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What Matters? Make the Music!

Thank you. Thank you Darren Copeland for the nice introduction. Thanks also to Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC) and New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA) in collaboration with the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) for inviting me here for the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium (TIES). I appreciate your hospitality.

Because it feels really special for me to be here, I’m going to talk to you off the cuff today. I came to Toronto in the summer of 1966 to take the course that was offered at the University of Toronto in Electronic Music and especially the course in circuit design with Hugh Le Caine. This visit preceded my appointment at Mills College for the Mills Tape Music Center that began in the fall of 1966. The class was pivotal because a big change was about to occur, with a shift from the classic electronic music studio to a new model based around synthesizers; this was initiated by Don Buchla on the West Coast with the modular synthesizer, Robert Moog with his Moog Synthesizer on the East Coast and Paolo Ketoff with his SynKet in Italy.

The population of that pivotal Electronic Music class included Murray Schafer, who was digging into electronic music for the first time. The class also included several who have already passed away: J.D. Robb from New Mexico, Jean Eichelberger Ivy from Baltimore, Yvan Tcherepnin of Cambridge and Richard Robinson, a wonderful composer who still lives in Decatur, Georgia. My contacts with that group continued after we returned to our respective locations. It’s very impressive how you form relationships that continue. My friendship with Murray Schafer is still going even though we hardly ever see each other, but when we do it is very friendly and has that base of memory from the summer of 1966.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Pauline Oliveros playing inside the Dan Harpole Cistern in 1988. [Click image to enlarge]

The director of the studio at that time was Gustav Ciamaga. An excellent teacher and composer, he taught the course in Electronic Music. We all learned a great deal and I also have to say that the University of Toronto Electronic Music Studio (UTEMS) was one of the best in the world of the classic electronic music studios. I was very appreciative of this excellence, because with my colleagues we were working in what we called the San Francisco Tape Music Center (SFTMC). That studio was put together by hook and by crook with all sorts of equipment that was never intended for making music. It was easy to see that there was a great deal of sophistication in UTEMS with Hugh Le Caine, this remarkable and marvellous engineer who was making instruments for electronic music, whereas we didn’t have that at the time that we started to make tape music. But as I said in the title of this talk, “What Matters? Make the Music.” So we made the music even though we didn’t have the kind of equipment that was to come. It was very early in the game.

What I want to do today is take you through a few key pieces of music that I made in that period. I’m going to start before the summer of ’66 because I want to also recognize a very powerful relationship with a wonderful group from my college days, where people often form strong relationships. I was a composer seeking good information to help me make my music, because that’s what matters.

I was in a composer’s workshop at San Francisco State College, where I was going to school. Dr. Wendell Otey, a remarkable man, led the composer’s workshop. There were twenty-five students in this composer’s workshop. I was the only woman in this course. My music was rather different from the kind of consensus Neo-Romantic music that was usual for the composers in that workshop; my music was very dissonant.

The way Dr. Otey worked was to put the composer’s piece up on the piano and play through it and talk about it. Whenever it came my turn of the twenty-five he put the music up and the whole class would get up and walk out. So I got some good early training. This went on for a while but then after a few weeks there were a couple of guys that were hanging out and listening in. So that was good and then it turned out that one of them was Stuart Dempster and the other one was Terry Riley and then there was another, Loren Rush. Loren (a marvellous composer), Stuart and Terry were all studying with the same teacher outside of school and that was Robert Erickson. One of the important things about our studying with Erickson was that he encouraged us to improvise. We formed a nice friendship and we listened to each other’s music and talked about it, drank beer together, and so forth.

The first community radio station in the United States was KPFA in Berkeley, California. We all learned a great deal about New Music and world music from the broadcasts. There was a four-hour concert every morning — four hours of contemporary music. Yes, now imagine having that happen today! But that is where we learned about contemporary music and music from Europe and world music it was a great education.

One day in 1957, Terry Riley had a little commission from the sculptor Claire Falkenstein for the five-minute film, Polyester Moon, about her work. Terry didn’t have time to write the music. Since Loren was working as a programme assistant at KPFA, he had access to nice big AMPEX tape recorders at the station. That is where the first professional tape machines were located — in radio stations. Otherwise we didn’t have any access to tape machines for quite a while in the early ’50s.

Loren was competent in recording using those machines so we went into the station and decided to improvise some five-minute tracks for Terry’s score. We had been encouraged by our teacher Robert Erickson to improvise, so that is what we did. This was the first improvisation group that I know about that was coming from an Art music standpoint. Improvisation was discouraged in music schools and conservatories; it was left for organists to improvise transitions from one hymn to another. Otherwise improvisation was not something you did.

