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The Place Where You Go To Listen

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Published on Nov 20, 2010

The sign just as you enter the room:

We are immersed in music.

The earth beneath us, the air around us and the sky above us are filled with vibrations. Most of these vibrations are beyond the reach of our ears.

In this room, you will hear some of this music.

You will hear no familiar musical instruments or sounds of nature. Yet every sound you hear is connected directly to the natural world, here and now.

The atmosphere of sound and light changes with the movements of the sun, the rhythms of day and night. Daylight sings like a choir of bright voices. Its colors are orange, yellow and red. The voices of night are darker. Its colors are violet, blue and cyan.

The moon rises and falls, appears and disappears, like a solo voice.

When the aurora borealis is active (even if hidden by daylight or clouds), bell-like sounds float across the ceiling.

When the earth quakes (even imperceptibly) the walls and the floor shudder and rumble like deep drums.

This music has no beginning, middle, or end. Even in moments of apparent stillness, it is always changing. But it changes at the tempo of nature. To experience its full range requires listening in day and night, winter and summer.

This is an ecosystem of sound and light that resonates with the larger world around it. When no one is here, the forces of nature continue to reverberate within this space.

But the awareness of the listener brings it to life.

The Place Where You Go To Listen is not complete until you are present and listening.

~ John Luther Adams

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