Pauline Oliveros and Deep Listening

McGillPauline Oliveros (1932-2016) is known for her lifetime spent as an electronic musician creating early improvisations in the 1950’s with Terry Riley,Loren Rush and then working with Ramon Sender and Morton Subotnick to founded the San Francisco Tape Music Center. Later Pauline developed the Deep Listening Institute (now at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY) which is as much a philosophy as it is a creative practice. In addition to her creative vision her work creating a community of listeners was the force that has made her an icon. This group of people around the world include not only well known composers but also students, friends, dancers and artists. It is this community of people who are now her voice that will continue her deep listening practice.

Last October Seth Horowitz and I were contacted with a the request of a composition of 85 seconds long to present to Pauline on her 85th birthday which would have been on May 30th of this year. Yet in November of 2016 we heard that the works collected would become a memorial event instead. The event has become a concert, an exhibition and a conference which will run from June 1-3rd at McGill University. In addition a website titled “Still Listening” Pauline Oliveros” has been created to present the scores, the works and the composers in the series of events. Credit for this overwhelming task goes to the organizers Eric Lewis and Ellen Waterman as well as the curators Katherine Horgan, Dancy Mason, and Landon Morrison who have not only organized and curated the event but also commissioned Director Amy Horvey to direct the concert.

If you cannot attend the event a website has been setup called Still Listening Pauline Oliveros. There you will be able to read about Pauline’s life, the event, the composers and see and hear the amazing range of scores. Our contribution titled “Theta for Pauline,” can be heard by clicking the link embedded in the title. Theta for Pauline is a work that is based on the theta brain wave which appears during meditative, hypnotic or sleeping states and is one of the five brain waves produced by the brain. When looking at brain waves we are looking at the brain’s activity and seeing one of nature’s most complex patterns. This work will be played in the concert. The score  we contributed “Theta for Pauline,” is an ode to an enormously compassionate woman who touched many lives and through her meditation on sound brought us to a new understanding of it.

Theta for Pauline

“Theta for Pauline” by Seth Horowitz & China Blue

June 1-3, 2017
“Still Listening: New Works in Honour of Pauline Oliveros (1932­2016)”
Marvin Duchow Music Library, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Also included in the Suoni Per il Popolo festival, 4871 St-Laurent, Montréal, Québec

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About China Blue

China Blue is an award winning international artist whose current work focuses on the brain. Brainwaves of individuals, sensed through her customized EEG software, control the light and sound of an interactive sculpture and also dynamically create personal mind produced drawings. Over the past two decades she has created sound art works that focus on researching and developing data sonification. This has lead to discovering the hidden acoustics imbedded in the iron of the Eiffel Tower, submerged in Venice’s water or encased in NASA’s Vertical Gun chamber. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Engine Institute.
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