Pauline Oliveros has been described as a musician, a composer, a performer, a philosopher, an educator, an accessibility designer and the godmother of electronic music, and she has been actively making boundary-dissolving music for more than half a century. Her life as a composer, performer, and humanitarian is about opening her own and other’s sensibilities to the universe and facets of sounds. She is a Professor of Practice at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Darius Milhaud Artist-in-Residence at Mills College, where I first met her as a music student nearly twenty years ago. Since the 1960s she has influenced the American arts profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth, and ritual. She is the founder of “Deep Listening,” which comes from her childhood fascination with sounds and from her works in concert music with composition, improvisation, and electro-acoustics. I asked Pauline to describe the practice of Deep Listening, which is central not only to her life but to her work.
Pauline Oliveros – V Accordion
Ione – Voice & Text
Miya Masaoka – Koto/ electronics
Betsey Biggs is a composer and visual artist. Her work connects the dots between music, sound, visual art, place, storytelling, and technology, and has been described by The New Yorker as “psychologically complex, exposing how we orient ourselves with our ears.” She often collects scraps of sound and narrative fragments she encounters, and evocatively deconstructs and arranges them. By slowing down, clarifying, and reworking these sonic (and sometimes visual) fragments, she recreates her experience of place in highly abstract ways. Her projects create playful situations that facilitate creative participation, often adapting the technology of our contemporary world – mobile audio, digital video, interactive electronics – to engage meaningfully with the physical world around us. She has collaborated with Margaret Lancaster, Evidence, The Now Ensemble, The BSC, So Percussion, Tarab Cello Ensemble, the Nash Ensemble and filmmakers Jennie Livingston and Amy Harrison. Her work has been presented at ISSUE Project Room, Abrons Arts Center, Roulette, the Conflux Festival, MASSMoCA, Sundance Film Festival, Hong Kong’s Videotage, and on the streets of Oakland, Red Hook, Williamsburg, the Gowanus. and Tin Pan Alley. Biggs holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University, has held positions at Brown University, Harvard University, and the Rhode Island School of Design, and is currently Assistant Professor of Critical Media Practices at the University of Colorado Boulder.