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FOREST-BODY-CHAIR at Mildred's Lane
Julia O. Bianco, Rachel Schmoker, Sara Smith
Acknowledgments of the Honorable Guest
Gina Siepel, Ainsley Steeves, Samiha Tasnim, Lotte Kliros Walworth
I Have Questions
FOREST-BODY-CHAIR is a project of RAY (the collaborative team of Gina Siepel and Sara Smith), using wooden chairs as an occasion to explore entwined ecological, embodied, and social questions connected to their construction and use. A three-week workshop version of FOREST-BODY-CHAIR at Mildred’s Lane in July 2021 brought together participant-fellows and guest artists for conversation and experimentation across somatic, greenwood construction, and fieldwork practices. Meditation Ocean was introduced into the session, allowing for additional associations to be made between forests and oceans, as well as contemplation of breath as an environmental process and metaphor. Participants were invited to develop meditation scripts collaboratively or on their own.
“The waves of sound are like waves of water in the ocean. There is a tide and time of sound. The music is like a journey which is endless.”*
Hello? Hello? Can you hear me???... Hello? Can you hear me now?
OK, Listen. Today, we will invite you to ground yourself into the point of zeroth through practicing your listening. It’s like sharing; listening is caring. We need to be more attentive.
For this meditation, if possible, place yourself in a peaceful and comfortable environment where you are able to hear sounds clearly. Note the higher humidity, the clearer sound, such as in a greenhouse, in the bathtub, or underwater. In fact, we can hear sound at four times greater speed, and ten times higher pitch in water than on land.
All sound is a wave created by vibrations. When a sound is generated, particles in the space push one another outwards. This collective motion passes through space as a sound wave.
To hear sound, we sense the vibrations with our ears.
To listen to sound, we observe the sensation of vibrations inside and out.
To begin observing vibrations, we will dive into a breathing exercise.
Are you ready?
Soften your gaze. Let all the events of your day float away from your mind.
Allow your body to align in any way comfortable.
Now, turn your attention to your breath…
Slowly, take a deep breath in through your nose 3, 2, 1, ZERO
Exhale slowly through your nose 3, 2, 1, ZERO
Inhale deeply through your nose 3, 2, 1, ZERO
Exhale fully through your nose 3, 2, 1, ZERO
Sense the air passing through your nostrils in and out 3, 2, 1, ZERO
Listen to your breath inside and out 3, 2, 1, ZERO
Notice the sensation…That’s the vibration…
Breath is a medicine to ground yourself
One breath at a time, one breath at a time
Inhale deeply from this universe
Exhale fully into another universe
Sound is a passage, journey through the sound
From this universe to another universe 3, 2, 1, ZERO
Hello? Hello? It’s Nikola. Can you hear me? Can you hear me well? Good!
Before listening to the sound of zeroth, I would like to share with you a key to the universe: the magnificence of the numbers 3 · 6 · 9
Think of the shape of zero: the shape of a circle. It’s the shape of the Sun, Moon and Planets. Zero has always been represented in a circle.
Now, how many degrees are in a circle?...
A circle has 360 degrees.
Let’s reduce the number 360 to its digital root.
First, break down the 360 into single digits: 3.6.0.
Then add each digit until it reaches the single-digit value.
In this case, 3 + 6 + 0 = 9.
Next, Let's split a circle in half. How many degrees are in a half circle?…
It has 180 degrees, so Its digital root is:
1 + 8 + 0 = 9.
Once more, split a semicircle in half. how many degrees are in a quarter of a circle?...
It has 90 degrees, so Its digital root is:
9 + 0 = 9.
Repeatedly splitting the circle, you will always end up at the number 9.
OK. What about 3 and 6?
Let’s start with 3 and double it.
3 + 3 = 6.
Then doubling 6,
6 + 6 = 12, and the digital root of 12 is:
1 + 2 = 3.
Continuing, doubling 12,
12 + 12 = 24, and the digital root of 24 is:
Magically 2 + 4 = 6.
Keep following this pattern, and you will always end up with 3, 6, 3, 6, 3, 6,
It goes on and on…
Do you see the code of the universe?
“The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.” Numbers rule!
3 · 6 · 9
Let’s come back to our bodies.
Extend your arms in the shape of a circle.
Your arms shape a circle of life, holding the possibilities, and embracing the void.
As you take a deep breath in, open your arms 3, 6, 9, ZERO
As you breathe out, close your arms to embrace yourself 3, 6, 9, ZERO
As you breathe in, open your arms to embrace the universe 3, 6, 9, ZERO
As you breathe out, close your arms to embrace yourself 3, 6, 9, ZERO
Breathe in like your lungs are absorbing a black hole 3, 6, 9, ZERO
Breathe out like your lungs are birthing the Sun 3, 6, 9, ZERO
One breath at a time, one breath at a time 3, 6, 9, ZERO
Hello? Hello? It’s Sun from Saturn. Did you call me?…No? You didn't?
Hello? Hello? It’s John. Can you hear me? Can you hear me well? Oh, good… OK, so listen.
I would like to share my story... My story of the sound of zeroth…
In 1951, I visited a sound-proof anechoic chamber - that was designed to absorb all sounds made in the room.
I was excited to experience the sound of silence.
But I started noticing that two subtle sounds were present: one high and one low.
I had experienced the sound of zeroth.
Welcome back, welcome back from your sound journey.
We are approaching the end of the meditation.
To ground yourself in the point of zeroth,
Love yourself in zeroth
Care for yourself in zeroth
Listen to yourself in zeroth
And always remember, one breath at a time, one breath at a time…
Listen 3, 6, 9, ZERO
Guide: Alanna Reeves
Sun: Maps Glover
Nikola: Will Mullany
John: Stephen Vitiello
Sound support: Stephen Vitiello and Will Mullany
Script editing support: Amanda Wiles and Sobia Ahmad
- *Sun Ra Arkestra [@SunRaUniverse], “The Waves of Sound Are like Waves of Water in the Ocean There Is a Tide and Time of Sound. This the Music Is like a Journey Which Is Endless Unscheduled Directions Are Suddenly Necessary. (Sun Ra),” Tweet, Twitter, October 27, 2022, https://twitter.com/SunRaUniverse/status/1585676448945274885.
- “Sound = Vibration, Vibration, Vibration,” Science World (blog), https://www.scienceworld.ca/resource/sound-vibration-vibration-vibration/.
- Science Buddies Brabandere Sabine de, “What Do You Hear Underwater?,” Scientific American, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-do-you-hear-underwater/.
- Genius Turner, “Why Tesla Called ‘3, 6 and 9’ the Secret of the Universe,” Ascent Publication, https://medium.com/the-ascent/why-tesla-called-3-6-and-9-the-secret-of-the-universe-b308d8b77eb6.
- Hannah Fry, “We Couldn’t Live without ‘Zero’ – but We Once Had To,” https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20161206-we-couldnt-live-without-zero-but-we-once-had-to.
- “Nikola Tesla, His Strong Instincts and 3-6-9 Theory,” https://www.eatmy.news/2022/04/nikola-tesla-his-strong-instincts-and-3.html.
- John Cage, “Silences: Lectures and Writings.” Hanover: Wesleyan University Press, 1961.
The Sound of Zeroth