A collective for deep listening…
Danny Paul Grody is a solo musician and founding member of San Francisco based bands Tarentel and The Drift. He is a self taught guitarist, and the melodies at the core of Danny’s songwriting bring to mind his love of West African Kora, Takoma style fingerpicking and all things minimal, repetitive and hypnotic.
Until recently, early mornings have been an elusive time of day. I’ve never considered myself much of an early riser so catching the sunrise was a rare occurrence. When I became a father earlier this year, my orientation to time (among other things) has changed profoundly. One of the unexpected joys in this shift is waking up early enough to appreciate the transition from night to day. The nursery room happens to face east where the sun rises here in California. Getting the chance to share this moment with the little one has become one of my favourite rituals of the day. This piece is my attempt at capturing the experience. It was recorded in two phases. First, I tracked a drone using layers of electric organ, synthesizer, field recordings (captured at sunrise) and bowed twelve string guitar. Then I improvised alongside the drone using an acoustic twelve string guitar tuned to a variation of the open B tuning. The arc of the piece approximates the time it takes for the sun to move from a soft glow to being fully visible above the horizon.
When I think of deep listening, my mind immediately goes to composer Pauline Oliveros, often credited as being the founder of Deep Listening. In her own words Oliveros simply describes the process as “a way of listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing.” Her spirit of wonder with sound is something I connect very much with and have drawn inspiration from. For me, deep listening is opening my ears to sound with curiosity regardless of the setting. It is a practice I engage with on a daily basis, be it on the bus commute, strolling through the park, or in how I listen to and create music.