What: Residential Retreat for Music & Meditation
Topics: Deep listening, sound meditation, music composition and songwriting, song lyrics as meditational poetry, creative collaboration, performance
Where: Dharmalaya Institute in HP, India
When: 1-7 November 2015, with an optional extension from 8-14 November (must attend from the start and stay through at least 7 November)
Language: English (with Hindi translation if requested)
Facilitators: Mark Moore et al.
Description: An exploration of creativity as expressed through music, and of the nature of reality as expressed through the vibrations of sound. The retreat will include workshops in individual and collaborative songwriting as well as instruction in sound meditation with daily practice.
We really wish to emphasize that this retreat is open to everyone, whether or not you are an experienced musician/singer/composer/songwriter. If you play a musical instrument, we encourage you to bring it, but ability to play an instrument is not required for this retreat.
The retreat will be in two parts: The first week is required for all participants and the second week is optional, so that those on tight schedules may leave after the first week while those who wish to stay longer to deeper their explorations and continue their creative projects can stay for the full two weeks. The first week will be structured, with a variety of group and individual activities. The optional second week will have much less structure: you will be able to use most of the day for continuing your own creative explorations (e.g. composition, songwriting, arrangement, practice, collaborations, etc.), and then we’ll come together in the evening sessions for various activities.
Parts of the retreat will be silent except for music, to support us to deepen our listening and develop our relationship with both sound and the space around it.
Group sessions will include the following:
- The practice of deep listening
- Sound meditation in the Buddhist tradition (instruction and daily practice)
- Composition/songwriting as a profound meditation practice
- Explorations of various aspects of sound, music, harmony, vibration, perception, etc.
- Sharing sessions, in which each participant is invited to share favorite pieces with the group
- Composition/songwriting sessions — both individual and collaborative
- Explorations of words (lyrics, poetry) as sound, as vibration, as meditation, and as music
- A final performance of works created during the retreat (individual and collaborative)
What to bring:
- An open mind, open heart, and open ear
- One or more musical instruments (the voice and body also count as instruments!)
- Recordings of three cherished songs/compositions that you would like to share with the group: one from your own region, one from a country or culture different from your own, and one other of your choosing. These should be songs/compositions that move you deeply, and you should be prepared to share briefly with the group what it is about those songs that makes you love them so much. (These recordings should be not longer than fifteen minutes in total length, i.e. averaging not more than five minutes each. If you have a favorite piece that is longer, you can choose your favorite section of the piece.)
- If you have any recordings of your own music, please choose just one track (six minutes maximum) to share with the group, which you feel represents your musical self. If you do not have any recordings of your own music, then you have two other options: you could perform a song live* for the group, or you could play a recording of another artist that evokes something similar to what you would like to express musically. (*For this activity, recordings are preferred because they take the focus off the performer and allow us to focus on just the sound of the music itself, but if you have no recordings of your own music, you are welcome to perform live and we will close our eyes and listen.)
- One favorite poem (of any kind, including a song lyric) to share with the group, which should be one that you love for the sound and power of the words themselves (not necessarily the meaning behind them).
- Something to write on (e.g. pencil and paper and/or a tablet or laptop).
- If you wish, you are welcome to bring recording devices, small amplifiers, or other musical gadgets or compositional/performance aids, but none of these are necessary.
- Also see the “what to bring and what not to bring” section of our Visitor Info page.
For the first week, the cost of the retreat is Rs 1000 per day (Rs 7000 total) which includes healthy meals and comfortable dormitory/tent accommodation. For the second week, the cost is reduced to Rs 600 per day (Rs 4200 total), so the cost for the full two weeks would be Rs 11,200 (averaging Rs 800 per day). For low-income participants, a limited number of work-study scholarships are available (please contact us).
Space is limited, so advance registration and 50% nonrefundable deposit are required. To request registration, use this form.
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