Interview with Pauline Oliveros
Lawrence Welk Used a Little Stick
Kalvos & Damian’s New Music Bazaar, Show #52, 18 May 1996. In the WGDR studio. Listen to the interview from the original broadcast [0:21:10–2:09:10].
Pauline Oliveros is a senior figure in contemporary American music, and has influenced American music profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual. Her career spans fifty years of boundary-dissolving music making. In the 60s she was part of a circle of iconoclastic composers, artists, poets working together at the San Francisco Tape Music Center. Oliveros has been as interested in finding new sounds as in finding new uses for old ones. Along with her Expanded Instrument System (EIS) Oliveros’ research interests include software and hardware development for electro-acoustic composition, performance and improvisation: DomeWorks, a collective of artists and technologists creating works for surround audio and visual compositions and improvisations; Cyberspace as a venue for performance over distance; and Deep Listening, a practice for enhancing performance, improvisation, composition and collaborations. Pauline Oliveros describes Deep Listening as a process 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. “Deep Listening is my life practice,” she explains, simply.
[Kalvos] Pauline. Welcome to the Kalvos & Damian New Music Sesquihour.
[Pauline Oliveros] It’s really a pleasure to be here.
[K] How about some history? Well, first I’ll tell my 60 seconds. I was a student at Rutgers University from 1966–70, and sometime during that time, I was taking some courses at the sister college, Douglass College, and I had the great pleasure of meeting you and hearing your music for the first time there. Over the years, I’ve just kind of followed along, and said, “Oh, this is more interesting stuff.” Then, today, we played an excerpt from from The Well & The Gentle, which to me was an absolutely monumental work, especially the whole idea of where you did it and the acoustics, and the whole concept. So, how about the Pauline Oliveros history?
[PO] Well, it started somewhere in the island of Minorca, and also Corsica, when my ancestors sailed and shipwrecked, and washed up on the shores of St. Augustine in Florida. At least, that’s on my father’s side. In any case, you mentioned the Douglass College concert that was curated by Jeff Hendrix, the performance artist, who was a dear friend and a wonderful artist. And that concert, I was talking to my partner, Ione, on the way from your house over here to the studio, about that particular concert, because it was kind of a landmark in that I had begun my work called Sonic Meditations, in about 1969–70. This concert took place around 1974 or ’73, I can’t remember exactly when, but it is a good 30 years back. On that program, I did some things that were really new to be doing in a public situation called the concert, because these were meditative works. I remember one piece consisted of white noise, listening to white noise. For half an hour. Some pretty interesting artifacts would come about. But, when it’s framed in a concert, it’s a somewhat different situation. That was one thing, and there was a piece called Teach Yourself to Fly, which has to do with following one’s breath and allowing the vocal chords to vibrate naturally, without trying to make a particular kind of sound, but to feel what the sound wants to do. That was part of that meditation. This concert was mostly done with the audience doing the performing.
[K] What led you to those kinds of ideas? How did you get from the family washed up on the shore to the meditative notion?
[PO] Well, I had to do something to calm my background, right? After all, there was more to that story. Isidro Oliveros sailed on a Spanish ship with his grandson Sebastian who was four, and pirates came into the ship. There were pirates, and the pirates’ captain opened the sea chest that Isidro was carrying, and in the sea chest he found ritual instruments of masonry, because he was a mason. He belonged to the masonic order. The pirate captain was also a mason, so he ordered all the pirates off the ship, and it sailed on, only to meet misfortune in the form of a wreckage. And Isidro actually drowned, and Sebastian the grandson, who was four years old, held onto the sea chest and washed up on the short of St. Augustine, and the sea chest is now in the oldest house in St. Augustine. You can find a replica of Sebastian’s house in the old town called Casa de Oliveros. So, that’s about as much about me, as it would, but it turns out that all my Oliveros ancestors from Minorca are singers and dancers, and they sometimes come to Florida (there is a Minorcan colony near St. Augustine), and they do sing and dance. I hope someday to catch up with that, I’ve never met them.
But then we go to the white noise, right?
[K] The white noise, yeah, this is it. Start putting the conch shell up to the ear, from the wreckage.
[PO] I’ve put conch shells up to my lips, actually, and blow them. But yeah, I think there’s a relationship there, because I was always fascinated with conch shells, from the first time I ever came in contact with one, which must have been when I was very little, because my father was a boat captain. We lived near the water in Galveston, and so those kinds of shells were around, and I did listen to them, and found it a very fascinating to do. As listening has always been a very engaging activity for me.
