Replenish: Lia Chavez

Song of Fire by Lia Chavez


Find a quiet moment to sit comfortably before a candle. While listening to Song of Fire, deepen the breath, and gaze at the candle’s flame. Steady the gaze on the tip of the flame until the eyes are filled with tears. Listening to the song while gazing at the  candle enhances focus, cognition, and mental clarity of fire’s essence. 

For the fourth iteration of Replenish, artist Lia Chavez asks the audience to focus and endure.

Song of Fire is a ceremonial soundscape which was taught to Chavez by the stars. The song is a tool for restoring equilibrium to the cosmos and conversing with the element of fire. The piece belongs to a broad, ongoing body of work in which the artist retrieves primordial healing songs from the universe through superconscious exploration. Chavez received this composition as a universal transmission from Ursa Major during her weekly Fire Meditation in front of the bonfire—a creative ritual performed from 8pm-4am every Sunday evening. The song serves as a mode for communicating with fire by inducing a state of awareness in which the singer is able to call forth fire’s flaring, crackling, sparking, and heat. Song of Fire can also be sung to serenade distant stars across the expanse of outer space.

The soundscape imparts therapeutic benefits. The 40-minute long recorded durational performance features an unaccompanied repetition of 23 non-lexical vocables which mobilize the body’s innate relaxation response by manipulating vagal pathways. Through the activation of the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system via stimulation of the Vagus Nerve, blood flow to the brain improves and brainwave patterns that promote a meditative state are increased. 

Drawing upon her background in the neuroscience of creativity and brain synchronization, the artist incorporates vibrational vocal patterns that enhance global brainwave integration and open a channel to the metamorphosis of awareness. The steady shifting between the melodic progression and the modulating vibrato aids in what Chavez calls “a comprehension of cosmic interconnection.”

About the Artist

The arc of Chavez’s artistic program represents a revitalization of the archaic visionary consciousness of primal religious experience and a direct revelation of the transcendent, which is every being’s birthright. From performances and immersive installations, to neuroscience research and cutting edge technological invention, her multidisciplinary work harnesses the full range of ecstatic rite, devotional methodology, cross-cultural spiritual discipline, botanical practice, entoptic phenomena, and superconscious pictographic awareness to connect us with the sacramental nature of life, the primacy of the inner world, and the potential for the body to invoke a radical awareness of Divinity.

For the past decade of her career, Chavez has specialized in harnessing the power of neuroscience to scrutinize the depths of superconsciousness, the nature of our existence in the cosmos, and the phenomenon of creativity. Over the course of this process, she has developed a unique ability to simultaneously inhabit the deep time of unified field consciousness and gross cerebral observational states of awareness. She is honored to utilize this unique skill set to travel across the physical, spiritual, celestial, and astral realms of light, serving as a bridge between known and unknown dimensions of reality to reveal the power that art holds for universal healing and unearthing the core human vocation of living an illuminated life on earth.


Our remote summer series, Replenish will present five artist-designed sound experiences that encourage listeners to take a break and take a breath. Replenish is organized by Emily A. Garner, Senior Manager, Campus and Public Programs, MIT List Visual Arts Center. Artist creating the series' prompts include: Jules Gimbrone, Victoria Shen, Darrin Martin, Lia Chavez, and Naama Tsabar.

Practicing mindfulness allows us to experience art and experience the world slowly and without distraction. As many move swiftly back to the speed of life post-pandemic, more and more artistic practices are calling in these ideas around mindfulness. With a diverse compilation of sound experiences, each artist offers a unique take on what it means to replenish oneself, emphasizing the importance of self-care.

A new iteration of Replenish will be released on the List Center website every other Wednesday, from July 12 to September 6, 2023. Participants are invited to engage with the programs asynchronously throughout the season. Visit the program page to learn more about the series.