Pauline Oliveros began her exploration of listening as a child fascinated by sounds of nature, music and daily life. She noticed early on that others seemed to ignore the sounds that she loved. As a composer Oliveros began to address the direction of attention with Sonic Meditations (1970) – compositions written in prose. Sonic Meditations was a radical departure from conventionally notated music. Oliveros considers “ear training” to be a misnomer for what should be “brain training”. These compositions are directions for ways of listening (hearing plus attention) and ways of responding (vocalizing aloud or mentally).
Listening is not the same as hearing and is not as well understood as hearing. Hearing is physical and can be measured. Listening is more mysterious and as yet can only be measured subjectively.
So what does it mean to listen. Further what is Deep Listening? Deep Listening practice was created by Oliveros to experience and share what is heard in order to gain understanding of our primary sense.
Listening In can be understood ambiguously as over hearing sounds or listening inwardly. Listening Out could be directing attention to what is understood as sounds external to the self.
In any case listening requires attention and choice whereas hearing happens involuntarily.