[K] You’ve talked about the meditative type of thing, and your Deep Listening organization, I mean, you even have that wonderful name. Is that your invention?
[PO] Yes it is, in fact it’s a trademark of the Pauline Oliveros Foundation, which is an organization that I have.
[K] You’ve got a foundation, you’ve got a website, you’ve got CDs, and you’ve an accordion, what more could one want?
[PO] I don’t know. It’s a long career, I mean, we can hardly scratch the surface in this time. [Laughter]
[K] Let’s play some music, and then we’ll get back to it.
[PO] I think that’s better, okay. Well, this [duet] is on our recent compact disc called Tosca Salad. We call it Tosca Salad because this CD is a sampler of Deep Listening Band work from the last three years, excerpts from different rehearsals and performances, and this is our own label, actually. Deep Listening, which is the label, and it’s the third of four releases that we’ve done in a year. The first one, I believe, we featured here with Joel Chadabe’s After Some Songs. Tosca Salad is the sampler, and we liked the title because it gives the feeling of many different kinds of things, which there definitely are. This duo is Stuart Dempster, who plays trombone and didgeridoo, and it’s me playing my accordion. I was listening to Coleman Hawkins and heard the trombone player and I thought, “Oh, we should really follow it up with this.”
We listen an excerpt from Duet by Pauline Oliveros and Stuart Dempster [0:31:00–0:34:38].
[K] How about the accordion? It’s not a…
[PO] It’s not a regular instrument.
[K] It’s not Myron Floren’s accordion, is it?
[PO] [Laughter] No. My accordion is tuned in a couple of systems of just intonation, which means that the intervals, the fifth and consonant intervals, are quite pure. I have one kind of tuning in my right hand and another kind in my left hand, which gives me six common tones, and six that are different, and a lot of fun. They cause a lot of colour. The pure consonant intervals make the instrument sound very resonant.
[K] By pure consonant intervals, you mean?
[PO] Intervals without beats.
[K] Right. I think if a listener were to listen very carefully to an ordinary piano that’s properly tuned in the conventional style — equal temperament —, listen very carefully playing an open fifth, say a C to a G, they would not hear a kind of a *bong* but rather a kind of *bow-ow-ow-ow*. Ever so slightly, because equal tuning doesn’t quite match the laws of physics, whereas just intonation does it differently.
[PO] Well, it comes close. But there are always discrepancies. The intervals are all unequal, rather than equal, like ordinary tuning. The equal temperament came about for reasons of harmony, and being able to play in different keys, but I’m not particularly concerned with that.
[K] You’re searching for colour.
[PO] Colour, and interesting sounds. Yes, so often when people ask me, “What do you play?” and I say “The accordion,” of course, Myron Floren comes right to mind. I just saw a special on PBS the other day, because I want to know what it is that the image of Laurence Welk and Myron Floren, what was so gripping for people. I looked at it, and I saw, you know, the 1950s, the culture of the 1950s, and I saw how very precise Laurence Welk was with his conducting.
[K] Rumour has it that he was an absolute taskmaster with that group!
[PO] Absolutely, because it’s really militaristic, and the boys and the girls are separated very carefully. They’re dressed completely asexually, so that they really just come off as these really clean kids. I mean, there’s nothing threatening, absolutely nothing threatening.
[K] And they all smile, endlessly.
[PO] Oooooh, yes, the smiles are there and everybody’s having a good time, and Lawrence is wielding that little stick. I mean, that was really discipline there, not like us coyotes here, who just do all kinds of really devil-may-care kinds of things. But it was interesting just to see that, because I hadn’t seen it for a long time, but to get the culture, and it definitely is a particular kind of culture. It’s no wonder the 60s blew the top off the thing.
[K] So, this is your instrument. How does one make a transition from that traditional way of doing something, the Lady of Spain-esque type stuff to having that… I’m asking you basically how your creative act was born out of that?
[PO] My former accordion teacher just passed away on April 30th, his name was Willard Palmer, he was a wonderful teacher. I studied with him from 1945 to 1951, and he was a very interesting accordion player, and he played all the commercial accordion music, he was a virtuoso, but he was also interested in playing Bach organ works on the accordion. He taught me all these things, but the one thing that he did that I think influenced a great deal of what I was able to discover later on, was that he pointed out to me how rich the accordion is in combination tones. When you play two tones together, a difference tone appears, the difference between the two frequencies that are sounding. He pointed that out to me one day, and made me listen very carefully to the reeds. Now, what’s wrong with a lot of accordion playing is that people are putting their fingers down and playing the notes, but they’re not listening. So it was the act of listening, and of course it’s been elaborated for me into what I called “deep listening.” Hearing is one thing, hearing is a relatively passive act, a physical phenomenon, but what we do have is attention, and whether we can focus it or diffuse it, and listening is the act of interpreting, managing and interpreting what we hear. If sound waves are coming in and you’re not paying attention to them, then you’re not listening. Even though you may be hearing.
