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International Festival of Digital Creativity and Electronic Music
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FINAL Soundworks News
August 18, 2021

Listening as a Gateway to Mindfulness

In an effort to dive deeper into the relation between sound and self-inquiry, and to reflect on the evolving role of listening in our society, MUTEK is happy to partner with meditation app Soundworks for the first time.

As we gradually reconnect to the greater bustle of live events and social interactions, conversations on perception and auditory cognition allow us to understand the pivotal role that sound can play in tempering our emotional responses.

Soundworks unpacks the mechanisms behind attention and mindfulness, through experiential and educational content that highlight the elevating effects of deep listening. The mobile app presents a selection of auditory pieces, conversations and thematic courses grounded in psychoacoustic research and electronic sound design.

“Meditative traditions have customarily used the breath or bodily sensations as objects of mindfulness. Auditory phenomena, however, are just as effective, and particular sounds developed for the purpose of meditation can be used as powerful tools for self-inquiry.”

- Soundworks

MUTEK will be curating two content pieces on the Soundworks app, produced by spatial sound artists Richard Chartier and Grand River. Created exclusively for Soundworks, right in time for MUTEK 2021, both compositions will present a different take on how to cultivate a state of focus for the listening mind.

Moreover, Soundworks’ John Connell will host a discussion on Wednesday, August 25th for MUTEK Forum, titled “Sound Is The Object: Creating Mindful Sonic Experiences”. This panel will feature MUTEK Forum’s first guided meditation, a listening session of the pieces composed by Richard Chartier and Grand River for the MUTEK x Soundworks collaboration. The tableau will be completed by Lukas Volz, head of the Network Plasticity Lab at the University of Cologne, contributing his perspective on the relationship between listening and attention.

After its premiere for the MUTEK Forum, “Sound Is The Object: Creating Mindful Sonic Experiences” will be available for free in the Auditorium of Virutal MUTEK, in an on-demand format until September 30th.

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