Ilana Simons

Ilana Simons Ph.D.

The Literary Mind

Listening Is Music

A video on how listening to a voice is like listening to music

Posted Aug 27, 2013

After working on a novel on my own for many years, I got tired of the fact that my words were read by no one else, so sat dead in a way on the page.  I started to speak them into short recordings on my phone, to set them into the air at least.  Then I started to draw pictures to give another piece of life to the voice.

I’m captivated by how written stories, spoken language, and pictures interact to launch a story that’s a different story than any one of those mediums creates alone.  This video is about how the voice, like background music, affects the message of what we say.

Click on this picture for a video about the music of listening.


I started a site for short videos at Tin House Magazine.  Click here to visit the blog.  We’re publishing a few videos a month.  Try it: speak some magic into your iphone.  Poof: You’ve got a video.  Share it with me.

Some other people's words on listening:

"When...listening to somebody completely [and] attentively, you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it."
Jiddu Krishnamurti 

"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."
James A. Baldwin 

"Music is the effort we make to explain to ourselves how our brains work. We listen to Bach transfixed because this is listening to a human mind."
Lewis Thomas