[K] I think we, as a culture, may suffer from that, because of the onslaught, everywhere from the elevator to the Grand Union Music Network that drives little bits of compressed music home.
[PO] Yes, well, we’re in a very polyglot, multi-dimensional cultural time. It’s very different from what I experienced as a child. What I experienced and stored up in my memory as a child is very different from what, say, a 20-something has experienced. So we’re really different cultures. I mean, you know, there’s all kinds of cultures. There’s this culture, the radio studio culture, you know? You have complete understanding of a lot of things that people who have never been in a radio station would have any understanding of.
We listen to a Dream Time by Pauline Oliveros and the Deep Listening Band [0:44:15–0:51:42].
[K] Well, lead us through, tell us what we’re going to hear.
[PO] Well, as I said before, I’m going to play a piece that’s called Accordion Mirages. As I play this, you may hear your own thing as I’m playing. That has to do with the notion of mirages, because it’s the kinds of sounds that I’m going to be singing. Maybe you’ll find something.
We listen to a live performance of Accordion Mirages by Pauline Oliveros [0:54:20–1:08:52].
[K] The difference in sound between tempered tuning and just intonation, the intonation of your instrument, is spectacular. Really amazing, particularly when you brought some of the notes that were very close together, and I don’t know how to describe the effect of that beating inside clusters of other notes, but it’s really rather remarkable. How much of this is worked out ahead of time, and how much is improvised?
[PO] Okay, that’s the perennial question, isn’t it? Well, we were talking earlier about the difference between hearing and listening. Anything that I play has to do with management, interpretation and decisions that are listening-based. So, what I’m hearing is then listened to, and that’s what’s guiding the playing. It’s a mysterious process. So, you know, we can refer to it as improvisation, but the term is very broad-based, and it doesn’t really deal with the issue of what I’m doing. I start by listening, and you know, listening really leads one into altered states of consciousness. When we are merely letting sound waves impinge upon our ears, and maybe just playing notes or having some lick we’re trying to do, there’s a difference. We’re following a codified chord progression, or working on a melody, or concentrating on rhythm. These are all different kinds of ways of using one’s attention, but it may not result in a multi-dimensional form of listening. So, my base for performing anything is, How much can I listen to at once? How can I challenge myself as far as possible?
[K] That’s a good question, at a number of levels. When you were doing the duet with Stuart Dempster, I’m assuming that that’s involved there too, so let me ask you at what point do there become, say, too many people?
[PO] Well, I’ve done some sonic meditations with as many as 6,000 people.
[Damian] In one room?
[PO] No, outside. And also, you know, take a smaller group of 1,000 people, say, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. It’s a very beautiful space, with wonderful waves of sound coming through. It’s not a matter of too many or too few, it’s a matter of how well you’re listening.
[D] Do you sub-vocalize when you play?
[PO] Um, I don’t think so.
[D] That was my tendency when I was listening to it.
[PO] Mm-hmm? Oh, good, I’m glad you brought that up, because people very often tell me that they feel like singing when I’m performing, and I always say, “Well how come you didn’t?” Then I try to make an invitation, often, so that people can join in.
[K] We have a small number of people in the audience down there, is it possible that you would invite them into the situation today, or would you like to go on with another piece?
[PO] I’ll do another piece, which invites people to join in. Everyone has an invitation, okay? Including the whole radio audience, however many there may be, or not be.
We listen to a live performance, with audience participation, of Untitled, slow, by Pauline Oliveros [1:15:25–1:24:00].
[K] One of the things I noticed as I was sitting there, joining you in the vocal part, sort of letting that happen, was that my heartbeat was actually sort of bouncing the tone around a little bit. I’d noticed that before, I’d noticed that I’d gotten into a place where the pitch was actually altered by my other body aspects going on, it’s quite beautiful.
[PO] Yes, well, as you get into that, lots of different kinds of rhythms of the body take part. There’s a kind of a sensing of many different aspects, kinds of sensitivities that really exist, if you are listening, and find them, discover them.
