GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on October 15, 2016, 04:26:08 PM

Title: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on October 15, 2016, 04:26:08 PM
What do you think of her music?

Here is an interesting article from a few years back in The Guardian, the article has more to say on about her ideas since the 80s than her earlier works, but it's worth a read: https://www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2012/may/07/guide-contemporary-music-pauline-oliveros

There is a link in that to something I have only been more aware of recently and that is the idea of the 'Expanded Instrument System' which has been incorporated in a terrific piece of hers called 'Sound Geometries' which I urge anyone who has an interest in music which combines electronics with acoustic instruments to hear.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51k9IAOPV%2BL._SS500.jpg)

This is also a brilliant compilation of some of her earlier electronic works:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41mk59SKetL._SS500.jpg)
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Crudblud on October 16, 2016, 01:12:02 AM
Oliveros' Crone Music is wonderful. Looking forward to checking out Sound Geometries.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: PotashPie on October 19, 2016, 02:35:13 PM
I've always admired her electronic works. Recently I got this one, and was surprised. Called "Deep Listening," they (with Stuart Dempster) go into a chamber with a long echo…it reminds me of this time when I went inside a large oil storage tank, and the echo was incredible. This is like that. A very long, natural echo. It might strike some as "new age-y," but I see it as her 60s legacy of spirituality. All music is traced back to a drone anyway.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41JaUV5e2XL._AC_US160_.jpg)
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on October 19, 2016, 05:38:30 PM
'Deep listening' is I think a musical process for Oliveros which she advocates in listening, performing, improvising etc.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: snyprrr on October 20, 2016, 08:52:50 AM
That's A Man, Baby!! ???

Title: Pauline Oliveros has died
Post by: Brewski on November 25, 2016, 03:59:22 PM
Sad news today: Pauline Oliveros died on Wednesday morning -- from the early reports I'm hearing, peacefully, in her sleep. She gave me one of my first contemporary music experiences, around 1970, when the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's GAMUT new music series presented one of her early works, Theatre Piece (1966), with trombonist Stuart Dempster climbing around a piano, and also using candles, funnels, trombone mouthpieces, and garden hoses and sprinklers. Fast-forward to the last few years, when the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) worked closely with her on a number of interesting projects.

EDIT: Here is the first performance of Theatre Piece, with Dempster, taped in San Francisco:

https://archive.org/details/OliverosTheatrePiece

--Bruce
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on November 25, 2016, 08:14:12 PM
Very sad to hear this. She has been a wonderful composer and has an extraordinary and extraordinarily interesting output. Tonight I'll be listening to her works.

Two pioneers in electroacoustic music have departed in the last week.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on February 02, 2021, 02:47:26 AM
Pauline Oliveros has a couple of recordings called "The Space Between"

What are they? Improvisations or composed or something . . . between?  (Have I just answered my own question?)
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: T. D. on February 02, 2021, 06:14:58 AM
Pauline Oliveros has a couple of recordings called "The Space Between"

What are they? Improvisations or composed or something . . . between?  (Have I just answered my own question?)

The recording with Jöelle Léandre is likely improv, recorded with Deep Listening technology. I'd categorize it as improv/microtonal/Deep Listening fwiw.
The other one also seems to be improv/microtonal, but it was recorded live so I dunno about the Deep Listening part.

Google dredged up a blurb:

The Space Between brings together the freedom of spontaneous improvisation with a number of diverse traditions and ideas, not the least of which is the legendary Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening concept. In the Cadence review of their 2001 debut, The Space Between with Barre Phillips, Frank Rubolino wrote, “As a unit, they speak in a broken tongue of rarified beauty that is demanding but fully rewarding." This release [2002]  once again pairs this esoteric trio with a world-renowned bassist in Jöelle Léandre.

I haven't heard either one.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on February 02, 2021, 02:20:57 PM
The recording with Jöelle Léandre is likely improv, recorded with Deep Listening technology. I'd categorize it as improv/microtonal/Deep Listening fwiw.
The other one also seems to be improv/microtonal, but it was recorded live so I dunno about the Deep Listening part.

