Michael Reiley McDermott

I am an ambient musician working with soundscapes, Deep Listening and auditory consciousness.  I have created works for video, dance, stage, installation, smartphones, multi-speaker arrays, wind sculptures, wishing wells and sleeping/dreaming. My practice explores the relationship between present moment awareness, deep time and humanity’s personal connection through listening. I currently teach for the online Deep Listening Certification program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Below are some recent projects and sounds to explore.

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inner landscapes

With a 15-year practice of Insight (Vipassanā) meditation, my work as a Deep Listening and dharma teacher, I have synthesized the threads of contemplative practices with the sonic experiences of inner exploration, being and becoming. These are the type of sounds I present during Sound Bath concerts.

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outer landscapes

I appreciate the magical realism of connection that can be revealed through listening to the everyday world. Below are some recent works of environmental based sounds and field recording. Many of these works used a technique I’ve dubbed “sonic photography” where field recordings are formatted and treated using photographic processing techniques like double exposure, long exposure, collage, negative image and color treatments. Many of these pieces have been featured on the fantastic website Cities and Memory.

Echozoo

Echzoo is a musical sonic art project imagining the lost songs of extinct animals. I have had a profound connection to the environmental sounds of nature and civilization through my Deep Listening, meditation and music practices. The sounds of the living world are as much a part of the fabric of our consciousness as screens, motors and iTunes. I am creating this catalog of re-imagined animals sounds in an attempt to bring awareness to our present sound world and to take notice and care of the elements of that soundscape so that they can be preserved and appreciated.

sleep concerts

These eight+ hour durational soundscape performances last from night until early the next morning. My sleep concerts are an immersive, supportive sonic environment. Throughout the night a gentle sea of ambient field recordings and soft ambient tones organically unfold over an evolving concert experience. Themes of rebirth, Bardo states, stillness, the liminal space between sleeping-waking-dreaming-listening, processed environmental sounds and the edges of audibility are explored during these concerts.

workshops

I lead workshops in meditation, Deep Listening, sonic art practices, and composition. I have led these workshops at Universities, yoga and meditation studios, schools and community centers across Europe, Asia, and North America.

Currently, I am leading and exploring a Somatic Practice + Deep Listening workshop framework called Listening Bodies with Italian/Berlin-basic choreographer and movement researcher Monica Gentile.

Music for Dance

I have created original scores, sound design and live improvised music for many choreographers and dance companies over the years. Some of my collaborators include Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet, Here Begin Dance, Gia T Presents, Jil Stifel, Perpetual Movement and Sound, Jaamil Kosoko, Erin Foreman-Murray and Ring Dance Theater.

Music for Film

Over the years, I’ve had the great pleasure of working as a film composer and sound designer for a wide range of films, videos and ads. Please get in touch if you’re a film maker or video artist looking to collaborate.

Albums

My albums are available through popular streaming services and to buy at Bandcamp.