[K] You’ve spent a lot of time with that feeling of that open fifth, that very rich… I say “rich,” isn’t that strange, because most people consider that an empty sound in traditional harmonic speaking, but I find it really rich and full. What are your feelings about that sound?
[PO] Well, because the instrument is so rich in overtones, there’s a lot of interplay of upper partials, even though you’re holding one sound, many other things are happening. So, if you sustain it long enough, then you can be into direct attention to that interplay that’s going on, so where you thought nothing was happening, myriads of things are happening. This is true as the energy flows through the body as well. When we pay attention to it, it becomes more and more amazing.
[K] Do you distract yourself if you have your eyes open?
[PO] No, I can work with eyes open. But, eyes closed gives me a heightened sense of hearing, and also heightened sense of space around me.
[K] Shall we talk about what’s coming up next week in concert now?
[PO] Oh, okay, that would be a good idea. Deep Listening Band, which originates from Kingston, New York, will be having a concert on May 25 in Kingston, at the Trinity United Methodist Church at 8 pm. Stuart Dempster will be there. Stuart lives in Seattle. David Gamper lives in Kingston, as I do. We keep the band together through email. So, we always are talking to one another, then Stuart meets up with us. For example, now we have the concert on May 25, we also are going to repeat the concert on May 30 in New York City, at Merkin Concert Hall for the World Music Institute’s “Interpretations” series. We have two commissioned works, one is by Thomas Buckner, who is a wonderful baritone, and he’s made a piece for us called Declaration of Independence. This is very interesting, because he’s making a listening strategy for us, where we try to find a way to be independent of each other, in the performing. And then there’s a new piece by Joe Giardullo, who plays flute and saxophone, called Elemental Ode, and he’s written a text for it which is dedicated to the [Italian stoneworkers who constituted the original anarchists of pre-nation Italy]. The text will be done by Thomas Buckner, we will be performing it, and it also involves some strategies that we’ll have to absorb, before we play.
[K] What does that mean, strategy?
[PO] A strategy is guidelines for, in this case, performing. So there are things where your attention is directed, and things that you do. Let me see what would be a good example of a strategy. Well, one thing is don’t play anything unless you can hear it first. That would be a strategy. Then, you’d have available to you a large number of tactics, and they would all work, if you actually hear what you’re going to do before you do it, and that would mean that there was probably space or time that gets interpolated because you’re concentrating your attention to hear something before you play it. So that would be one strategy.
[K] So this is different from what you might call… if you were working in a jazz improvisatory mode, you would be working on chordal kinds of ideas which are set out. Your strategy might be to comp on the chords.
[PO] That’s right, exactly, yeah. So, there are all kinds of strategies available.
[D] What kind of maintenance is involved in your instrument. I mean, do you have to get it oiled and… silanized?
[PO] Get the oil changed, yeah. Actually I just did that, I sent it to my manufacturer, this is the Ernest Deffner company in Mineola. Faithe Deffner, who’s been very faithful all these years, helping me with this instrument, keeping it in good shape. This is a Titano accordion, and it was manufactured in Castelfidardo, Italy, and assembled there in Mineola. The design of the instrument was done by my teacher, Willard Palmer, and has what’s called a free bass mechanism, which gives me single notes.
[K] So somebody actually designs the instruments, you know it’s hard for me to imagine that instrument design still continues.
[PO] Well, consider that the instrument was first designed in 1830 in Vienna.
[K] It’s that recent? You know, I know nothing of the history of the accordion.
[PO] Well, let’s go back a little further. The instrument is related to the Asian mouth organs, such as the Chinese sheng, the Japanese sho, and Thai khaen. For instance, the khaen is bamboo pipes with a free reed in each pipe, and you blow through the instrument. There’s a gourd that these pipes are set into, and then the player cups the bowl and blows into the opening, and there are finger holes to change which pipe is engaged. So this is the ancestor of the accordion, and goes back many, many centuries.
And a good story: there was a Chinese emperor who was very enamoured of the cry of the phoenix bird, and so he sent his instrument maker off on a trek into the mountains to find a way to make an instrument that would represent the phoenix. So, after many years and lots of experiments, the instrument maker finally arrived, holding that gourd with the bamboo pipes. He played it for the emperor, and of course the emperor was pleased, and the instrument maker was rewarded, which eventually resulted in the accordion. I have a new CD coming, which is a dual CD on Big Cat Records, which originates from England. This recording is called In the Shadow of the Phoenix. It features myself and Randy Raine-Reusch, who is a master of all of the Asian mouth organs. So we play a number of pieces on that CD, with the accordion and with the Asian mouth organs. It’s a very challenging situation, but it should be out now, as a matter of fact.