Google dredged up a blurb:

The Space Between brings together the freedom of spontaneous improvisation with a number of diverse traditions and ideas, not the least of which is the legendary Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening concept. In the Cadence review of their 2001 debut, The Space Between with Barre Phillips, Frank Rubolino wrote, “As a unit, they speak in a broken tongue of rarified beauty that is demanding but fully rewarding." This release [2002]  once again pairs this esoteric trio with a world-renowned bassist in Jöelle Léandre.

I haven't heard either one.

Thanks. I’m enjoying exploring these CDs, whatever the degree of improvisation in them. I’ve learned something the past few days: Pauline Oliveros is a much more interesting composer than I believed.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: T. D. on February 02, 2021, 07:20:21 PM
Yes, she's definitely interesting. I started out with some early electronic recordings, which are good, but prefer later work.

Embarrassed to say that I only own one recording,
(https://img.discogs.com/syXXd7yd0kjYOGiRMjyn-NlbOTs=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-1408317-1255541235.jpeg.jpg)

Recent posts motivated me to look for orchestral music.

The composition TO VALERIE SOLANAS AND MARILYN MONROE IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR DESPERATION got my attention. Released on vinyl only, 2 extant performances with 14- and 43-piece ensembles.
I'm listening on Youtube to the 1970 version with 14 instruments. It's rather good (some reviewers invoked Scelsi's name), so I now feel compelled to track down the 1977/43-piece rendition. [They're both on Youtube]

Here are blurbs from the Roaratorio site. The remarks about "open composition" are interesting.

“Much of Oliveros’s aesthetic is best understood as environment, areas of aural doldrums providing momentary and slightly queasy resting points, like the requisite standing back from a massive architectural work to take in the whole before venturing back in. In To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe, the hallmarks of Oliveros’s later philosophy and aesthetic are brought into direct play with politically-charged expressionism. Kudos to Minneapolis-based Roaratorio Records for uncovering such a significant work, a piece of music that will probably scare the living shit out of you. Valerie Solanas would be proud.” – Clifford Allen, Paris Transatlantic

“…it’s beautiful and strange, emotionally articulate, and I also believe it succeeds as a much less stilted approach to open composition than Cardew, Cage or Stockhausen. It is truly natural and unforced organic music, semi-scored and collaborative, making efficient use of the energy of the musicians she works with.” – Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector

**** 4 stars : “Oliveros’ magnum feminist opus has a protracted tonal structure comparable to the work of Giacinto Scelsi. Its tenebrous expressivity is beautifully matched by the cover art…” - All Music Guide
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Brewski on February 02, 2021, 07:44:48 PM
Following all of these comments with great interest, thank you.

As an aside, on its opening night in September 2019, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin performed "The Tuning Meditation" from Four Meditations for Orchestra. (In another world, I might have been there, but the New York Philharmonic opening was the same night.)

From the program notes:

"The American experimental composer Pauline Oliveros wrote her imaginative 'Tuning Meditation' in 1971. The piece is not traditionally notated, but rather consists of a set of instructions for performers. They are told to start playing a pitch they imagine in their mind and then listen to another player’s pitch and begin to match it as closely as possible. A gentle and luminous sound unfolds during this meditative experiment in 'deep listening.'"

https://old.philorch.org/sites/default/files/concert/pdfs/OpeningNight.pdf

--Bruce
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on February 03, 2021, 07:05:34 AM
This one’s another goody - dance music, clearly I have a penchant for her theatrical music

(https://img.discogs.com/UroDvexSfwf1Y-bioPhej0EnNTM=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-658887-1274203419.jpeg.jpg)
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on February 03, 2021, 07:07:24 AM
Yes, she's definitely interesting. I started out with some early electronic recordings, which are good, but prefer later work.

Embarrassed to say that I only own one recording,
(https://img.discogs.com/syXXd7yd0kjYOGiRMjyn-NlbOTs=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-1408317-1255541235.jpeg.jpg)


This is on Qobuz so I’ll listen to it later.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on February 03, 2021, 07:08:06 AM

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51k9IAOPV%2BL._SS500.jpg)


The second piece here, sound geometries, is hard but interesting, a sort of structured improvisation I think.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: T. D. on February 03, 2021, 07:54:48 AM
Thanks. I’m enjoying exploring these CDs, whatever the degree of improvisation in them. I’ve learned something the past few days: Pauline Oliveros is a much more interesting composer than I believed.

