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Observe: Did You Hear That?

There is a piece of music called 4’33” by John Cage. The pianist (or another musician — it is unspecified) approaches their instrument and observes four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence structured into three movements. ‘That silent piece’ elevates the ambient sounds of the venue and the audience to an experiential context and invariably causes audiences to focus more deeply.

Today we will all participate in a piece called the commute to work. For some, this will involve trains, planes, and automobiles and for others walking, biking, or a shuffle from one space to another within their homes. No matter how far you are traveling, and how you choose to get there, there will be a soundscape. Created by music, a podcast, reading, the last few minutes of Game of Thrones, it is a personal soundscape often of our own choosing.

What if today, instead, you listened to the spaces around you? To the ambient sounds of those people and places. What if you focused deeply to hear past the annoying, or unimportant, to hear the whole fabric of your environment? Which is at that moment, your whole world.

What can your day become when you begin it by listening with your whole self?

Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit

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