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They also create a sense of safety and creative freedom since there is no "right" or "wrong" way of performing themthe bane of both professional and non-professional musicians.The Sonic Meditations embody the concepts of Deep Listening, which include nonjudgmental perception, the development of empathy through listening, the creation of nonhierarchical social relationships in music making, the expanded use of intuitive forms of internal and external awareness, and new understandings of sensuality and the body.The example below, Sonic Meditation X, illustrates their general character: By 1970, several other women had joined her (many of whom were not professional musicians) to form the (fem) Ensemblean all-woman improvisation group devoted to studying long sustained sounds, both vocal and instrumental.Based on her involvement with various forms of meditation, she began to lead improvisations that encouraged spontaneous, subconscious transformation through de-emphasizing mental constructs such as "opinions, desires and speculations" (Oliveros, Software 149).These forms of listening are among the most important components of the Sonic Meditations.We thus associate listening with the all-encompassing, the universal, even the transcendent.
Deep Listeners also expand their awareness by developing their sense of kinesthesia through training in Tai Chi and yoga.
This same principle also defines the way we listen to life as a whole.
Oliveros moves us away from thinking of music in terms of an idealized aesthetic object in the form of a composition, to an understanding of music as a process of creative cognition in an ever-changing, unfathomable world.
Since Oliveros views creativity as fundamental to human dignity, she expands the role of the artist, assigning to her the specific function of helping others to be creativea goal central to the Sonic Meditations.
The Deep Listener's renunciation of the artist's solitary, "transcendental" expression (and its special status) in favor of aiding the creativity of others, is specifically related to the second element of brahmavihara, which is compassion.