I found this review/blurb of the Marilyn Monroe /Valerie Solanas piece, added to earlier post on the subject:

it’s beautiful and strange, emotionally articulate, and I also believe it succeeds as a much less stilted approach to open composition than Cardew, Cage or Stockhausen. It is truly natural and unforced organic music, semi-scored and collaborative, making efficient use of the energy of the musicians she works with.

So maybe "improv" is not an accurate label. I have to look into this further; lots of Oliveros's writing must be readily available. The piece mentioned did (especially the version for larger ensemble) sound "like Cage" in places.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on February 03, 2021, 09:22:34 AM
I found this review/blurb of the Marilyn Monroe /Valerie Solanas piece, added to earlier post on the subject:

it’s beautiful and strange, emotionally articulate, and I also believe it succeeds as a much less stilted approach to open composition than Cardew, Cage or Stockhausen. It is truly natural and unforced organic music, semi-scored and collaborative, making efficient use of the energy of the musicians she works with.

So maybe "improv" is not an accurate label. I have to look into this further; lots of Oliveros's writing must be readily available. The piece mentioned did (especially the version for larger ensemble) sound "like Cage" in places.

I have transfers of these recordings which I can let you have. They do sound good - music and performance and sound - and they do sound a bit Scelsi ish.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Benji on February 03, 2021, 04:47:43 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41JaUV5e2XL._AC_US160_.jpg)

I stumbled across her music last year and it was a revelation in a sense. The deep listening music has an extremely calming effect on me, so I often turn to it late at night if I'm struggling with insomnia (and I don't mean to suggest it's dull, it's absolutely not).
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Rinaldo on February 04, 2021, 02:39:23 AM
The deep listening music has an extremely calming effect on me, so I often turn to it late at night if I'm struggling with insomnia (and I don't mean to suggest it's dull, it's absolutely not).

Same here, Oliveros is one of my go-to 'ambient' artists (e.g. Éliane Radigue, William Basinski) and some of her music helps to soothe my ADHD brain.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on February 04, 2021, 03:31:41 AM
I'm going to have to try again with deep listening, there's something slick and loud about the first track on that CD which put me off.

Radigue is a different matter, at least in the electronic music.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on February 16, 2021, 12:55:35 AM
Outstanding early piece here, I of V - I think you can hear a drones already! Ethereal music, calm and poised.

https://www.youtube.com/v/2kJD0dbE9Ow
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on March 12, 2021, 09:42:32 PM
Sonic Meditations

https://monoskop.org/images/0/09/Oliveros_Pauline_Sonic_Meditations_1974.pdf
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2021, 02:02:10 PM
This is a goody, some of Wadada Leo Smith’s contribution is a jazzy, it’s what people who don’t know about jazz think jazz sounds like. That’s puts me off a bit, but that’s just me, and this is evidently the record of a real musical encounter, intense. Impossible for me to stop listening in fact.

(https://img.discogs.com/KlpsIuT9YKiQnGgXemceXM-Kb9g=/fit-in/600x604/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-8499577-1462838928-8448.jpeg.jpg)

https://www.soundohm.com/product/nessuno
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: T. D. on March 24, 2021, 02:30:05 PM
Thanks, that was good and exceeded my expectations. I find Tilbury hit-or-miss and haven't been knocked out by Mitchell's and Smith's notated compositions, but Nessuno really worked.

Not sure about "Smith’s contribution is a jazzy, it’s what people who don’t know about jazz think jazz sounds like"...Likely not to everyone's taste, but few would mistake Smith's playing here for bebop, swing, "West Coast jazz" or most jazz sub-genres I can think of. Maybe (with the mute) somewhat redolent of Miles Davis, though.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2021, 09:34:14 PM
Thanks, that was good and exceeded my expectations. I find Tilbury hit-or-miss and haven't been knocked out by Mitchell's and Smith's notated compositions, but Nessuno really worked.

