Well in general there are two forms of listening: focused listening and open, global, and receptive listening. This is also true of eyesight, you can focus on something for detail and you can have a peripheral vision of the field. Then, you can also defocus your eyes so that you take in more of the 180° that you can see, and thus you become quite sensitive to motion. The same applies to hearing. You can in a way defocus your ears so you're taking in all of the sounds around you, inside of you, in your memory or imagination all at once. The best image or metaphor I can give for it is a tapestry of sound: threads of sound that come and go and some that stay. Trying to expand oneself to include more and more of the field, I call inclusive listening. And then when something attracts your attention to focus in on, that's exclusive listening. You can do both at once, actually. I have a lot of exercises and pieces that try to expose these different forms. And this is what we do in the Deep Listening retreat. Deep Listening is a process. I guess the best definition I could give is listening to everything all the time and reminding yourself when you're not listening. You also have to understand that there's a difference between hearing and listening. In hearing, the ears take in all the sound waves and particles and deliver them to the audio cortex where the listening takes place. We cannot turn off our ears--the ears are always taking in sound information--but we can turn off our listening. I feel that listening is the basis of creativity and culture. How you're listening, is how you develop a culture and how a community of people listens, is what creates their culture. So that's the theory in kind of a nutshell.

- From an interview with Pauline Oliveros, who will be performing this Saturday in Houston.

(On Houston in the 30s & 40s when Oliveros was a child, she says in the same interview: I lived in Houston, Texas. I was born in 1932 and grew up at a time when humans had less impact on the environment than they do today. I mean, now the frogs are leaving and vanishing. The frogs in my childhood could be heard loud and clear. Then of course, now so much is paved over with asphalt and cement that the cicadas are trapped and can't get out. But you can still hear wonderful stereophonic cicada sounds in Houston as you walk or drive down the street. And all of those sounds were very important to me in childhood. My mother and my grandmother were both piano teachers, so I heard piano music being played in the house from early morning until early evening as they practiced and gave their lessons. We had a phonograph, a wind up Victrola, on which I used to play records. I listened to them and loved it when the phonograph ran down so the music would start to droop; that was fun. I used to listen to my grandfather's crystal radio, and I loved the static that came out of it. It was so hard to tune to stations on that radio. Same thing with my father's short wave radio, I loved the whistles and pops and things that were in between the stations. Radio was a very, very prevalent influence in my childhood, and I loved the sounds made by the foley people, the sound effects for different radio programs. So those were the different sound influences on my childhood. Then of course, I went to all kinds of musical events. In Houston there was a lot happening in the musical scene. There was the symphony orchestra, musicals, recitals, and so on. So it was very rich, as far as my memory can tell you.)