Sound Meditation 

Photomontage is a ‘natural’ of our times. It is the inevitable next step in photography. It demands and uses all the resources and knowledge of straight photography, plus heavy doses of imagination and design. Photomontage originates in this multiple kind of life we are living... the chief function of montage is that of mirroring this complex life.

Barbara Morgan
A picture of a city at night-time with a large skyscraper in the foreground. A photo of a person’s ear is layered over the city image. 
Barbara Morgan; City-Sound, 1972; Carnegie Museum of Art: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Judd. © Barbara Morgan

Enjoy this meditation on sound, paired with Barbara Morgan’s City-Sound. Follow along with the audio or text below.

Step-by-Step Meditation

Listen to meditation on sound:

  1. Take a few moments to look at this photograph and observe the layering of the images.
  2. Consider the montage of the ear against the cityscape. Imagine the complexity of all the sounds heard in a city and how this photograph might serve as a visual mirroring of the many complex sounds of a city.
  3. Close your eyes and focus on the current sounds around you.
  4. Bring your attention to one sound at a time, labeling the sounds as you go. Try not to attach a feeling of pleasure or aversion to the sound. Simply notice and observe the sounds around you.
  5. Focus your attention on a single sound until you become aware of a new one. Then repeat the process, staying with the sound until a new one arises.
  6. Continue with this exercise for as long as you like as you use sound as a tool to build focus and awareness in the present moment.

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