Audio 1 (16:01). Improvisation #1, performed by Pauline Oliveros (French horn), Terry Riley (piano) and Loren Rush (percussion and koto) in 1957.

So here we go — we go into the station, we sit down, we start to improvise and we did several tracks. I’m going to play one of them for you so you can just hear what the music sounded like in 1957 between these three composers sitting down together to play music for the first time without any kind of score or prompt.

Ok, so that’s a taste of improvisation from 1957. Terry was playing piano, Loren Rush was playing Koto and percussion and I was playing French horn. The improvising was solely from listening to one another.

Moving on to 1961, I’ll play you a bit of my very first tape piece. The other scene that I am going to try to carry through this talk is about space, because this conference is centred on spatiality. I want to talk about how to listen to space, how we listen to space and how space is expressed in my pieces as I go through these examples. I’m going to play a little bit longer examples than usual.

Audio 2 (5:42). Pauline Oliveros — Time Perspectives 1961, for tape.

Time Perspectives 1961 was my very first attempt at making tape music in my home studio. My home studio consisted of a tape recorder and a microphone. This tape recorder was a consumer model from Sears Roebuck and Co. It had two speeds — 7-1/2 and 3-3/4 — but it also had an interesting feature: you could record and hand-wind the tape as you recorded, so you got variable speed. I had a bathtub that I used for reverb and the walls of the house, which I also used. I had an apple box — a wooden crate that I put a contact mic on an amplified small springs different kinds of pieces of metal and other objects. I also had a pair of soup ladles. The ladle part had been removed from the handle so the bowls became musical instruments that I could activate with friction and cupped hands as well as striking them. They were very resonant. For filters I had cardboard tubes; I put the microphone in the end of the tube. So cardboard filters, cardboard boxes, walls, bathtubs and the tape recorder itself — that was my home studio from 1961.

Moving on to the next piece brings us to the summer of 1966 at the University of Toronto Electronic Music Studio. One of the reasons I want to play this piece and talk about it a bit is because it is one of the fantastic moments of my musical life. I had been working at the San Francisco Tape Music Center as I said, and we moved that Studio to Mills College in 1966. I was appointed as the Co-Director along with Visualist Anthony Martin for the Tape Center Studio at Mills. I felt that I didn’t know very much about electronic music; I only knew how to make it so I wanted to go to a good studio.

I spied the ad for the class at the University of Toronto and went there and was very glad that I did. As soon as I got there, I set up studio in the way that I was used to working. I had invented my own way of making electronic music. It was actually based on some information that I had received from my accordion teacher (Willard Palmer) many years before on how to listen for difference tones and how to generate difference tones by playing an interval and pulling really hard on the bellows so you could hear the difference between the two tones.

I had always been fascinated with this phenomenon and wanted to hear difference tones without the generating tones. One day at the San Francisco Tape Music Center I noticed that on the oscillators you could go way above the range of hearing. So I thought, “Aahhh, I am going to try that!” I patched up two oscillators. We didn’t have a mixer as they still weren’t available (at least not to us in 1965), we’d have to build it to have one.

So I patched in a couple of these big Hewlett Packard test oscillators — those test oscillators are large and have a big dial on the front that you can turn to change the frequency, which is not very handy for making music. I was listening to hear the difference tones… I heard nothing. I decided that it must be because they needed to be amplified. I put an amplifier in the line and boom, sure enough I heard my first difference tone with out hearing the generating tones. This was very exciting. Then I started touching the dials and saw that I could sweep the audio range just by moving my hand a little bit and pretty soon I had a musical instrument that I could play. I could make sounds that didn’t take much movement but it took a lot of listening to understand how to play this new instrument.

I made some pieces at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, one of them is called Bye Bye Butterfly and some of you may have heard it. It has been played many times and recorded and is recognized. I went from there to University of Toronto and here I am in this beautiful studio. Instead of just two or three oscillators there was a bank of twelve oscillators and each one was connected to a key in a keyboard. You could key on the oscillator then turn the dial for whatever you wanted to do with it.

Audio 3 (4:43). Pauline Oliveros — I of IV (1966), for tape.

I set up my way of generating difference tones. I used fishing weights to hold down keys for certain oscillators, then I could play them independently. I made I of IV on the particular day in the studio that I am saying was one of the fantastic days of my musical life. It’s I of IV because I planned to make four, but actually made five — there is a V of IV. I made five pieces that day but I of IV was particularly amazing. I am going to play the opening of I of IV.

