From The New York Times on January 4, 2019:
“For as long as I can remember, I have loved the silences of the concert hall almost as much as the sounds. The expectant hush that falls on an auditorium when the oboe’s A pierces through the hum of voices and the lights dim. The way a spellbound audience can wrap a protective silence around a pianissimo ending.
But on a recent afternoon in Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University here, silence became an equal partner to the music. I was in the hall for a series called Live Music Meditation. (The next event, on March 28, features the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja.) For the first 20 minutes, while listeners quietly filed in, I sat motionless with my eyes closed, noting the sounds of footsteps and the rustle of coats.
Gradually, the calm deepened, broken now and then by a male voice inviting us to focus on our breath, relax our shoulders, and clear our minds. From inside this stillness, the sound of a gong rang out like a bright explosion, followed by waves of amber overtones that seemed to dance with each other in space. Then more silence, long minutes of nothing to hear but the breathing of strangers. When the first notes of a clarinet threaded their way into my consciousness, they seemed to come from inside me.”