Buried Sound Press
Exercises in Listening

Issue #1 
July 2016
— Sean O’Reilly
— Bruce Russell
— Jason Kahn

Issue #2  
December 2016
— Francisco López
— Simon Whetham
— Samuel Longmore

Issue #3  
May 2017
— Taylor Deupree
— Budhaditya Chattopadhyay
— Ziggy Lever & Xin Cheng

Issue #4
December 2018
Andrew Scott
Salomé Voegelin
Lawrence English & James Parker

Issue #5
December 2019
Jeph Jerman
Goh Lee Kwang
Phil Dadson


Issue #3

walking from Maori Bay to Muriwai 20160807

Ziggy Lever & Xin Cheng

(edited between Hamburg and Auckland 20170208)

20150317 Some Objects found With Xin Cheng Mangere

listening, something you do with your whole body
the way we move through the world paying attention in a certain way,
paying attention with how your feet touches the ground, your skin feeling
the wind, other aspects (breathing and tasting the air)

a kind of sensing
there is sensing and there is intuiting

when you make leaps between your senses
you might be feeling a particular way, seeing a particular colour… then you intuit
other colours, other feelings… bringing them into the present

so you bring things from other times into the present?
other times and other dimensions, listening is
not just a passive sensing,
but an active making of the world
perception, making sense of…

figuring, being,
making, very real spaces

other ways of being
makes it everyday, makeshift, any kind of makeshift, very…

listening to something else, listening to yourself
developing awareness where the boundary of body and outside interact,
and also
within yourself
all these things you were not aware of, then it starts to bubble up

it’s like sitting in front of the computer for too long and
you forget about your body

ah, there is an amazing computer program… they made it so from time to time, as if a light is hitting the screen, and you can’t see anything. Sitting in front of the screen: bringing you back to the armchair. With the computer, you are looking into a world: another dimensionality – flatland. When the screen is obstructed in some way, it makes that dimension present.

20150326 Drawing by Xin Cheng Three Kings

listening to your body,
porousness, spaciousness
keeping that space open through meditation
allowing things to bubble

contact improvisation was
how that thought came to me:
listening to the other body.
no one is leading
no one following
both leading and following at the same time.
so you need
to be very aware
of what the other is doing
and also
your own body.

kawakawa, holes in it, shall we take some to make tea?


listening to another… collaboration

musicians improvise: listen and respond
to what is happening
another space
how can we develop these spaces in terms of art-making, other creative

drawing, draw plants, emptying myself,
to become the thing I’m drawing,
sending my awareness out to touch it, to follow its form
like relating?
not just relating, but putting my consciousness out to where it is
instead of pre-conceived ideas, just following what is there…

not even making the drawing but letting the drawing appear,
you are simply
enabling, providing space for it to appear

you become a vessel…

Laozi talked about usefulness of pots:
lies in its emptiness

I am a vessel

be prepared to be filled with things, allowing things to flow through me


paying attention, pay dues

putting your attention outside of yourself, allowing something else to enter

(shall we get some water?)

re-reading a buddhist text:
no such thing
as ‘I’, no such thing as ‘I am’ – whatever ideas you have is given by the
important to examine yourself,
see what is right here inside you.

your mind as a coconut shell  
how do we see the outside world?
through whatever holes that happen to be in the shell.
to recognize the shell, to see the holes that creates the perceptions of the  

everything is kind of distorted
it’s always distorted

the shell as the inside of the eyeballs

the eyes have the aperture system
what about your ears?
like conch shell, or
sinuses, your nose

(almost broke something-camera)

(drinking water)

musicians probably have better ears than us.
yeah… if you are training yourself to use them
i was at a throat-singing workshop, the guy talked about
listening to the timbre of people’s speech,
listening to a foreign language,
picking up non-verbal aspects of speech

with singing, we’ve stopped singing so much. if you sing everyday, your
voice becomes much more melodic, greater range when you are speaking

2 minutes of singing exercise a day, within six weeks: notice difference
in speaking
have you been doing that?
wattly sound, vibrating the voice, moving their tongue

radiance, resonance
i was doing a voice workshop…
feeding your resonance, comes once you’ve achieved a certain
mental/spiritual state. help cultivate by listening to certain kind of
music: she suggested listening to Gideon, Arvo Pärt.
receive sounds that’s rich in radiance, then it comes out through your own
i like listening to Arvo Pärt, often when I’m writing or thinking about writing

radiance: being in a particular mode so you can create

listening, putting yourself in a state so you can create something
creative element to listening

a kind of opening up?


20161001 Lava Walk Three Kings and surrounding areas

limits of what we can hear, what we can sense, what we can listen to

‘tone-deaf’. are people really tone deaf? or is it a learnt thing?

are there other octaves to vision? to smell? that we can’t quite… or are
there but we are not aware if they are affecting us…

Adam Willetts once told me about how he had done a project, and he started to
hear sounds from appliances in this house
when I was a kid I could hear fridge at night, the things in the house, th
pipes. now I’ve learnt to shut them away.. it would be good to open up that
awareness again, to open up ability to hear those sounds

whenever i go to Taipei, stay in the center of the city. traffic noise.
after a week, I stopped hearing them
I’ve lived next to a motorway for the 6 years... now they sound like the
ocean to me...
a house next to the railway. every fifteen minutes, the house would shake.
but I got used to it, don’t even notice it

it’s like earlier today on the deck that we were on. how it was shaking

(my nose is like a tap now)

maybe we could try some drawings, memory drawings. if you just close your
eyes and try and remember something, and draw,
could it do the same thing as the blind drawing, where you are putting your
awareness out there
is it possible to put your consciousness with that thing in memory, too?

I wonder what that would look like
especially since your memory moves things around

(walking back to car)

Artist Bio
Since 2014 we have been sharing and making together, starting with
exploring the lava caves running under Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland).
Walking, seeing, touching, sounding, listening, drawing and sharing
together, we have found that relating to each other and the world
around us is nourished by time and not-knowing. We cherish the
indeterminacy and precariousness of rambling, along with an openness
to change and an attitude of being in the present. We are interested
in aerating the soil of our collaborative exchange, allowing bubbles
to form. In transcribing our rambling conversations we discovered that
they are porous, and the pauses and silences are just as important as
the content of the discussion.
ziggylever.com | xin-cheng.info