Ok, now I am going to stop it here for a moment because I want to tell you more about it that I didn’t tell you before it started. There is a very important aspect of this piece and of the way that I made my electronic music. I used tape delay. This started when I noticed the time difference when monitoring both the direct sound and the playback sound from the tape recorder heads. This time difference is caused and measured by the distance between the two heads. I noticed that if I monitored both at once and I adjusted the volume of the playback against what was being recorded that I would get a spatial effect and a kind of change in quality. I made a lot of pieces earlier than Bye Bye Butterfly using tape delay but also exploiting that particular difference.

Next I started placing a reel on one machine then running the tape over to another machine so the tape would go past two playback heads. The piece was done with a patch bay (remember there were no mixers) and tape delay, a bank of twelve oscillators and a line amplifier only with me playing the oscillators and also routing the tape signals to the tracks.

For I of IV the tape machines were connected to the patch bay so that I had four channels of sound — two coming from the first machine and two coming from the second machine. There were four speakers in the studio. I was able to play two channels on one set of speakers and two channels on the other, be in the centre of the studio and hear the piece in four channels, but the resulting tape was recorded in stereo on one tape. So the resulting piece was a 4-channel piece embedded in a stereo tape. But my hearing of the piece is probably the only one that got the authentic spatial 4-channel effect, and the piece itself was improvised in real time.

I of IV and Time Perspectives are both 4-channel pieces and we are hearing them in stereo unfortunately, or fortunately, or however we want to think about it.

The Time Perspectives piece was presented with two stereo tape recorders to play back two tapes. I remember that my colleague Ramon Sender Barayon and I had to roll the tape out in the long hall of the San Francisco Conservatory to line them up properly.

Audio 4 (2:43). Pauline Oliveros — “Screamer” excerpt from I of IV (1966).

Now I am going to come to the part of I of IV that was so startling, amazing and so joyful for me that I started laughing in the studio. There was one person else there with me — some of you may know him, his name is Reynold Weidenaar. At the time he was an apprentice for Robert Moog, who was making the Moog System down the road in Trumansburg, New York. Anyway, I don’t know how this amazing moment in the piece happened. It came out of nowhere. Spatial effects were happening with the delays and with the way that they were routed across one another, so maybe track one would come back to track one or come back to track two, or track two could come back in the same way, so that these tape channels were crossing and causing the spatial effects heard even in stereo. The sound was circling around and that was very important and interesting to me. You heard the first part of the piece that stated a lot of the material that was elaborated, but then this part comes up and all of a sudden there is a melody that is called the “screamer”. It seems to be in a space that is different from the rest of the piece — large and looping melodies with a very wide range and high volume. I was very excited by this development and I have to say that I of IV is one of my favourite pieces of my work of all time. I always smile when I hear it.

So that’s the Screamer part of I of IV and as I said, I have no idea where it came from; it just came out of the blue and took me away.

The summer of 1966 in UTEMS was really productive. I went on from I of IV to make a number of pieces, very different but using a lot of similar approaches to using tape machines, oscillators and sometimes white noise, maybe some vocal stuff as well. I remember an improvisation session one day with Murray Schafer. It was great fun to see him singing and playing. I’ll talk more about Hugh Le Caine on Sunday if some of you are around 1[1. The talks that were part of the Hugh Le Caine Special Session at the 2014 Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium were published in eContact! 16.2 — Hugh Le Caine].

I want to move on and play a bit from 1988. This was a time when Stuart Dempster and Panaiotis and I went down into the cistern fourteen feet underground — it’s called the Dan Harpole Cistern now, since the recording we made became an underground classic, pun intended. We were fourteen feet underground when we made the recording and that’s probably why we called it Deep Listening. Stuart and I are really incurable, incorrigible punsters, so there you go. And it’s still happening after 60 years or more of friendship, we just can’t stop it. We don’t want to either.

Anyway, this piece called Suiren is track two of the recording in the cistern (Fig. 1). The cistern is a remarkable space. Learning how to listen to it and play with it is a very enlightening thing to do. The reverberation time is forty-five seconds so if you are playing more than one instrument you can play one of them, put it down and play the other, and play duets with yourself — all very fun. It is very hard to tell the difference between the direct sound and the reflected sound. The sound also moves around the cistern so that the reflections are coming at you in surround. It is not possible on a recording to document the experience or to hear it as when you are actually in the space.

