Music: Deep Listening to the Sonic World of Pauline Oliveros


I am currently immersing ourselves in the music of Pauline Oliveros, an accomplished American composer and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Houston, Texas. Oliveros has been a source of inspiration for us, having recommended her work twice before. Her pioneering journey began in the 1960s, where she revolutionized composition by employing tape recordings and innovative transistor-based instruments. Beyond her groundbreaking contributions to music production, she ventured into music consumption, delving into the concept of “deep listening” and its mysterious, revelatory, and creative effects.

Deep Listening, as described by Oliveros, is the art of listening in every conceivable way, encompassing all audible phenomena, be it the sounds of daily life, nature, one’s inner thoughts, or musical notes. It represents a heightened state of awareness that connects us to the entirety of existence. As a composer, Oliveros crafts her music through this profound practice.

One of our current musical explorations includes the 1989 album “Deep Listening,” a mesmerizing recording made within a vast cistern in the Pacific Northwest, featuring collaborations with trombonist Stuart Dempster and singer Panaiotis. Additionally, we’re delving into “Reverberations,” a compilation that spans over 11 hours, offering a glimpse into Oliveros’ early experimental years.

Here are a couple different albums:

Reverberations: Tape & Electronic Music 1961-1970 by Pauline Oliveros on AlbumWhale — Listen

Deep Listening by Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Panaiotis on AlbumWhale — Listen

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