the foothills of the Himalayas. There I’ll be working on Echozoo, playing and collaborating with North Indian musicians and artists and working on upcoming projects for a very busy April when I return to Philadelphia for a month. If you’re in Philadelphia I’ll be involved in a number of projects including:​

2017 In Review

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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

Longwood Garden Klip Collective Installation

Hello everyone. Hope you’re enjoying these final weeks of summer here in North America. I have a few outdoor events coming up I wanted to share with you.

Nightscape

Nightscpae at Longwood Gardens

I’m very proud to have been asked to create a piece of music for Klip Collective’s award-winnning garden, light, sound and video installation at Longwood Garden’s called Nightscape. For this show I created a variation of the first movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” (one of my favorite pieces).

The show opens August 3 and runs through October 29
Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348

Also there’s a vinyl record release of the music from this and last year’s show which is for sale at Klip’s bandcamp.

Nightscape

Deep Listening Soundwalk

A photo from the trail we'll be walking on

As part of my studies in Deep Listening with Pauline Oliveros at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute I’ve started a Philadelphia Deep Listening Study Group. The group meets to discuss Deep Listening concepts, practice sound-based meditations and perform Deep Listening scores. Member William Fields has come up with the name “Sound Sangha” which I rather like 🙂

This month’s meet-up will be a Soundwalk through the Wissahickon Woods on Thursday August 11. We’ll explore the sound field of the southern most section of the Wissahickon, practice listening meditations and perform two of Pauline’s scores along our walk. 

*Note this a make-up of the rained-out Soundwalk from July 23.

Please email michael@soundoflistening.com to sign-up. 

We’ll meet at the Wissahickon Septa Train Station on Rochelle St. and walk north through the woods. The entire walk will be about 3 miles roundtrip.

Soundwalk through the Wissahickon
Thursday August 11, 6pm-9pm
Wissahickon Station
5100 Rochelle Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19128

Echozoo Thank You!

Golden Toad

A huge thank you to all the people who successfully funded Echozoo. Those people who backed the project will get a special thank-you inside the smartphone app once it’s developed as well as access to exclusive content like: A sneak peak track of the sound-world of the Golden Toad from South America which went extinct in the 1990s. Also I’ll be recording some field recording footage and vlogs on my upcoming trip to Washington and Montana to record animals and habitats for the App that will go out to the Hatchfund backers. So if you didn’t get a chance to back Echozoo, the good news is the site will be live and you can still become a backer to get this exclusive content and help support the development of this ambitious project.

Now let me take a couple more lines of this email to specially thank all the backers for Echozoo! It means so much to me to receive this support of my work. THANK YOU!!!!!!

Darcy Lyons, Steffan Schulz, Cory Neale, James Falconi, Jason & Emmalee MacDonald, Melissa & Carl Franke, Mary Kalyna, Kevin Brown, Carla Willard, M Eckstrom, Dave Di Lullo, Es Pisarek, Zornitsa Stoyanova, Mary Niewood, Ian Nauroth, Sharon Stewart, Benjamin Warfield, Patricia McDermott & Jack Malgeri, Pearson Constantino, Brian Wainwright, Jebney Lewis, fidget, Francis Markey, Emme McDermott, Glenn Benge, mauri Walton, Richard Baybutt, Patrick O’Connor, Delia Tash, Jonathan Moniz, Robin Rosecky, Nora Gibson, Katinka Marc, Thomas Reliey, Kim Epson, William Clarke-Fields, Anne C. Cecil, Steven Peltier and two Annonymouses.

Echozoo

Hello everyone! I’m writing you this week from Canada at the Ayatana Artist Research Program. I am honored to be one of the artists selected for this week’s Biophillia Sound Art Residency

This week I’ll be traveling with biologists and researchers to record sounds of animals. I’m super excited and hope to post lots of photos and sounds when I return.

Today, I’ve launched a Hatchfund to raise funds for my next big project (which ties in directly with this Artist Residency) called Echozoo.

Those of you who know me, know that I’ve been talking about this project for a while and asking these questions:

  • What did extinct animals sounds like?
  • What would our current landscape sound like if some of these animals were still alive?
  • How connected are we to our current sound world?

Echozoo is going to be a smartphone app that uses geo-location to determine where you are in the world and will play re-imagined sound-design of the calls of extinct animals that lived in your region.

If you’ve ever watched behind the scenes features for some of your favorite films (like Jurassic Park and Star Wars) you know that sound designers like Ben Burtt would mix the sounds of many creatures together (like the slowed down croak of a frog, the pitch-shifted quack of a duck and the reversed growl of a tiger) to make the other worldly sounds of the creatures in the film. This is essentially what I’ll be doing. I will take field recordings of living creatures to try and extrapolate the calls of extinct animals from them. What would a dodo bird sound like? No one really knows for sure, but I imagine like a deep percussive penguin chirp mixed with an ostrich.

This Hatchfund will go to pay for the expenses of this artist residency at Ayatana, travel expenses to Canada and other sites around North America this summer and studio time spent sound designing and developing the iPhone and Android applications.

There’s some great rewards for backing the project including downloads of exclusive creature calls not found in the app, having a variable named after you in the code or even adding your own voice to the synthesized creature calls!

My hope it have it released by the end of the year.

Thank you for taking time to read, watch and listen. Any support you can give is much appreciated.

Also all Hatchfund donations are 100% tax deductible.

Like Kickstarter and other platforms, Hatchfund is do or die! If we don’t make the goal, the project won’t be funded. Please spread the word. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

http://hatchfund.org/project/echozoo