But how, exactly, does one become a more active, more aware listener?
Gordon Hempton, co-founder of QPI, said that by paying closer attention to the sounds around us in our daily lives, we can become better listeners on our travels. “Listen to the place. Listen to where you are. How do you feel? Notice how you feel.” Hempton said doing such exercises at home and in new environments improves our “aural horizon.”
Hempton encourages travelers to go out into nature and embrace the differences in our auditory horizon as if we were our nomadic ancestors. “We are as descendants of nomadic hunters and gatherers,” he said. “Earth is a solar-powered jukebox. No matter where you go – even a short distance on planet Earth, sounds change in the space around you. Not only that, but they change in depending on the time of day. So when we take this approaching… no matter where you go, [you’ll have] this moment a-ha.”
Months after emerging from the dark cavern, halfway around the world in my Los Angeles home, I find myself putting on my headphones and listening to the trickle of water falling inside the mystical cave. fairies. When I close my eyes, I feel the jet of water on my skin, the impression of letting my ears take me on a distant adventure. Mentally, I’m back at it – if only for a moment.
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