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Stefan Cartwright
Category: Creativity

The Instrument of Listening

The great Tibetan master, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche said: “The more and more you listen, the more and more you hear; the more and more you hear, the deeper and deeper your understanding becomes.”  These insightful words were intended to illuminate the path to freedom. They are especially useful to anyone interested in the creative process.

With Erik Huele from Holland I co-run the School of Creative Music Making. Our approach is not to teach, but to create the conditions for learning and creative expression. Our courses attract people who don't consider themselves to be musicians but would love to explore sound and create music as part of a group, and those who have trained in music and yet want to play more freely and intuitively.

It never ceases to amaze me what beautiful music people can create together without any script whatsoever. The key to this interesting, meaningful music is listening. Listening allows us to zoom into the micro world of sound and hear subtle differentiations in rhythm, timbre and pitch. We don't need to invent music - it already exists in the sounds and silences of life. Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones once said that he just plucks his music from the air. Listening shows us how.

Our next Creative Music Making weekend is 1-3 April and takes place at Hawkwood College, a residential centre in the South Cotswolds. The focus is on Sound and Listening as part of the creative process. For further information visit

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