It takes two to improvise: one to play and one to listen. The Circle Trio's CD Live at the Meridian brings back this fundamental truth of free improvisation. Pauline Oliveros' deep listening technique cements this trio. Her long accordion chords feel just like the breath of a human being. She is accompanied by violinist India Cooke (Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor) and singer Karolyn Van Putten (Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra, Musica Divina), who also plays a bit of frame drum. Introspective to the bone, this music leaves a lot of room for solo and duo playing. That is to say these are not three improvisers "going at it" for almost an hour: Moods change, the spotlight moves from one player to the other, but the music remains mostly soft, meditative, and captivating. There are busier passages where accordion and violin start dancing around, but they are soon calmed down by Putten's soulful voice. The listener is treated to pure musical communion, outside any rules or conventions of genre. The neophyte who is not afraid by a 53-minute piece could even get a strong illumination out of this CD. Among all of Oliveros' recordings, one must add Live at the Meridian to her best sessions.