Stephanie Loveless Named New Director of Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer

Stephanie Loveless, Director, Center for Deep Listening

July 20, 2020

Stephanie Loveless Named New Director of Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer

Unique hub continues the groundbreaking work of the late music pioneer Pauline Oliveros

Stephanie Loveless has been named the new director of the Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which stewards the philosophy and practices of sonic awareness pioneered by the late Pauline Oliveros.

A central figure in the development of electronic music and a distinguished research professor of music at Rensselaer, Oliveros pioneered the concept of Deep Listening, a practice she described as “listening with your whole body.” Established in 2014, the Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer serves as the archival repository for the groundbreaking work of Oliveros, who died in 2016. It continues to be a global leader in the development and delivery of Deep Listening training and certification and the dominant research center fostering innovation in the world of sound.

Loveless, a lecturer in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) at Rensselaer, will guide the center’s efforts to promote and develop Deep Listening through education and outreach. In addition to incorporating key Deep Listening concepts like mindfulness, creativity, and well-being into coursework throughout Rensselaer, the center provides youth programs for the Troy community.

“The skills involved in Deep Listening have powerful social and political dimensions that are relevant in today’s divided world,” Loveless said. “Listening is not simply passive and receptive. It also allows one to respond with appropriate action, while respecting the agency of others. Skills for listening from the ground up are sorely needed in this time of political and ecological turmoil.”

One of the center’s newest initiatives is the creation of a network of organizations that explore how sound and listening studies can contribute to social and ecological justice issues.

“This new chapter in the Center for Deep Listening will extend Pauline’s unique and powerful legacy and build upon her critical work in developing this field,” said Mary Simoni, dean of the School of HASS. “I spent many years working with and was certified by Pauline herself. Stephanie Loveless shares this vision that is informed by a true understanding of the long history of Deep Listening at Rensselaer and the power of this practice to build meaningful communities.”

Loveless, who also studied with Oliveros and earned a certification in Deep Listening, succeeds retiring center director Tomie Hahn. Loveless is a sound and media artist whose research centers on listening and vocal embodiment. She received master’s degrees from Bard College and Rensselaer.

“Learning these ideas directly from Pauline was a life-changing experience,” Loveless said. “She created these spaces for connection to yourself, others, and your surroundings in both playful and deeply meaningful ways. It changed the direction of my career and opened my ears to the power of sound and listening to heal and build community.”


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