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The Sound of Interbeing

The "Sound of Interbeing" workshop includes a variety of musical games. During the process each participant is invited to connect to their inner voice and simultaneously harmonize with the sound of the group in a process that builds creativity and communion.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the tension and the balance between an individual and a group. It started when I noticed how in certain New-Age gatherings whenever music is involved everyone is almost always singing or chanting together in one voice. I noticed how on the one hand I felt a sense of connection with the other people while on the other a resistance to lose my own individual voice. This made me come up with several ideas for musical games which aim to balance individual self expression and group connection. For example, in The Sound Wave everyone sits in a circle and one person starts by making a sound with their voice. Then it's the turn of the person sitting next to them to either imitate the first sound or make a different sound. The third person then also either imitates one of the previous sounds or creates a new one and so on. This "wave-like" process continues until an organic ending is reached. The group should try to explore the entire spectrum between a unison, where everyone is making the same sound, and the other extreme, where each person makes a different sound. The group should also explore different rates of change – i.e. different speeds for the propagation of the wave – from very slow to very fast.

In one iteration of the workshop we played the game for the full duration of an hour as I didn't want to stop the energy flow. It was beautiful to see (or rather hear!) the transformation that this game evokes. At the beginning most people were shy and only made very soft and insecure sounds. 10 minutes into the game they were yelling, yawning, laughing, singing and imitating different animals. 30 minutes in they started conversing with each other in duets, trios and tutti formations. And towards the end silence started playing a prominent role as people were taking longer breaks and listening to the echoes and the stillness in between.

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