[K] Can you challenge us with another piece? Then we’ll bring you back into the studio and we can hear a little bit more about your life, and future plans as well.
We listen to a live performance of Untitled, fast, by Pauline Oliveros [1:35:35–1:44:25].
[K] Now, Pauline Oliveros is back in the studio, and it’s time to talk about the Deep Listening retreat.
[PO] This Deep Listening retreat I have been doing every summer, this will be the sixth year coming up. This retreat takes place in the Sangre de Crisco Mountains in New Mexico, just outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico. That’s 8,000 feet up, so you’re really high. It’s a beautiful, private retreat centre run by a friend of mine, so we’re the only thing happening, and it’s a very beautiful, pristine environment, and there ain’t no poisonous critters up there. The only annoyance is the occasional mosquito.
There are two [Deep Listening retreats] this year. The first one is July 28 through August 2, and is for people who’ve not experienced my work before, or if people who want to come back can. The second retreat follows August 4 through 9, and is an advanced retreat. I have many returning people, you know, who’ve been four and five times to the retreats, and the second retreat is going to be very interesting for me, because it will be the initiation of the three-year certificate program. There are teachers who are interested in incorporating deep listening in their work with children, and adults. So, I’m going to be teaching what it is that I do, trying to give people a deeper understanding of the process, the creative process that is involved. We always do creative projects in these retreats. You can go to the website and see the newsletter, and there are scores, stories, poems, that have come as a result of the week up there on those mountains.
[K] Does this change how people listen in their everyday lives, as well?
[PO] Well, it certainly can. Everyday life is certainly part of listening. I mean, it’s not just listening to music, or listening to performers, but it’s listening at every level. Then it gets deep.
[K] It’s hard to talk about this, we have sort of a limited amount of time, and we should really be having the listening community, sort of relaxing, it would be a good opportunity. How do you make the transition into and out of playing each piece? What happens, because you made this wonderful change between the middle piece that you played, and then this wild kind of, I don’t know how to describe it but everyone’s heard it, it almost sounded skitterish at first, but then it developed into this wonderful set of almost Baroque counterpoint. How did you make that happen, so quickly?
[PO] Well, I think the best way to describe it is in energy. I feel I’m wanting to move some energy around so as to tap into the quicker rhythms that are going on, and maybe it’s almost like something, all different rhythms that one could find. For example, how often do you blink?
[K] That’s a good question. And since you asked that question, I start doing it.
[PO] How often do you open your mouth and close it? What’s the tempo of your walking, you know, what the rate of walking is, at a normal walk? Do you know how slow you can walk, do you know how fast you can walk? So there are all these rhythms that are going on all the time, and we’re not paying much attention to them, because they’re just happening, they’re part of our existence.
[K] Some rhythms unfold very slowly, particularly here in Vermont, of course our seasonal rhythms are more obvious than it might be in an urban area, so we can see that.
[PO] Right. So it’s those kinds of things that are informing the playing, because I’m listening to them.
[K] Where are you going from here? What’s the future, you practically introduced the world to these meditative kinds of things a long time ago, and you’ve been developing and working with the listening, getting deeper, and the ideas are very, very mature. What’s in the future?
[PO] Well, I think it’s transmitting to others so that they can take it on, if they want to. Trying to bring my knowledge and experience together, and share it with people, by providing an environment for the experiences to take place.
[K] Tell us what the Pauline Oliveros Foundation is, it’s been around here more than ten years, it’s very, very well established. Tell us more about it.
[PO] Well, it really was established in 1985 by me as a means of providing a support platform, or support structure, for the creation of new work. Not only for myself, but for others, and also to be a structure that could carry forward the ideas and philosophy of the kind of work that I’m doing. To give people context for their own creative processes, because I don’t think there are many organizations — or that I know of — that do this, or are not concentrated on something like presenting and supporting creative processes. I feel that everyone in all society, throughout every level, needs to be able to access that in themselves.
[K] Do you consult with businesses?
[PO] No, I haven’t.
[K] Would you? Would you consider something like that?
[PO] Sure, because businesses have discovered that they need creativity. If they don’t have it, their business doesn’t survive very well, that’s quite plain. Now, we need businesses to tell Government that creativity needs to be supported in schools.
[K] Have you done regular teaching in schools? Has that been one of your venues?
