by Peter Aaron
It was inspiring to learn this month that the Deep Listening Institute, the organization founded by composer Pauline Oliveros, is part of a consortium that was recently awarded a $2.5 million partnership grant by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to launch the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, thanks to the Kingston group's role in the development of AUMI (Adaptive Use Musical Instruments). AUMI is a software program that provides unique and affordable access to music-making for people, including those with even the most severe disabilities, enabling users to play sounds and musical phrases through movement and gestures.
AUMI was developed also in collaboration with faculty and students at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy and Deep Listening Institute’s staff. The program is available as an internet download (free for laptops and desktops and $9.99 for iPADs). It has been downloaded more than 600 times and is in use by therapists both nationally and internationally. Oliveros, an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, philosopher, and pioneer in using technology in the arts, along with DLI Artistic Director Carole Ione and occupational therapist and musician Leaf Miller, were part of the team that created AUMI.
In this promotional video, Oliveros and Miller talk about the revolutionary new program: