Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > Sonic Meditations

Sonic Meditations by Pauline Oliveros
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it
bookshelves: scores, music

I 1st heard the music of Oliveros on record w/ her "Phase I of IV" - a piece that's in some ways quite simple & wch almost immediately struck me as 'healing music'. I was fortunate enuf to hear her give a presentation in Baltimore that reinforced that "healing" impression. & I was lucky enuf to pick up these scores somewhere along the way. Composed from March to November of 1971, the 1st of 2 introductions to them claims: "With continuous work some of the following becomes possible with Sonic Meditations: Heightened states of awareness or expanded cansciousness, changes in physiology and psychology from known and unknown tensions to relaxations which gradually become permanent."

Oddly, perhaps, knowing Oliveros' work somewhat, I don't find the above pretentious or New-Agey. I take it seriously. Consider this 1st piece:


Teach Yourself to Fly

Any number of persons sit in a circle facing the center. Illuminate the space with dim blue light. Begin by simply observing your own breathing. Always be an observer. Gradually allow your breathing to become audible. Then gradually introduce your voice. Allow your vocal chords to vibrate in any mode that occurs naturally. Allow the intensity to increase very slowly. Continue as long as possible naturally, and until all others are quiet, always observing your own breath cycle.

Variation: Translate voice to an instrument.


Search for a natural or artifical canyon, forest or deserted municipal quad. Perform Teach Yourself to Fly in this space."

The piece is designed to be performable by any skill level. The result cd include a feeling of increased power & ability thru solidarity w/ the other performers. This cd, indeed, be interpreted as a feeling of levitation or flying.
2 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Sonic Meditations.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 7, 2008 – Shelved
May 7, 2008 – Shelved as: scores
May 7, 2008 – Shelved as: music

No comments have been added yet.