Audio 5 (10:01). Pauline Oliveros — Suiren (1988). Released on Deep Listening (New Albion).

So there’s been a lot of listening going on with Stuart and others listening to spaces, which is very important whenever you play wherever you play. Every space has its own characteristics. And this is also incorporated into the performance for better or worse now. The cistern is a great lesson and a great teacher. So I am going to play this now a little bit of it so you can hear what it sounds like.

So if you like to sing in the shower — the cistern is bliss.

Audio 6 (5:11). Pauline Oliveros — This Great Fool’s Stage (1986). Released on Crone Music (Lovely Music).

We went on to make other real-time recordings in the cistern, so there are other releases, such as The Readymade Boomerang or Stuart Dempster’s Cistern Chapel. A lot of people think that the cistern recordings are electronic music but it’s all acoustic and it’s all improvised in real time. I played the early improvisation with Terry and Loren first because I wanted to show an approach to making music, the root of improvising that has developed over this last half-century.

I’m going to skip to 1989. I’m playing an accordion using Lexicon PCM42 processors and PCM 70 reverberators and the album is Crone Music. I will play a couple of cuts from Crone Music just to show the spatiality I was trying for. I loved the cistern and I had always liked playing in a variety of spaces and listening to the spaces, but one of the things I had in mind was that it should be possible to change the space while you are playing. This was my first attempt at trying to do that using the Lexicons to affect different spaces during the course of the music. This one is called This Great Fool’s Stage, from Crone Music.

Audio 7 (2:14). Excerpt from Pauline Oliveros’ Lear on the Road (1986). Released on Crone Music (Lovely Music).

This next cut is called Lear on the Road and landed into a different space altogether. I should mention that the accordion that I was playing is a Titano Accordion, custom designed to Willard Palmer’s specifications with a quint register like an organ stop that gave it a very unique sound. Ok, here’s the last two minutes.

Crone Music was at the beginning of developing what I call the Expanded Instrument System (EIS) using delays and reverberation and eventually moving into a more complex set up and into the digital domain. What I’ve been playing for you is coming from my analogue native state — this is true, I call myself an analogue native and a digital immigrant. I’ve immigrated but I still speak broken digital.

Now if you can hang in with me for a couple more things here I want to skip to 1990 when the Deep Listening Band made some recordings in a limestone cave near Kingston, New York, where I live. We explored the cave and found many different acoustic spaces in the cave. There were places with slap backs, places with smooth reverberations and with different time delays. We moved around the cave to play and in this piece, Cannery Row, we had found a particularly nice spot where you could hear the cave water as well as the reverberation of the cave itself, but we decided to bring other spaces into the cave.

Audio 8 (18:05). Pauline Oliveros — Cannery Row (1990). Released on Troglodyte’s Delight (1990).

We were at the Williams Lake Hotel in Rosendale, New York, with a friend in the kitchen. We got a bunch of cans of different sizes from our friend. There were water drops in the cave. In the performance tape I’ll play we had children in the audience place the cans under the water drops. The children could come and move them around so that we got different spatial qualities from the cans themselves as well as the cave. So then our task was to play in the water drops almost inaudibly until we began to take over and become really blended with the cave and the water drops. This was a very special way of listening to space and to interacting with it in a variety of ways. Cannery Row is from the album Troglodyte’s Delight.

I am going to jump to 2011 and play you something where the controls for the Expanded Instrument System for the Deep Listening Band are digital. We made the leap from analogue to digital, but you know analogue is still part of everything. We’ve got these analogue speakers around, so no matter how digital you are you still have to deal with that right? So far!

Audio 9 (19:02). Excerpt from Pauline Oliveros’ Great Horned Howl (2011). Released on Great Howl at Town Haul (Important Records).

This piece, Great Horned Howl, is from a recording session in Town Hall in Seattle. Deep Listening Band had a residency there for a week. We were very fortunate to have support from the University of Washington [DX Arts] for technical support so that none of us had to worry about the setups and we could just come in and play. This was great for our esteemed band member David Gamper, who plays piano on this recording. David was a stalwart member of the Deep Listening Band took care of our technical needs. That was our last recording session with David because he passed away of a heart attack nine months later. We are still grieving for him. I want to play Great Horned Howl to remember David and what a great player and member of the band he was. He was also a long-time friend and a student of mine at the University of California San Diego in 1970s. The youngest member checks out first. Now for the Great Horned Howl. I’m going to spare you the howling; I just want you to hear the first part of the piece, which I think will be a good lift for ending this talk.

