The History of Deep Listening Institute


Mission Statement

Across Boundaries, Across Abilities

Deep Listening Institute (DLI) promoted the music and Deep Listening practice of pioneer composer Pauline Oliveros, providing a unique approach to music, literature, art, meditation, technology and healing.  It fosters creative innovation across boundaries and across abilities, among artists and audience, musicians and non-musicians, healers and the physically or cognitively challenged, and children of all ages.

DLI supported and was supported by a worldwide network of musicians, artists, scientists and certified Deep Listening practitioners, an ever-growing community of Deep Listeners who strive for a heightened consciousness of the world of sound and the sound of the world.  It provided a platform for composers, sound artists and improvisers of experimental new music and media, including recording, publication, distribution and booking services, the Deep Listening catalog, artist in residency programs, and the development of new sound technologies.  Through Deep Listening workshops, retreats, intensives, online webinars, and certificate programs, DLI expands the Deep Listening practice and community.

The Institute has always recognized the importance of emerging technologies in building the creative community, particularly telematics technologies like SKYPE, streaming and other internet applications including social media.  The Telematic Circle on the DLI website allows musicians from distant venues to perform with each other in real time.  DLI’s provides advice and technical support for telematics activities.  Online “Dream Residencies,” in conjunction with an Annual Dream Festival feature Deep Listening Certificate holders  and others participating in  music, sound art, dream telling, live performance and children’s dream art. All are available in real time as well as in archives on the DLI website.

Finally, the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI), free software developed by Oliveros and her students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with continuing research and development by the DLI AUMI team, is enabling children with extreme physical and cognitive disabilities to play music and improvise with each other, often for the first time.

The Deep Listening Institute was committed to making the practice of Deep Listening accessible to all people of all abilities, helping them enjoy a richer and more creative life and building a community more attuned to the harmonies of the world.


There’s more to listening than meets the ear.  Pauline Oliveros herself describes Deep Listening as “listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what one is doing.”  Basically Deep Listening, as developed by Oliveros, explores the difference between the involuntary nature of hearing and the voluntary, selective nature – exclusive and inclusive -- of listening.  The practice includes bodywork, sonic meditations, interactive performance, listening to the sounds of daily life, nature, one’s own thoughts, imagination and dreams, and listening to listening itself.  It cultivates a heightened awareness of the sonic environment, both external and internal, and promotes experimentation, improvisation, collaboration, playfulness and other creative skills vital to personal and community growth.  Plus it’s a ton of fun.

Books on Deep Listening:

Deep Listening: A Composers' Sound Practice by Pauline Oliveros
Listening in Dreams by Ione
Deeply Listening Body by Heloise Gold
Anthology of Essays on Deep Listening - Monique Buzzarté & Tom Bickley, editors


Pauline Oliveros
Executive Director

Photo by Mark McCarthyPauline Oliveros (1932) has influenced American music extensively in her career spanning more than 60 years as a composer, performer, author and philosopher. She pioneered the concept of Deep Listening, her practice based upon principles of improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation, designed to inspire both trained and untrained musicians to practice the art of listening and responding to environmental conditions in solo and ensemble situations. During the mid-'60s she served as the first director of the Tape Music Center at Mills College, aka Center for Contemporary Music followed by 14-years as Professor of Music and 3 years as Director of the Center for Music Experiment at the University of California at San Diego. Since 2001 she has served as Distinguished Research Professor of Music  in the Arts department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where she is engaged in research on a National Science Foundation CreativeIT project. Her research interests include improvisation, special needs interfaces and telepresence teaching and performing. She also serves as  Darius Milhaud Composer in Residence at Mills College doing telepresence teaching and she is  executive director of Deep Listening Institute, Ltd. where she leads projects in Deep Listening, Adaptive Use Interface. She is the recipient of the 2009 William Schuman Award from Columbia University for lifetime achievement.  A retrospective from 1960 to 2010 was performed at Miller Theater, Columbia University in New York March 27, 2010 in conjunction with the Schuman award. She received a third honorary degree from DeMontort University, Leicester, UK July 23, 2010. Recent recordings include Pauline Oliveros & Miya Masaoka and Pauine Oliveros & Chris Brown on Deep Listening.

