Wednesday, 30 June 2010

sensing listening sounding : sensing listening moving : workshop information

a worksop linked to the Holy Hiatus Symposium 25th/26th September in Abertiefi/Cardigan arrnaged by Ruth Jones. A link to further information on symposium

workshop details:
Friday 24th September Abertiefi/Cardigan
3.45 - 6.45 then sharing space together 7.30 - 9.00.

the sharing space is open to others who either already have experience in moving:sounding as devotional, or who would like to bring their existing meditation/prayer practice into the space.

Booking essential. (more details to follow...)

Holy Hiatus was intially created when I was commissioned by Ruth Jones to make one of a series of commissioned artworks by various artists. I chose to collaborate with Lou Laurens. We created a six hour performance using repetition and stillness. This is now an annual ritual in our lives. 2010 will be the third performance.
Maura Hazelden

From Lou on the sounding workshop
‘The mystery of music concerns a set of powerfully affective structures that come from… who knows where? But if music is a gift, then the act of listening also becomes creative and potentially devotional.’[1]

I have evolved a practice based on deepening audience/performer awareness of the relationships between the singer, the song, the time and the space in which one sings.

Silence, listening practices and meditations, ritual, repetition and music, have all been used across many cultures and ages to generate ‘holy’, or spiritual, experience. In the workshop we will explore the singing body and the listening body; allowing the possibility of transformation; giving our breath, and our time, to this end. We will look at ways of listening that encourage the voice, or voices, to emerge: listening through sounding. All kinds of voices are welcome to participate in this workshop.

Maura and I have discussed our collaborative performance in terms of ‘reverence’. A reverence for what is. A reverence that is inclusive.

[1] Boon, M. 2008, The Wire, Nov. issue

From Maura on the moving workshop
Arnold Mindell suggests that we have suppressed our innate tendency to express ourselves in movement; his work with “therapy” clients often shifts from words to kinesthetic expression. “I wanted to see how dreams lived in the body”. The somatic experience is often ignored in prayer & contemplation. Yet as one considers even just the Christian church one can see movement entering into the spiritual/worship experience. The Shakers gained their name through the phrase “shaking Quakers”. Within the society of friends/Quakers there is talk of the physical sensation that precedes giving ministry, but the ministry is then verbal. I want to see how prayer is lived in the body.

In the second holy hiatus performance I set aside a space that I could use for an immediate expression of prayer – a move away from repetition and stillness. It is mainly this area that is to be explored in the workshop, but we will attend to repetition in the exercises. It is hard to label what exactly we are doing with words, Lou and I have some difficulties when discussing it! I tend to list: prayer/meditation/contemplation. At the end of a ballet lesson dancer & teacher perform a reverence (in French this refers to a curtsy or bow) it is a thank you, a moment of respect. And of course reverence also means: a feeling of profound awe and respect and often love; veneration; an act showing respect. It is devotional.

The first thing to attend to is listening. Listening to the world, listening to self, listening for the silence in which to move….or not. The workshop is aimed at people who have a curiosity to investigate the body/movement in prayer/contemplation/meditation. You may already use yoga or forms of dance, but no experience is necessary. The shared time is also open to those who are experienced in this form and wish to have the opportunity to share a space with others.


Both groups will start with a warm up & become aware of our bodies then work through until 6.45. From 6.45 – 7.30 we will have food together; we will provide a soup that is gluten free & vegan. Please bring what else you feel you may need, a light meal is preferable! We will provide tea/coffee/herb teas/ water. Please wear loose comfortable clothing. A cushion and blanket may prove useful also.


Lou Laurens holds an MA in Sonic Art. She trained as a singer, and has developed her vocal practice with leading teachers and performers, many working within the arena of post-dramatic theatre; she has also trained in Deep Listening techniques with Pauline Oliveros. Her practice includes solo and collaborative vocal performance, composition, and curation/facilitation. She teaches voice and leads community choirs. Her work explores relationships and encounters between individuals, communities, languages, and places.

Maura Hazelden had an early training in dance, particularly the rigours of ballet. After moving into the visual arts due to physical difficulties she spent 5 years “untraining” her body working with improvisational techniques. Working with non dancers, mixed levels of experience and performance artists she has built up a personal approach to preparing the body for movement that allows both a warm up and body awareness. Over the years movement has been both a public and a private act for Maura as she came to regard it as a creative tool, a form of therapy for body & mind and also as a devotional form. She has also trained in design and fine art working with drawing, the photovisual, installation and performance. Maura’s current area of interest is investigating how language might express the bodily experience.

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