Pauline Oliveros was an American composer, accordionist and central figure in the development of experimental and post-war electronic art music.

Pauline Oliveros’ career spans fifty years of boundary pushing music making and philosophical investigation opening her own and others’ sensibilities to the universe and facets of sounds. Since the 1960’s she has influenced American music profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual.

Oliveros decided to be a composer at the age of 16; her primary instrument is the accordion, which she starting playing when she was 9. It may seem like an unusual instrument for experimental music however she plays it like a zen musician.

At 21, she obtained her first tape recording deck and was one of the original members of the San Francisco Tape Music Center, which was an important resource for electronic music on the U.S. West Coast during the 1960s. The Center later moved to Mills College, where she was its first director.

In 1981 she moved to New York to become an independent composer, performer, and consultant.

She is the founder of Deep Listening, – a way of listening in every possible way, to everything possible to hear, no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, of one’s own thoughts as well as musical sounds.

The Deep Listening program founded in 1985 includes annual listening retreats in Europe, New Mexico and in upstate New York, as well as apprenticeship and certification programmes. The Deep Listening Band specialised in performing and recording in resonant or reverberant spaces such as caves, cathedrals and huge underground cisterns. Deep Listening Institute (DLI) promotes her music and Deep Listening practice, providing a unique approach to music, literature, art, meditation, technology and healing. It fosters creative innovation across boundaries and across abilities, among artists and audience, musicians and non-musicians, healers and the physically or cognitively challenged, and children of all ages.

Fun Fact

Oliveros achieved a Black belt in Karate.

About this Contributor

Given name
Pauline
Family name
Oliveros
Birth date
1932
Death date
2016
Nationality
American
Contributor type
Artist
URL
paulineoliveros.us
Minutes created
Collection 2 #27

Minutes by Pauline Oliveros

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