Questions from the Audience

[Darren Copeland, Moderator] You made a reference to the cistern recording that the players had a task to work a certain way. I was wondering if you approached your early compositions, improvisations, and the work that you did in the studio in a similar way? They seemed to be also informed by improvisation and I’m thinking that the Sonic Meditations 2[2. The Sonic Meditations are 25 meditations for musicians of all ages and skill levels, to help them learn how to focus on, listen to and produce sound naturally.] are kind of instructions. Has that kind of notion always been persistent from the beginning? The idea that this improvisation is framed by some goal, or perhaps there is some way of focusing your attention?

[Pauline Oliveros] Well yes, I played the 1957 group improvisation for you because it was from then on that improvisation developed all the way through. Everything that I played for you today is improvised. But the understanding of listening — listening to one another, listening to the space especially — is extremely important in all of that. When we went down into the cistern, at first it was just going to be an excursion to listen to it. But then we took instruments, and then as an afterthought took a recording engineer, and then after five hours in the cistern made an album that was called Deep Listening, that was from deep underground. That’s where it came from. Puns are very rich in understanding and you develop from there. Once I started calling the work that I was doing “deep listening” from that pun, it began to resonate and be very informative of how to proceed. And to proceed you always have to listen first. You can listen after, now. We are listening after to all of this music and this barely scratched the surface of what has happened over the past half-century. I have to say that I have been here that long, and longer.

[DC] Would you think of those early works, your approach in listening, as being the same as today? Could you categorize it as being Deep Listening? [I’m interested in hearing about] where your attention and focus [lie], in terms of creating, in terms of improvising and working with the sounds, how that has evolved over time?

[PO] First of all, I have always been interested in sound, since very early childhood and probably before I fully realized I was a child. Sound was extremely important. I was always interested in differences and the way sounds behaved. I was always focusing on that. In this particular development over so many years, it gets richer and deeper because you begin to realize how optimized you are for listening to speech. That happens of course as soon as you are born — you are prompted to listen to speech and to communicate, learn to communicate. As you do that a lot of neurons are sloughed off because they are not being used to perceive what’s all around you. So you have to work a bit to get those pathways working again. A baby has far more neurons than an adult, in huge numbers, just because of that. So if we are so focussed all the time on speech, then without realizing [it we may disregard the very deep information that is carried by the sounds of words]. All of that kind of information accumulates over your lifetime; it’s always growing and changing. That certainly has happened through all these years with the music, but the starting point is how are you listening?

[Don Hill] Two short questions: When you were in the cistern, did you play in the dark?

[PO] Well the cistern is not very well lit, because there is only a manhole opening.

[DH] So when the others were down there you didn’t light it or anything?

[PO] Well, maybe a flashlight or a lantern or something. We just got accustomed to the light that was coming down from that opening.

[DH] Did you find as you played inside the immersive space with the 45-second delay, did you see other light that was not man-made?

[PO] Oh, you mean, “Did I see the light?”! [Laughter]

[DH] These old stories are interesting, and if so what colour was it?

[PO] You see what happens to me is that I close my eyes anyway when I play, so I am not focused on visual phenomena; I’m really more involved with auditory phenomena.

[DH] There are cross-sensory modalities. Mozart, for example, complained that he saw purple.

[PO] Well good for him. [Laughter] That’s a good colour! And my mother always talked about seeing colours when she was hearing certain music, but for me I really seem to be hung up on auditory and kinetic awareness.

[DH] Did you feel some somatic effects? Some feelings in the body that couldn’t otherwise be explained?

[PO] Well, I am sorry, I don’t think that I can help you.

[DH] Those are unusual spaces, and humans have been attracted to caves, constructing cathedrals, fo instance. Mr. Bach complained that the Thomas church was the only space he could play in because it was tuned.

[PO] Space means a whole lot. I understand what you are talking about.

[DH] Did you smell anything?

[PO] Well, the cistern didn’t smell all that great, it was more like a wine cellar.

[Audience member] Pauline, I wondered if you could talk about the work you have done with Jonas Braasch about recreating the cistern?

[PO] Oh yes, I didn’t get that far today, but we took my Rensselaer Polytechnique Institute colleague Jonas Braasch, who is an acoustician, to the cistern. He took an impulse response of the cistern and brought it back and worked for about three years with a couple of grad students, and they simulated the cistern. That was not an easy task because it is one of the smoothest reverberations that I know. It took a lot of work.

