Tackling misophonia holistically and from an artistic background, the workshop Listening with Misophonia conveys methods of conscious listening. The aim is to cope with the disorder in active and constructive ways, so that an affected person may react more calmly and reflect what is happening when being triggered.
Misophonia usually begins during childhood and is characterized by sometimes fierce reactions towards certain sounds – they are perceived as attacks.
For me, triggers such as whispering, a certain tone of voice when people are talking on the phone in public, or situations with children playing have now and again triggered stress of varying intensity.
However, when I learned in 2021 that I am affected by misophonia, I no longer felt defenceless against such noise attacks and could react in a more relaxed way in trigger situations.
The ability to do so, seems to me to be grounded in a form of conscious listening, and would thus be a concrete application of composer R. Murray Schafer’s suggestion to think about accompanying circumstances associated with sounds. The founder of the soundscape movement propagated listening as a source of knowledge – as did composer Pauline Oliveros with her concept of deep listening.
A grant from Berlin based Musikfonds e.V. for the summer/fall of 2022 enabled me to learn more about misophonia. In order to find out whether it is also possible for others to improve their way to deal with the disorder, I have been developing a workshop program of six units. It introduces new perspectives on listening, provides material for further reading or listening, and encourages practising. To enter the discussion, please refer to the Facebook group Listening with Misophonia.
Composer Pauline Oliveros’ Ideas About Deep Listening
If You Don’t Like a Sound, Listen Closely!
The Concept of Soundscapes
Meditating on Sound
When the World Turns Into a Sound Installation
An Introduction to Receptive Music Therapy