Listening & Movement

Sound is Movement. Frequency moves. Movement sounds. How is your posture and how is your breathing when you are listening? In which ways can your listening (active attention) improve your hearing (sense)? It often happens that we hear a lot of things but we aren’t listening. Our body movement, and where we place our tensions, is closely linked to that.

We think that we listen with our ears, our auditory sense. And that is partly true, our ears are a very specific and fine organ that gathers the vibrations of sound with incredible precision and amplitude. However, there is more to that. Our body is an antenna, we have a vibratory nature. Look at, for example, some birds, a snake or a spider, they don’t have ears, however they hear everything you do, they sense you through vibration. We too, do that. We only have to look at deaf musicians who play and compose incredible music. Or how a dog understands us perfectly without speaking our language. We just have to bring our attention to the eyes, skin, fluids, bones… and feel their vibrations in order to listen.

Since we are born, our movement is always accompanied by sound. It’s extremely rare to see a child moving in silence. Sound is an intrinsic part of movement, and when we let it all out, be it with the voice or body, movement gets better. Holding back is an unclever move, because with time that creates energy blockages that can lead to all sorts of maladies. And so in our society we have learned (through the educational and social systems) to restrict the sound of our breathing and the sounds of our body when it moves. When we separate sound from movement, we also separate listening from movement, because we hear with the parts of us that sound.

If you ask me whether musicians can hear better, that will depend on how pure or damaged our ears are 🙂 but what I can tell you is that we can listen better. Specially singers, because our instrument is inside us, is an inherent part of our communication and expression, we are used to listening to ourselves from the inside as well as from the outside, we hear melodies in our head, even when they aren’t there in the physical. It’s like a train passing in the night. I get my best melodies and songs when I am in that half-awake state. They are perfect, because they don’t have the interference of thought and analysis from my mind. Artists are more sensitive and receptive to inspiration that comes from elsewhere other than the five senses.

Resonance.

I said before that we are of a vibratory nature (everything is), and that brings with it a quality that we have: Resonance. Resonance has little to do with the ear and more with being in sync with our inner and outer vibrations. We must open up to the spaces in our body. Our whole body resonates: our cavities, tissues and fluids, from the hairs in our head to the nails in our toes. If we become aware of how we move, we will also become aware of how we are ourselves moved by our own sound and the sound of others. When someone talks to you, where does their voice land in your body? pay attention on how you receive the message. Do you feel it in your ears? your chest? your belly? where? The emotional response to a person talking is part of how we integrate the message. We must be receptive to the message in order to be able to listen. We often say: “they never listen to me”, even if they understand us, they hear us, but they don’t pay attention, and that’s because they are not in resonance with us (they are closed, non-receptive). The more resonance we experience together, the less need there is to talk.

A good exercise is to sing (hold) one note for 10 minutes, together with another person, let it sit on your breathing, continue to hold it together with the other person, relax, trust your sound, trust yourself. You will find that at the end of it you will be more receptive to each others without the need of talking.

“Our major need is to be resonated with, not to be understood.”

David Kaetz

There are 3 main obstacles to resonance:

  • Stress (muscle tension)
  • Thinking, thoughts
  • Negative emotions (fear)

When we listen, after we have stopped listening, we must continue to listen so that we stay in resonance. This state allows us to be creative, because we are not busy with our thinking, our judgements and emotions, and our body is open, our spaces wider, available to receive.

Check my other article about listening here.


Links of interest:

Listening with the body

“Escuchar”, a book by Fernando Palacios that I personally recommend

Bone Conduction

Hearing through the body

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