Not sure about "Smith’s contribution is a jazzy, it’s what people who don’t know about jazz think jazz sounds like"...Likely not to everyone's taste, but few would mistake Smith's playing here for bebop, swing, "West Coast jazz" or most jazz sub-genres I can think of. Maybe (with the mute) somewhat redolent of Miles Davis, though.

Yes I kind of knew anyone who listened to it would enjoy it, it is special.

I’ll tell you two amazing things with Tilbury. First, Duos for Doris with John Rowe

(https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1888128949_10.jpg)

https://erstwhilerecords.bandcamp.com/album/duos-for-doris


And Barcelona Piano Solo

(https://img.discogs.com/MVzrPs5AGYKdvapyP0rdoBTJHts=/fit-in/592x748/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-784227-1189936572.jpeg.jpg)

If you look at his website you’ll see he has recorded a lot of Beckett related material, which I intend to explore

www.jtilbury.com

But yes he is hit an miss. He has chosen a particularly unsympathetic instrument though.



Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: T. D. on March 24, 2021, 11:23:00 PM
No disrespect to Tilbury, who's practically a legend of contemporary piano. I once held him in the absolutely highest regard and considered his recordings self-recommending, but over the years heard a number of things I didn't care for and am now more cautious. Never heard him live, but would jump at the chance. Thanks for the suggestions.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on March 25, 2021, 01:19:16 AM
No disrespect to Tilbury, who's practically a legend of contemporary piano. I once held him in the absolutely highest regard and considered his recordings self-recommending, but over the years heard a number of things I didn't care for and am now more cautious. Never heard him live, but would jump at the chance. Thanks for the suggestions.

I listened to Barcelona again after making that post. It was his first solo improvisation. I think you can tell he’s nervous at first, but after about 5 minutes it settles down and becomes incandescent. It’s spacious, quiet, but punctuated by dramatic moments, very well judged.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on March 28, 2021, 01:42:31 PM
(https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0121981511_10.jpg)


https://www.discogs.com/Triple-Point-2-Pauline-Oliveros-Doug-Van-Nort-Jonas-Braasch-phasetransitions/release/5970328

New discovery. Someone said CD3 is amazing. It is.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: T. D. on August 20, 2021, 05:19:10 AM
Recent locally produced video:

Pauline Oliveros: The Witness (1989)
Performed in the Widow Jane Mine on the Snyder Estate on May 27, 2021

Claire Chase, flutes
Susie Ibarra and Alex Peh, percussion
Senem Pirler, electronics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g45pGO9oyxo
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on August 28, 2021, 03:32:22 AM
Recent locally produced video:

Pauline Oliveros: The Witness (1989)
Performed in the Widow Jane Mine on the Snyder Estate on May 27, 2021

Claire Chase, flutes
Susie Ibarra and Alex Peh, percussion
Senem Pirler, electronics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g45pGO9oyxo

Will watch later, enjoying this suite for accordion and electronics this afternoon

(https://s3.amazonaws.com/allaboutjazz/old/styles/poliveros2006.jpg)
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on August 28, 2021, 11:38:19 PM
This morning it is not raining, so I am listening to After Dinner with the Trogs on this 

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51oNUwuImLL._AC_.jpg)

Quote
On their 1990 release, Troglodyte's Delight, Pauline Oliveros, and the Deep Listening Band didn't just use water as a backdrop or compositional element. Instead, they treated it as an additional instrumentalist within the ensemble's line-up. There were solos for water, feedback mechanisms between humans and H2O, liquid following human guidance, and liquid acting as a leader. The entire performance took place on a canvas constantly filled with droplets, rain, or the babbling of a stream. Other albums may have garnered more attention or praise in Oliveros' career. But Troglodyte's Delight can be said to constitute her most representative and demonstrative effort, communicating the depth of her philosophy as well as her entirely natural approach to collaboration. There was something playful and rebellious about the record too. It didn't sternly question the borders of music — it outright ignored them. And it may well have been dreamt up decades earlier, in the head of a nine-year-old girl, exploring the world around her through sound.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: T. D. on September 01, 2021, 02:55:29 PM
Scheduled for release Oct. 15 on Trost (Austria):

(https://cdn1.dustygroove.org/images/products/l/leandr_joel_playasyou_101b.jpg)