Website | MySpace | Blog
All Releases by Pauline Oliveros 

Artistic Director

Picture of Ione in a performanceIone is an author/playwright/director and an improvising word/sound artist. Her works include the critically acclaimed memoir, Pride of Family; Four Generations of American Women of Color, Nile Night, Remembered Texts from The Deep, Listening in Dreams & This is a Dream!  She is playwright and director of Njinga the Queen King, (BAM's Next Wave Festival) the dance opera Io and Her and the Trouble with Him (Union Theater, Wisconsin), The Lunar Opera; Deep Listening For_Tunes, (Lincoln Center Out of Doors) and the experimental narrative film Dreams of the Jungfrau, shot high in the Swiss Alps. All feature music and sound design by Pauline Oliveros. She and Oliveros are currently collaborating with Egyptian artists on The Nubian Word for Flowers, A Phantom Opera.  Inspired by the Nubian Diaspora and the life of Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener of Khartoum, the opera is "a deep dream exploration of the Colonial Mind".  A specialist in dreams and the creative process, Ione conducts retreats throughout the world. She is Artistic Director of Deep Listening Institute, Ltd. and Director of the Ministry of Maåt, Inc. Both organizations act to foster harmonious world community.

Website | Ministry of Maåt
All Releases by Ione


Deep Listening Institute, Ltd. History and Time-Line Highlights


  • Pauline Oliveros @ 80 Celebrations throughout the year and around the globe including concerts, parties and releases
  • Pauline Oliveros receives Foundation for Contemporary Arts' John Cage Award, the first female composer to be honored
  • Release of 12-CD box set Reverberations: Electronic and Tape Music 1961-1970 by Pauline Oliveros
  • Oliveros' presents keynote address for "Her Noise" Symposium at the Tate Modern in London UK
  • Release of DL Publication's Anthology of Essays on Deep Listening, editors Monique Buzzarté & Tom Bickley
  • Pauline Oliveros receives ZKM's Giga Hertz Award in Germany, becoming the first woman and first non-European to be honored
  • Deep Listening Band Concerts with Cistern Simulation at EMPAC in Troy NY and Band on a Can Marathon at Winter Garden in Battery Park, NYC with guests Brian Pertl and Jonas Braasch
  • Deep Listening Intensives at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY, Ratna Ling Retreat Center in Sonoma County CA, Mills College in Oakland CA
  • Memorial Concert for David Gamper at Roulette in NYC
  • Reception for Artist-in-Residence Viv Corringham'sArrivals: Kingston iPhone app along the Rondout Creek in Kingston, NY
  • Ione's 18th Annual Dream Festival: 3 months of dream-related activities featuring on-line Dream Residencies on the Dream Festival Facebook page, Annual Dreamers' Marathon at Mount Tremper Arts in Mount Tremper NY, Annual Dream Art Workshop for kids and Overnight Dreaming in Second Life


  • World Premiere of Pauline Oliveros' site-specific performance Tower Ring in Ann Hamilton's Tower at Oliver Ranch, Sonoma County, CA.  Featuring the Deep Listening Band, Ione, Cardew Choir and students from Mills College
  • Deep Listening Band Residencies at the Town Hall in Seattle WA and Lawrence University in Appleton WI
  • Artist Residency with Pauline Oliveros and Roscoe Mitchell for Angelica Festival in Bologna, Italy
  • Performance of Sun, Moon and Stars in Porto, Portugal featuring Ione, Pauline Oliveros, Elaine Summers, Jason Hwang and Kiori Kawai
  • Deep Listening Intensives in Bern Switzerland, Halifax Newfoundland, Miami FL, Ottawa Canada and Kingston NY
  • Ione's 16th Annual Dream Festival - two month festival with virtual residencies, performances in Kingston NY with collaboration with O+ Festival
  • 2nd Annual Dream Stream - on-line performances around the world broadcasted via DLI's channel
  • Pauline Oliveros and Ione Artist Residency in Venice, Italy


