The Deep Listening Institute has merged with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to become the Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute under the direction of Tomie Hahn. Hahn will steer the new center as it assumes leadership of the Deep Listening Institute, an organization dedicated to the study and practice of Deep Listening that was founded by Rensselaer professor Pauline Oliveros in 1985.Deep Listening (DL) is a creative, contemplative practice used by artists, educators, performers, and others to support improvisation and achieve heightened awareness of their surroundings, in particular the sounds surrounding them. Oliveros describes it as “listening with your whole body.”
The mission of the new center is to educate people within and outside the Rensselaer community about the practice and the ways it can be harnessed to enhance creativity and understanding. The center also will focus on research to explore its immense potential.
“Under the guidance of Tomie Hahn, and in partnership with the Center for Cognition, Communication, and Culture, the Center for Deep Listening will establish and expand education and research programs that support Deep Listening and bring Pauline Oliveros’ groundbreaking work to new audiences,” said HASS Dean Mary Simoni. “As stewards of Pauline Oliveros’ unparalleled body of work, Tomie Hahn and I are committed to ensuring that the theory, practice, education, and research of Deep Listening flourish at Rensselaer.”
The center will host workshops and conferences, facilitate research, and establish Deep Listening-related courses in addition to the courses Oliveros currently teaches. A conference exploring the artistic and scientific applications of Deep Listening was hosted at Rensselaer in July.
The Center for Deep Listening was established in June 2014 to steward the continued development of artistic expression, humanitarian scholarship, and understanding of human perception and cognition begun by Oliveros with her innovative Deep Listening practice decades ago. Oliveros, who has taught a course in Deep Listening at Rensselaer since 2001, describes Deep Listening as a form of meditation that opens an expanded world of sound that helps students with learning in all disciplines.