OK, I unfairly gave Oliveros top billing...no disrespect intended, I doubt there are many threads on the other 2 principals.  ;)
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Brewski on September 01, 2021, 03:24:46 PM
Scheduled for release Oct. 15 on Trost (Austria):

(https://cdn1.dustygroove.org/images/products/l/leandr_joel_playasyou_101b.jpg)

OK, I unfairly gave Oliveros top billing...no disrespect intended, I doubt there are many threads on the other 2 principals.  ;)

You are totally fine to cite Oliveros! I have not heard of Léandre, so thank you for putting her on my radar. And just last week at the TIME:SPANS Festival, cellist Seth Parker Woods did Lewis's Not Alone (2014-2015), a virtuoso exercise for cello and electronics, with the latter swirling around the room, thanks to well-placed speakers.

But looking at the Trost website, I see that this is a single piece, performed by all three of them!  :o A potential treasure, so thanks again.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: T. D. on September 01, 2021, 03:37:57 PM
Oops, it's already on Trost's bandcamp page, both DL and physical. I'm listening now.
I got the Oct. 15 from Dusty Groove's website (Chicago shop that is good for imported jazz/improv recordings).

I think of Joëlle Léandre as mostly an improv musician (quite a big name in that field), but she's also active in "new music". I've heard recordings of Scelsi and Cage.
According to wiki,

Joëlle Léandre (born 12 September 1951 in Aix-en-Provence, France)[1] is a French double bassist, vocalist, and composer active in new music and free improvisation.
In the field of contemporary music, she has performed with Pierre Boulez's Ensemble InterContemporain, and worked with Merce Cunningham and John Cage.[2] Both Cage and Giacinto Scelsi have composed works specifically for her.


She's appearing in this year's Other Minds festival in SF, which is a big improv/free jazz thing:
https://www.otherminds.org/other-minds-festival-25/
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on September 04, 2021, 02:14:53 AM
You may like this, with Leandre. It's less nervous than Play as we go, there are less notes per square inch, it is more introverted and austere.

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0017/9270/4557/products/PO-COMP-6_180x.jpg?v=1571928820)

George Lewis recorded duos with Leandre on an album called Transatlantic Visions, which I'm just downloading now.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Mandryka on September 04, 2021, 04:39:21 AM
Scheduled for release Oct. 15 on Trost (Austria):

(https://cdn1.dustygroove.org/images/products/l/leandr_joel_playasyou_101b.jpg)

OK, I unfairly gave Oliveros top billing...no disrespect intended, I doubt there are many threads on the other 2 principals.  ;)

And listening to this now with proper sound rather than the free bandcamp stream and I’m getting a much more positive impression. There’s much more relief and contrasting textures than I thought before. But the overall impression is of 40 minutes with some interesting moments, but somehow the whole is less than the sum of the parts.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: T. D. on December 01, 2021, 08:21:20 PM
I was recently informed of this upcoming fund-raising event for a Pauline Oliveros film (musical performances included):

https://www.ministryofmaat.org/pauline-oliveros-film.html

Disclosure: I have no connection whatsoever with the project. Mods, please delete if it's inappropriate.
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Brewski on December 01, 2021, 08:42:15 PM
I was recently informed of this upcoming fund-raising event for a Pauline Oliveros film (musical performances included):

https://www.ministryofmaat.org/pauline-oliveros-film.html

Disclosure: I have no connection whatsoever with the project. Mods, please delete if it's inappropriate.

Not inappropriate at all, and thank you for posting. If only I were free that night to watch the stream, but I'll be at another event! (Might contribute, anyway.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Pauline Oliveros
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on December 02, 2021, 05:31:46 AM
Listened to a goodly chunk of "Sound Geometries" along with about 5 minutes of "To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe...." on YT.  I quite enjoyed what I heard though at the time of listening (fairly early in the morning here) decided that the Valerie/Marilyn piece was a bit too dark for me at the time.

I remember a number of months ago watching a video (think that it was on youtube?) of a female composer showing how she created the sounds that she did on her machines...am struggling to remember who it was of though?  Frustrating, I'll have to check in another thread.  It was very interesting though!

PD