[PO] Well, I was a Professor at the University of California, San Diego for 14 years, and I resigned because I felt that I wanted to pursue a freelance career, and create this organization, because I thought that this is what I needed, and what I knew a lot of others needed.
[K] But you’re going west again to teach.
[PO] Well, it happens that this, ’96, seems to be the year of returning to academia on a visiting basis. I had a wonderful time teaching at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in March-April, and in the fall I’ll be teaching a full semester at Mills College in Oakland, California. This, I should say, is a kind of an interesting return, because I was the first director of the Tape Music Center at Mills College in 1966–67, 30 years ago. This organization became the Center for Contemporary Music, which what it goes under now. But it was because Morton Subotnick, Ramon Sender and myself formed the San Francisco Tape Music Center in 1960, because there was no place to work on electronic music for young composers, anywhere, except maybe Columbia-Princeton.
[K] And you really had to be associated with the schools pretty much to get access to that there.
[PO] But other schools had no studios of any kind, anywhere. So that was the kind of prototype of an alternate organization, and it sort of really saved my life. It gave me context, a place to practice my art, and develop it. So, that’s why I guess I still think I need it. But anyway, here’s the full circle return: I’ve taught before at Mills, for a semester, but this semester I’ll be teaching in the Darius Milhaud chair.
[K] Please tell us that story.
[PO] Well, in the very early 50s, I was looking for a composition teacher, and I did call to see if it’s possible to get an appointment, but he was too busy to see me. So, I met him of course, him and Mme. Milhaud in 1966 when I was directing the Tape Music Center, which was my first experience in a position like that. So, it’s rather interesting to be returning in this capacity.
[K] You started the Tape Music Center, and you seem to be working almost entirely in a very personal acoustic realm. How do you feel about the burgeoning of electronics now? Do you feel that this is part of what you brought out?
[PO] Well, I think I was a part of that evolution, since I’d started working with tape in the early 50s, when tape recorders first became available on the home market. My mother gave me one for my birthday, 1953!
[K] Ooh, now there’s a mother who had an idea! Wow, that’s great!
[PO] Yeah, and she continues to have ideas, she’s quite amazing. I think the tape recorder’s the most important instrument of the 20th century, in terms of music and musicians. It’s a tool which has enabled the finest musicianship that you can imagine, because performers are able to get immediate feedback as to what they sound like.
[K] And you don’t appear to be working in it, the medium, now?
[PO] Oh yes. Well, you know, now it’s hard disk recording. And computer control, so it’s a whole different thing.
[K] So part of what we heard today live, you actually had some electronic work going on there, did you not? Did you have a little acoustic manipulation, with the echoes?
[PO] Oh, well, the audio engineer, Greg provided me with livening, livening up the studio room, which is very dead acoustically, so yes, that was a little acoustic manipulation, but then I was listening to it very carefully.
[K] We have really run out of time. This has been a wonderful, wonderful couple of hours. Maybe you could leave us with some ideas, some things that we should have started asking you about, things we should have talked about?
[PO] Well, let’s see, we talked about the Foundation, we talked about the website, deeplistening.org… And you can go there and find information about the retreats, about the Deep Listening Band, and the history and timeline, the band discography, you can find the Deep Listening catalogue, which has the work of over 85 composers.
[K] It’s a phenomenal catalogue. Anyone who hasn’t had a look at the catalogue, you can go right to the website and have a look. It has got some of the most remarkable composers of the latter half of the 20th century.
[PO] Yeah, in my introduction in the catalogue, I can’t remember exactly what I say there, but it’s something about… Oh, here it is. “What is new music in the 20th century? What will it be in the 21st century, what composers are at the leading edge? What composers will synthesize or codify the cogent changing characteristics of our time, make it manifest in our music? Who listens to new music? What is its importance? Answers to these questions might be found within this catalogue now, and as it expands in the future.”
[K] Excellent. It’s very interesting, as we were flipping through this catalogue, I noticed that some of the things that we have played on the show are part of a historical legacy in the catalogue as well. We are the proud possessors of original copies of The Expanding Universe which is Laurie Spiegel’s album [see interview in this issue of eContact!], and the wonderful American Text-Sound Pieces, which we’ve also played on the show. It’s a wonderful catalogue, it’s a document itself of the present…
[PO] Of part of it, yes. A part of it, and it fills a real need for some distribution of works that are otherwise rather difficult to find.
We listen to From Now On, by Pauline Oliveros and the Deep Listening Band [2:02:10–2:09:10].