Remembering Tom Dougherty
Tom Dougherty passed away peacefully at 11:30 AM California time this morning. We had been making beautiful sounds with bells and gongs; Pauline's windchimes were also sounding outside the room.

I am convinced his spirit is moving toward the light and know you will keep him in your thoughts.

Thank you for your support over the past difficult year and a half. We had such wonderful experiences during that time in Santa Fe, New York, and San Francisco with the Deep Listeners and those experiences are helping Tom on his journey.

Harvey Lehtman


Tom Dougherty died Thursday July 13, at his home in Los Altos, California from a brain tumor. He was 38 years old.

He graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 1984 and received his doctorate in Cognitive Psychology from the Claremont Graduate School in 1993. He was a Computer Human Interaction consultant, principally employed by the Interval Research Corporation, from 1995 through 1998. From 1992 to 1995 he was an Interaction Designer and Usability Specialist at Taligent, Inc. Tom was also an accomplished musician and composer. He attended several of Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening retreats in New Mexico. He performed with Pauline and other Deep Listeners at Mills College, at UC Berkeley, and in New Mexico.

He leaves his partner of nine years, Harvey Lehtman, of Los Altos, CA; his mother, Nancy Atkinson, of Rhododendron, OR; and his brother, Douglas C. Dougherty of Gearhart, OR.

Some pictures of Tom have been posted by friends of his at the following web site:

Tom created three online Deep Listening Newsletters:
  Winter, 1995
  Winter/Spring, 1996
  Winter, 1997

Words from Friends

Goodbye Tom
our dancer
our french singer
our choir conductor

we will miss your voice
out there in the
Sangre de Cristo Mountains

I will miss
your laughter

I wish you

the galaxies
are greeting!


Tomster, Tomsterina, the Tommy-tom, Tim-tom the touchstone, Tim-tom Toonie-tune, thinking about my Tomster, the Toaster Tomster, Tinkling Thomasinas for all the tomster fans, twirling tunes for the Tomskina, Threading Tiny Toms to Tommorrow, Taking Tommorrow to Tom-Town, Thanking the Tommeister for his tidy tunes to Tune our hearts with him Famous Tomster diaper-dance. The one and only Toe-mas Trickling Tinkerbells through our Tickles, Bubbling tickles thinking of the Tom-ster, tickles bubbling to your toes, flying up your body, filling up your body with twinkling bubble tickles tracing the strength of the Tomsteroid! Taking hold of the trouble-free tomster twirling safely to tommorrow, to tingling terrific tubs of peace, tossed gently by his truly loving friends, lighting the way to a safe tour of light and bubbles, each infinite bubble a neverrending kiss to his twinkling truth of total thermometric tradewind transcendent soul.

Timpanicly, truthfully, truly sincerely,
your friend,


Spoke to Harvey and Tom
today. Tom was able to respond
with a hi (his old California hi!
which was a special gift as H. 
had just told me
not to expect any response)
and then I was left
with the intensity of his
listening over 
the Atlantic Ocean
and into outer space
while I attempted 
to express what he means
to me over the ocean
and back into outer space and
down into his precious,
shell-like, galaxy-like ear. 
Harvey eased this
along with his compassionate
voice responding to help
verbalize the flow between 
Tom and me.(T. is smiling,
he is kissing the phone, he
is moving his eyebrow, etc.)
Harvey told me they
had had a wonderful year

I will never forget
Tom's dance solo in
my Rose Mtn. opera
"Signs and Wonders."
He reminded me of 
the great Nijinsky, the
Tartar eyes and the 
consciousness so 
I described what I 
imagined him doing
and with the totality 
of a Nijinsky and
a Tom Dougherty
he danced with just 
a little silk scarf of
Heloise's tied around
him artfully and danced
before our closed eyes
until the signal to open
them.  When
people saw him in his 
magnificence there was
an uproar of laughter
which I had not expected
at all. I felt a bit 
misunderstood and confused
but everyone seemed
happy, especially Tom
so I went with it.
The piece was called
"Dance Nijinsky, Dance!"
In my mind Tom
will always be a dancer.

