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Pauline Oliveros


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Composer Pauline Oliveros is a maverick in the field of electronic music. Oliveros’ first instrument was the accordion; as a teenager in Texas she played in a 100-piece accordion group that appeared at the rodeo. In 1949 she entered the University of Houston, but in 1952 transferred to San Francisco State College. Oliveros studied music privately with Robert Erickson and began to associate with a loose confederation of like-minded composers; Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Morton Subotnick among them. Oliveros was among the first composers to participate when Subotnick and Ramon Sender founded the San Francisco Tape Center in 1961, and served as the Center’s director in the first year following its move to Mills College (1966-1967). Some of the pieces Oliveros created in the 1960s, such as Bye Bye Butterfly (1965) and I of IV (1966; created at the University of Toronto) are acknowledged as classics of electronic music. From the beginning Oliveros was not greatly interested in electronic tape and its manipulation, preferring to explore real-time electronics, interactivity, and the use of delays.

In the early ’70s Oliveros began to amplify the theatrical aspect of her works, in addition to incorporating elements of her growing interests in spirituality and meditation. This touched off a series of pieces that emphasized intuition and consciousness among large masses of people.


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  • ChristFollower3

    “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” –Matthew 12:50

    22 Mar 12:12am Reply
  • chvrlotte

    i'm so inspired by the use of that pure tone in bye bye butterfly *throws synthesizer out window*

    4 Mar 10:42pm Reply
  • Tuntury

    Electronic Works 1965-1966 is a blast from the past. I wonder if there's any better electronic music from the 60s?

    22 Oct 2014 Reply
  • BLUEhelicopter

    so many words

    20 Oct 2013 Reply
  • headey

    Also see,+Stuart+Dempster+&+Panaiotis ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (OK, not you TeatroAssente)

    5 Sep 2013 Reply
  • djb1993djb

    my god teatro, i've not read such incoherent philistine babble in a very long time indeed. thanks for the laughs

    31 Jul 2013 Reply
  • GiaNXGX

    the root of the moment :)

    21 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Metaknite


    4 Jul 2013 Reply
  • BrianSoph

    lol what are you even on about

    30 Jun 2013 Reply
  • TeatroAssente

    it has always been surprising for me to figure out how untalented she is. yes, she is one of the pioneers of electronic music bla bla. I really dislike people who approaches music like scientists, including Xenakis, they miss out the big picture of inner feelings while composing music, but at least his experimentalism invented many things for music. He was brave and thinking man Pauline... pauline invented nothing but boredom. Her experimentalism is artificial cause actually with music she seeks to have a life, to find a world that she fits in. You should have a 'life' first, you should have a 'home' first then make music. Her experimentalism is desperate and pointless cause its based on her personal flaws. She is into music to feel herself as a whole. Now i can get into any kind of music, i used to overlook my musical senses in the past, to understand her but lately i figured out that pauline is the one who has problems. Not me. Since years i really gave a fight to understand her.

    6 Jun 2013 Reply
  • memristor

    still: "change. everything."

    12 Apr 2013 Reply
  • criptid

    Without question, one of the masters of experimental / electronic music!

    2 Nov 2012 Reply
  • ut0

    Electronic Works 1965-1966 — straight up the best electronic music of its time.

    12 Oct 2012 Reply
  • jamjammers

    80th yr of listening

    21 Aug 2012 Reply
  • Pseudomancer


    8 Jun 2012 Reply
  • LMW87

    I don't get it

    5 Jun 2012 Reply
  • SatanEsCholo


    18 Feb 2012 Reply
  • cogsturning

    a 100-piece accordion group sounds ridiculously brutal. [2]

    10 Feb 2011 Reply
  • DoglessEndeavor


    12 Jan 2011 Reply
  • lodyforyou


    10 Jan 2011 Reply
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