Reading Response #2: Seven Metaphors for Listening

In this article, I was particularly intrigued by the paragraph entitled “Listening as Improvisation”. When looking at performance from a distance, the idea that there are performers and there is the audience is almost forced upon you. It seems clear that one section of the ‘group’ is performing something that the second ‘group’ is taking in. However, this paragraph seemed to suggest otherwise. It offered the idea that listening can just as equally be a “performance” of sorts. Listening can be improvised just as a sound can be improvised. I think this is an extremely important way of looking at listening, and one that I intend on improving upon as the semester goes on. The mood of the listener, the circumstances, and the setting can all enforce how the listener listens, but this can all change in an instance, giving the listener almost as much power as the performer in terms of how the piece is actually performed. This essay gave me the sense that although the performer is the one putting on a show, the listener(s) have just as much influence on how the overall performance go. I think this is an important point to recognize, that the listener is half of the piece, so he/she has just as much power in the situation.

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