On my eightieth birthday, I was given a beautiful present. The present was the cistern simulation. We played a concert in the beautiful 1200-seat auditorium at Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer, also known as EMPAC. This is a great space. We had the cistern simulation with an array of about 36 speakers and also some speakers under the floor of the hall, and we created a cistern with an audience of 600 people in the cistern, plus our being in it and performing.

That concert was quite joyful and wonderful and I was very happy. We have been playing in the simulated cistern since, at different places, and we made an anniversary recording at the Dunrobin Sonic Gym in Dunrobin, Ontario, last year — the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Deep Listening Band. That recording is going to be released probably in the fall sometime with the simulated cistern. We recently did a concert at RPI during the conference Deep Listening: Art/Science festival. The Deep Listening Band with Jonas and the cistern, also with Johannes Welsch who brought one of his five-foot gongs (unbelievable sound) and an array of gongs that he played with us. Also the Canadian percussionist Jesse Stewart of Carleton University — you may know he is an amazing percussionist. These were our guests playing with us in the simulated cistern. It works!

[DC] It doesn’t smell!

[PO] Well yes, and it’s a little easier; you don’t have to lower your instruments down on a line and take the ladder down fourteen feet.

[DC] Any other questions?

[Audience member] I have a quick question about the difference between composition and performance in terms of — it seems more and more relevant to ask you this — how you have approached the last decades of [music-]making. How much of your work is interested or engaged with performance for an audience, and how much is really just about composition regardless of whether or not an audience hears it?

[PO] It’s almost all about audience and performance. Tomorrow night I come up on the stage and play for the audience. I didn’t compose it either.

[Audience member] This might be too big or too personal a question but in the fifties how did you know to persist in sound that was kind of up against your environment? Itounded like you were persisting in that even before you teamed up.

[PO] Well the title of this keynote is “What Matters? Make the Music!” And that is what I did. I kept on doing what I was doing. There was a little book made of my sayings called “Pauline’s Proverbs”. One of my proverbs was “Keep on doing what you want to do until someone pays you for it.” I can say I did that.

[Audience member] First of all, thank you so much for your talk, it was such a pleasure to hear you go through such a long span of time. One thing that kind of struck me in your talk about spaces was the perspective of geography and all the places that you have lived and been, and the scenes that were there and weren’t there and how you started off in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is where I live now. And to my generation, living there now, it seems like there isn’t a scene anymore in quite the same way. How important is that? To be in a place like that versus a place that does have a scene.

[PO] Well there is a great big scene! It’s called “global”. I think it’s a very exciting time because it’s possible to be connected with people all over the world. I have had a big interest since 1990 in telematic connections. We all have had telephones since you were born. You know about that no matter how old or young you are. Everybody has a telephone. Telephone is a very important device in our lives but being able to also connect with video makes it possible to do performances with distant groups or distant people. I have done a lot of that so I have connection to different communities but it seems like they are all part of this growing global community. I think that is what we have to think about. We have to think about connecting and communicating and doing art together, and especially art that furthers humanity. And I mean HUMANITY — being compassionate and kind to one another. It’s possible through these kinds of global connections to at least help a little, maybe a lot.

One of the communities that I am very interested in right now is in Lebanon. There are some wonderful musicians and artists there. Mazen Kerbaj, for example, who is a trumpeter, but you never hear the trumpet, you only hear sounds that he manages to elicit from that instrument — it’s pretty amazing. And a lot of his colleagues there. They do a festival every year as well. So it’s very good to be connected with that community.

There is Mexico, Canada. The Canadian community is very important to me. As I said in my talk, Toronto was a place where I made a lot of music that summer of 1966, and it was very inspiring. Some of the people that I met at that time, some Canadian people as well as others from all different places, are still very important to me in what I consider to be my world community. I have been in Canada from coast to coast and I know people from in the West, in the East, Montreal and so forth. Wherever I go these days there are connections and communities that I can feel comfortable with and work together with, like this one. I have been to Toronto many times doing many different things so it is inspiring to be here today and be able to share this history that I have shared today, especially for people who don’t know it.

[DC] Thank you Pauline for sharing that and for reinforcing what we take for granted. The reason that we all come together is to create that sense of community that happens so much better when we are here in person.

[PO] Well, I think it’s very important that this community and the gatherings continue. I was in Prague for a conference last month called Versus Interpretation. It was all about improvisation. It was a very wonderful conference, but again, the communities when they come together are so lively and enjoy one another, and that enjoyment is really important because it can spread and make good waves.


Thank you. Thank you very much.

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