  • 20th Anniversary of Deep Listening Retreats with two retreats in Camallera, Spain and Petaluma, California
  • Pauline and Ione exhibit Sonic Meditations and Dreams of the Jungfrau in Girona, Spain.
  •  Pauline's first performance with Barre Phillips at Jazz Luz Festival in France
  • Pauline’s concert Voice and the Body.  Performance was curated by In Famous Carousel. Performed in the Great Hall of the Pompidou Centre in Paris, France
  • Adaptive Use Musical Instruments Project team presentations in London, Guelph Jazz Festival in Ontario Canada and National Music Therapy Conference in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Pauline Oliveros receives 3rd Honorary Doctorate from DeMontfort University in Leicester UK
  • Columbia University Tribute concert to honor Pauline with William Schuman award at Miller Theatre
  • Inception of Deep Listening Space Film Series and Under the Radar Concert Series
  • Ione's 15th Annual Dream Festival with Dream Festival Artist-in-Residence Viv Corringham, inauguration of Dream Stream Festival of mini-concerts on-line and Art on the Wall Virtual Gallery Series.
  • Inauguration of Deep Listening Study Groups Portal on Facebook and Deep Listening Intensives.


  • SoundLight Migrations- honoring San Francisco Tape Music Center and Pauline at Mills College
  • Big Deep: Deep Listening Benefit at the Kitchen with Deep Listening Band, Roscoe Mitchell, Benton-C and DJ Olive
  • PhonoFemme Festival in Austria Vienna. DLI represented one of three international platforms with Pauline Oliveros, Ione, Miya Masaoka, Maria Chavez and Alex Chechile
  • Deep Listening Band returns to the Cistern at Ft. Worden, Port Townsend WA to record and observe the 20th anniversary of the Deep Listening recording released by New Albion
  • Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music - World premiere of Pauline Oliveros’ Droniphonia with iPhones, spatialization, streaming environments and multiple instruments(2009)
  • Inception of Digital Download Media Store on
  • Banff Centre Artist Residency with Pauline Oliveros, Ione, Norman Adams, John DS Adams and Chris Chafe (EHRES), Banff, Alberta Canada
  • Publication of Deep Listening Anthology which includes 25 contributors from the Deep Listening International community
  • 19th annual Deep Listening retreats in Dartington UK and Rose Mountain, NM
  • Adaptive Use Musical Instruments for the physically challenged updated software available for download.
  • 14th Annual Dream Festival - Live broadcasting of Dream Festival events and marathon with telematic performances from the Netherlands, Australia and Argentina, Kingston NY via DL’s channel
  • Horns of Hathor (Pauline Oliveros & Ione) performance at FirstWorks Festival in Providence, RI


  • 13th Annual Dream Festival – Inception of first International Dreamers’ Blog
  • Performance of Pauline Oliveros with Cecil Taylor. Part of the Grand Opening of EMPAC at RPI, Troy, NY
  • 18th Annual Deep Listening Retreat in Cork, Ireland
  • Quiet Music Festival performances by participants of the DL retreat, the Quiet Music Ensemble and Europe premiere of Dreams of the Jungfrau in Cork Ireland
  • Camargo Foundation Residency, Cassis, France - Pauline Oliveros/Ione
  • 9th Annual Women and Identity Festival with first virtual residency of women artists from North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
  • Telemergence - New works for the telematic medium.
  • Artist Residency with Pauline Oliveros at Romanischer Sommer Köln Festival – Teaching workshops and performances, Cologne, Germany


  • 17th Annual Deep Listening Retreat. Lifebridge Sanctuary, High Falls NY
  • World Wide Tuning Meditation with Pauline Oliveros, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, NYC
  • NYC Premiere of Dreams of the Jungfrau, a new experimental narrative film written and directed by Ione, music and sound design by Pauline Oliveros
  • 12th Annual Dream Festival – Concerts streaming live into Second Life Dream Festival
  • Pauline Oliveros receives a Fulbright Senior Specialist award to travel to New Zealand in the summer of 2007 to present improvisations and study local musician's improvisations.
  • Deep Listening Gathering and Convergence; The virtual residency begins with fifty musicians invited to discuss ideas and rehearse online supported by the New York State Music Fund.


