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Listening Versus Paying Attention (MP3)

The second in a podcast series by Daniela Cascella and Salomé Voegelin

The second in the monthly Ora podcast/broadcast by Daniela Cascella and Salomé Voegelin has been posted online. Cascella (author of En Abime: Listening, Reading, Writing) and Voegelin (author of Listening to Noise and Silence: towards a Philosophy of Sound Art) discuss topics ranging from Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening to the sound-sensitive films of director Andrei Tarkovsky, but what distinguishes it isn’t so much the variety of subjects as the heavily nuanced conversation. Cascella and Voegelin prod each other from each question and observation to the next, digging into minute distinctions, and drawing from literature and personal experience even more than from recorded sound. One particularly interesting aspect of this entry is how they upend the commonly held distinction between hearing and listening. Traditionally it is understood that to hear is simply to be aware of sound, while to listen is to pay attention. What Cascella and Voegelin work to in their discussion is how since the act of listening involves a personal engagement with the material, that in turn means that it involves invoked associations, ruminations, considerations, invocations — and, thus, listening is far more than a matter of paying attention. If anything, to listen is to not pay attention, but to disappear into one’s own internal codex of meaning and memory (MP3).

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Track originally posted for free download at ora2013. The show was originally broadcast on July 25 on Resonance FM. More on Cascella at danielacascella.com and at salomevoegelin.net.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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