Listening. It sounds so simple. Take your seat in the concert hall, sit back and listen. Put on a CD, turn up the volume and soak up the sounds. But, are we really listening? Or, are we losing the ability to truly listen and turning music into a barely-noticed audio backdrop for other activities?
“A lot of people hear without listening. Listening is done with the mind and the heart, and is captured by the memory. It demands concentration.”
Angela Hewitt, pianist
Hear Here! was the UK’s first classical music project dedicated to listening presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society and Classic FM, and supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. It embarked on a journey of discovery over two years from January 2008, and explored the many different facets of listening to music, one of the most profound and complex aspects of human existence.
Each month a different aspect of listening provided the starting point for a range of live performances, participatory events, Classic FM programmes and online activities with contributions from musicians, writers, academics, artists and world leading auditory scientists.
The concert experience, how the ear works, what a musician listens to and the words we choose to explain what we hear - all these aspects and more were examined, together with the differences between recorded and live music, and the effects of the environment, memory, emotions, vision, hearing impairment and silence.