  • DLI receives $65,000 from the New York State Music Fund to create ensembles among fifty musicians in an virtual online residency culminating in a physical residency and three concerts in Upstate New York in Troy, Hudson and Kingston in June 2007.
  • Planetary Soundpaintings: DLI's label manager Al Margolis composed and performed "Mercury" with Sarah Weaver and Weave Soundpainting Orchestra on March 5, 2006 in Chicago, IL initiating a two year project. Composers who hold Deep Listening Certificates are offered commissions to compose a piece with a planet as a focus for Weave directed by Sarah Weaver.
  • The Sixteenth Annual Deep Listening Retreat is held at Rose Mountain Retreat Center in New Mexico.


  • Pauline Oliveros Foundation (POF) becomes Deep Listening Institute, Ltd. (DLI)
  • Rothko Chapel performance: Pauline Oliveros, accordion with the Youth Improvisation Ensemble under the direction of David Dove from Deep Listening Institute Houston.
  • DomeWorks; Pauline Oliveros directs DLI's DomeWorks project with eight associate artists, creating multi-media pieces for a 20 foot portable geodesic dome with 8 channel surround sound, as master artist in residence for three weeks at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach FL
  • Deep Listening releases two new compact discs: Deep Time by the extraordinary Swiss percussionist Fritz Hauser, commissioned and performed by the Deep Listening Band with Hauser; and Things Heard Unheard, by Brooklyn percussionist Brian Willson with his trio.
  • Ione's 10th Annual Dream Festival provided a full month's activities in October featuring the marvelous shoe dance Labyrinth by Canadians Yvonne Ng, dancer/choreographer and Anne Bourne, cellist. Dream Stream, an all night performance for dreaming audience created by DLI intern
    and composer Zevin Polzin with performed visual projections created by Diana Slattery, a reading and book party with Jill Johnston, and Dreamscape a solo percussion journey by Fritz Hauser.
  • Pauline Oliveros, accordion and EIS and Ione, spoken word and sonic vocals perform together in the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa Japan

• Deep Listening releases its first DVD: "Recording Field H", featuring the live-electronic performance ensemble "interface," (Curtis Bahn,"Sensor/Speaker Performer (SSPeaPer)", Dan Trueman "Bowed Sensor/Speaker Array (BoSSA.),"and Tomie Hahn, dance, with guest artist Pauline Oliveros, "Expanded Instrument System (EIS)". The DVD includes three extended improvisations, and the Bahn/Hahn interactive dance pieces "streams," and "Pikapika"

• The Deep Listening House Band initiated by Intern Sarah Weaver and Deep Listening apprentice William Stevens meet weekly to do listening practices and rehearse Deep Listening Pieces by Oliveros. This work is new to many musicians.

• The distinguished American composer Morton Subotnik demonstrates his Creating Music CD-roms for parents and Educators. followed by a workshop for children Ages 7-13. is a children's online creative music environment for children of all ages. It's a place for kids to compose music, play with musical performance, music games and music puzzles.

Women and Identity Festival 2004

• Trombone Alone: Monique Buzzarté performs New Music by Women: commissioned compositions for her trombone, tape, electronics, and live processing. Miortiza by Alice Shields, The Left of Time by Anne LeBaron, Three Meditations on War at Home by K. Teremi Shorb, and Snapdragon by Alexandra Gardner, as well as a special holiday surprise by Buzzarté.

• Concentration Camp: an Installation by Jone Miller of the Floating Foundation for Photography

• Always Creative, Elders as Teachers of Collaboration: Video and Discussion, by Linda Montano with Tobe Carey

• The Alternating Currents Series presents works by young composers and performers curated by graduate students from area colleges and universities on the second Thursday of each month.

• Sounding the Margins: A Forty Year Retrospective of the Music of Pauline Oliveros with the Meridian Gallery and Mills College at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater in San Francisco.

• The Library of Maps: An Opera in Many Parts with text by Moira Roth, music and sound design by Pauline Oliveros

• Io and Her and the Trouble with Him' - a dance opera performed in the Union Theater, University of Wisconsin Madison.

• POF - Houston established in Texas

• POF - Bay Area established in California

• Lunar Opera:Deep Listening For_Tunes; performed during Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors

• Ten Year Celebration Deep Listening Retreats

• Three Year Deep Listening Certificate program's third graduating class: 2 individuals from Canada and Switzerland

• Ione's Fifth Annual Dream Festival

• Fifth Annual Celebration of Cultures concert series


• Fourth Annual Celebration of 'Cultures' concert series

• Ione's Fourth Annual Dream Festival

• Three Year Deep Listening Certificate program's second graduating class: 2 individuals from the United States.

