The Umbilical Cord to LIfe

Wolfgang Fasser – Through the Looking Glass of Listening

A while back, a friend of mine gave me a DVD of a beautiful documentary film called, “Nel Giardino del Suoni” – In the Garden of Sound. It’s a glimpse into the life and work of Wolfgang Fasser, a blind musician, therapist and sound recordist. The award-winning film shows Wolfgang working with a group of young patients, each of which is facing challenges to their health and well-being. With patience, humor, sounds and music, Wolfgang slowly gains the trust of his patients, helping them to learn new ways of expressing themselves. We’re listening to a dawn chorus recorded by Wolfgang at a forest near his home in Switzerland.
Ambience: dawn chorus , Risveglio forest, Switzerland

I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, welcoming Wolfgang Fasser to the program.

Jim Metzner: Wolfgang, I wonder if there are any stories, any insights you’ve had from your long career and being both a therapist and a musician, where you’ve felt and learned from, the magic of listening. I know that’s a big question. Maybe we could start more small, but, uh, I figured we’d start Big .

Wolfgang Fasser :
No, thank you. It gives me an open door. Listening is for me, the umbilical court to life. I’m just by nature (a) listener. It’s not only because I am blind. I listen and listening for me creates images, creates — it’s connected. It’s the world – listening.

I’m just interested in listening. Any kind, anything. Let’s say as a music therapist, I have to listen to my patient. I like to purify my listening until I come to a open unconditioned listening, just listening in here and now – that phenomena. Without thinking, without understanding, without already organizing something or thinking on the response, just open unconditioned listening. This is something which I’mworking on. And I’m fascinated how much the world expresses itself. The world means, myself, the other, the community, the world, the nature, even Mother Earth, heaven. So listening is just a baseline of my life.
Wolfgang Fasser
I like to listen as well to just the sounds of the atmosphere. Our atmosphere and the solar wind and so on makes the “shhh” in the, the atmosphere. Probably in old times when you listened (to) medium wave, you could hear this type of atmospherics.

Ambience: Whistlers

Jim Metzner: The atmospheric phenomena Wolfgang is speaking of are very low frequency signals that can be picked up with special receiving apparatuses. Some of these signals are called Whistlers and they’re caused by lightning.

Wolfgang Fasser: And then of course, I love to listen to the world, to the sound of the people, the sound in the village, the sound of nature. For me it’s just an open door to life listening.

Ambience: village sounds, non-distinct conversations.

And we all know when we do recordings, you never hear all, everything which happened. When you then listen to your soundscape as to your material, you’re surprised. And when you listen four or five times, you will hear much more, which you couldn’t hear before. You always have a filter. And here, this practice of unconditioned listening, which makes you open for that, what is in that here and now? So all these topics, I’m so interested and I love it.
And I want to know what makes a sound. What is — let’s say a bird when he’s singing, who is that bird? What’s he doing now? Or let’s say now I can hear in, in my background, there are the, the bells from the church, and they do some reflections, and sometimes I can hear some strange reflections. Just, it comes from the sounds of the the bells being reflected somewhere from the mountains and all this — to listen selectively in that sound of that reflection. So everything which is sound is for me, interesting and listening to it in the various possibility to listen. There is not one way to listen, but there is a art of listening, and you can become a friend of listening and open up your abilities to hear, which is great.

Church Bell sounds – Fulde Germany
Dawn Chorus, Switzerland

My thanks to Wolfgang Fasser. The film Nel Giardino del Suoni is available on a number of streaming platforms. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

The Umbilical Cord to LIfe

A blind musical therapist revels in the sounds of the world.
Air Date:05/08/2023
Scientist:
Transcript:

Wolfgang Fasser – Through the Looking Glass of Listening A while back, a friend of mine gave me a DVD of a beautiful documentary film called, “Nel Giardino del Suoni” – In the Garden of Sound. It’s a glimpse into the life and work of Wolfgang Fasser, a blind musician, therapist and sound recordist. The award-winning film shows Wolfgang working with a group of young patients, each of which is facing challenges to their health and well-being. With patience, humor, sounds and music, Wolfgang slowly gains the trust of his patients, helping them to learn new ways of expressing themselves. We’re listening to a dawn chorus recorded by Wolfgang at a forest near his home in Switzerland. Ambience: dawn chorus , Risveglio forest, Switzerland I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, welcoming Wolfgang Fasser to the program. Jim Metzner: Wolfgang, I wonder if there are any stories, any insights you've had from your long career and being both a therapist and a musician, where you've felt and learned from, the magic of listening. I know that's a big question. Maybe we could start more small, but, uh, I figured we'd start Big . Wolfgang Fasser : No, thank you. It gives me an open door. Listening is for me, the umbilical court to life. I'm just by nature (a) listener. It's not only because I am blind. I listen and listening for me creates images, creates -- it's connected. It's the world - listening. I'm just interested in listening. Any kind, anything. Let's say as a music therapist, I have to listen to my patient. I like to purify my listening until I come to a open unconditioned listening, just listening in here and now - that phenomena. Without thinking, without understanding, without already organizing something or thinking on the response, just open unconditioned listening. This is something which I'mworking on. And I'm fascinated how much the world expresses itself. The world means, myself, the other, the community, the world, the nature, even Mother Earth, heaven. So listening is just a baseline of my life. Wolfgang Fasser I like to listen as well to just the sounds of the atmosphere. Our atmosphere and the solar wind and so on makes the “shhh” in the, the atmosphere. Probably in old times when you listened (to) medium wave, you could hear this type of atmospherics. Ambience: Whistlers Jim Metzner: The atmospheric phenomena Wolfgang is speaking of are very low frequency signals that can be picked up with special receiving apparatuses. Some of these signals are called Whistlers and they’re caused by lightning. Wolfgang Fasser: And then of course, I love to listen to the world, to the sound of the people, the sound in the village, the sound of nature. For me it's just an open door to life listening. Ambience: village sounds, non-distinct conversations. And we all know when we do recordings, you never hear all, everything which happened. When you then listen to your soundscape as to your material, you're surprised. And when you listen four or five times, you will hear much more, which you couldn't hear before. You always have a filter. And here, this practice of unconditioned listening, which makes you open for that, what is in that here and now? So all these topics, I'm so interested and I love it. And I want to know what makes a sound. What is --- let's say a bird when he's singing, who is that bird? What's he doing now? Or let's say now I can hear in, in my background, there are the, the bells from the church, and they do some reflections, and sometimes I can hear some strange reflections. Just, it comes from the sounds of the the bells being reflected somewhere from the mountains and all this -- to listen selectively in that sound of that reflection. So everything which is sound is for me, interesting and listening to it in the various possibility to listen. There is not one way to listen, but there is a art of listening, and you can become a friend of listening and open up your abilities to hear, which is great. Church Bell sounds – Fulde Germany Dawn Chorus, Switzerland My thanks to Wolfgang Fasser. The film Nel Giardino del Suoni is available on a number of streaming platforms. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.