Love, Abbie


Dear DLears,

Yesterday an extraordinary
thing happened. During a
session of brainstorming
by perusing through various 
editions of Dante's
 _Divine Comedy_,
Bill was leafing through
a large book of reproductions
of renaissance paintings
and frescoes of images
from the third part of
the "Commedia" entitled,
Paradiso.  As he leafed
through an idea came to him:

He asked me what
the name of the chapel 
was in Santa Fe with
"the miraculous staircase"
and said that we should 
perform our piece
"Music for the End
of Time" there in
memory of Tom 

I said I thought it was 
a great idea. Bill continued 
looking at the book
and toward the end,
stuck between the pages,
were a few 3"X5" index cards. 
On top was a picture postcard
of the "Miraculous Staircase."
Bill  was astounded and
said, "Look at this!"  We thought 
it quite a coincidence and 
chatted about it.

After a moment Bill wanted to 
continue looking at the book.
He started to move the index 
cards and was shocked again.
The top index card said:

"'Dance Nijinsky, Dance.'
for Tom Dougherty."

It was my long lost 
score to Tom's piece.
Needless to say I was
stunned to tears and 
so deeply moved I felt
almost transparent.

After a while we noticed 
these cards
were in the book at
a full page copy of a 
fresco from "Paradiso" 
"A woman clothed
with the sun"  which is
the final movement of
"Music for the End of Time." 

Love, Abbie


Dearest Abbie,

I know it seems incredible but these things do happen! Two Valentines Days in a row, I suddenly came across Valentines Joe had sent me years before. I've had countless moments like this. I even had an experience one day when really distressed while driving, where a private plane drew the exact replica of Joe's "last piece" as he called it (it was never written) as if to say, I'm here, Wen, don't give up. These are all blessings! And a message that they are still alive....that love survives.

That experience you described was Tom...hi Tom!

Much love,

I too have been thinking a lot about the yak-wackies or wak-talkies. And "Whose your Supercot-playpen, Supercot-plaype en? You know it has been almost a year since Tom's Plan B performance and I still haven't figured out who my Supercot-playpen is. I may spend the rest of my life searching for this playpen.
Or Perhaps it was Tom all along.
I was teaching a creative movement class for children last week and I used bubbles in the class. I realized while watching the bubbles that The sound of Tom's Yak-Wackey piece looked like bubbles. Mostly solid ones in bright colors. They were bouncing around the Plan B Space and there was salt and pepper for the food we were looking for.(big flakes)
This is my sound memory of Tom.


I remember well, as if from a dream,
It was very beautiful how Tom soared .
I have memories too,


tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom




I had the opportunity to visit Tom at his home yesterday and wanted to tell you how he is. As Harvey had told me on the phone, Tom has been sleeping alot. He did wake up just as I was arriving around 2pm, and he recognized me before he fell asleep again. For the next hour and a half, he drifted in and out of sleep while I improvised some lyre and shakuhachi. At one point, he held the shakuhachi and seemed to enjoy the smoothness of the bamboo. He looked very calm and wasn't experiencing any pain. Harvey said that the hospice people have been excellent at pain management. Friends have been dropping in to offer music and support to Harvey, Tom's mother Nancy, and Tom's brother Doug.

Tom is in a hospital bed in a back bedroom that overlooks their garden and patio. There is an altar with a large vase of sunflowers, some quartz, a card of Buddha's face, and a picture of Tom with Pauline. It is very peaceful, with sounds of a quiet fountain and occasionally a wind chime (that Harvey said is tuned to Pauline's specifications.). It was a blessing to enter such a calm, sacred space, and an honor to offer sounds to Tom. The simplest sounds felt the best. It is at times like this that I am deeply happy to be able to play music.

As Harvey said, it is day by day now.



The Satyr leaping
that pixie/elfin mountain
goat-footed Dionysian
Najinsky floats roaring
through my dreams
thoroughly Tom

- -Norman



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Pauline Oliveros Foundation