• Two Graduates of the Certificate program enter the five year Deep Listening Apprentice program


• Deep Listening Band Decade Concerts

• Third Annual Celebration of 'Cultures' concert series

• Ione's Third Annual 'Dream Festival'

• Three Year Deep Listening Certificate program's first graduating class: seven individuals from the United States, Germany, Canada, and Switzerland

• Initation of five year Deep Listening Apprentice program

• Ione's Second Annual Dream Festival

• Celebration of Cultures concert series

• Establishment of DeepL, an email list for the Deep Listening community

• Celebration of Cultures concert series inaugurated

• Ione's First Dream Festival

• Establishment of the three year Deep Listening Certificate program

• Deep Listening Space building purchased August 13, 1996

• Deep Listening Band performs a virtual concert from New York with other ensembles interacting musically with the Band while originating from Paris and Toronto.

• Mode Records releases 'Deep Listening Sanctuary,' a compact disc recorded by the Deep Listening Band in Kingston's Trinity United Methodist Church.

• Foundation sponsors Swiss musician, Margrit Schenker (accordion/voice) in year-long artist residency in Kingston.

• First live interactive multi media TV performance on Njinga themes broadcast live from IEAR Studio in Troy, NY. Local artists interacting with distance participation by artists from other locations via Picture-Tel, live phone-in and Internet.

• 'Njinga the Queen King' performed in Lisbon, Portugal with a grant from the Gulbenkian Foundation, at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and Brooklyn Academy of Music.

• Deep Listening Catalog available on the Internet.

• POF sponsors an ensemble of artists in residence: Tom Buckner, George Marsh, Jennifer Wilsey.

• 'The Ready Made Boomerang' is recorded by Deep Listening Band with guest artists William O. Smith and Thomasa Eckhart. Compact disc released by New Albion.

• Five hour marathon concert of Deep Listening Band at Panasonic Hall, Tokyo. The multi-media event, broadcast over 700 speakers, included Japanese instrumentalists, dancers and video artists.

• 'Pride of Family: Four Generations of American Women of Color' by Carole Ione is published by Summit Press/Simon Shuster.

• 'Njinga The Queen King' is commissioned by the Yellow Springs Institute, Chester, PA, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN and Brooklyn Academy of Music, NY, and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Workshop/performance at Yellow Springs Institute.

• Deep Listening Band commissions 'Deep Time' by Fritz Hauser

• 'Njinga the Queen King' work in progress presented in Kingston Urban Cultural Park by the Njinga Players and neighborhood volunteers.

• Fritz Hauser, Swiss percussionist, is Foundation's first foreign artist in residence in Kingston, NY

• Pauline Oliveros and Ione travel to Salvador da Bahia, Brazil to research 'Njinga The Queen King.'

• 'Troglodyte's Delight,' the Deep Listening Band's second compact disc released by 'What Next?' Recorded in Tarpaper Cave - Rosendale, NY 1989

• Establishment of Deep Listening Catalog with a list of fifty composers.

• Deep Listening CD, recorded in Ft. Worden Cistern in Washington state. Released by New Albion Records.

• Deep Listening is named one of the year's ten best recordings by Pulse Magazine and New Sounds -WNYC.

• Inspired by the Deep Listening CD, John Cage writes The Ready Made Boomerang - a mesostic.

Establishment of Deep Listening Band.

• Premiere of 'Echoes From the Moon,' an installation/performance by Morgan Ohara and Pauline Oliveros produced by the Pauline Oliveros Foundation and presented at Mobius Gallery in Boston. Echoes From the Moon was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

• Music for 'Njinga the Queen King' commissioned by the New York State Council on the Arts

• Judith Malina - poet and founder of The Living Theater, presented by Live Letters in New York City.

• Inaugural concert of new works by composers Anna Rubin, Shelley Hirsch, Lois V. Vierck, presented at the Dia Foundation, NYC.

  • Pauline Oliveros Foundation officially incorporated.

• Establishment of the Pauline Oliveros Foundation

Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer
Tomie Hahn Director
hahnt "at"