Pauline Oliveros 1932-2016

With respect to my own musical background, and so with regard for my own influences, Pauline Oliveros stood with Thelonious Monk as the second-to-none inspirations for my music. Although it is crucial to fold in the handful of other critical influences, the odd couple of Monk and Oliveros key the two driving principles, Oliveros’s deep listening, and, Monk’s absolute improv.

The first Deep listening Band record changed my musical life.

About Pauline Oliveros | NYT Obituary

Deep listening Institute

Deep Listening Institute (DLI) promotes the music and Deep Listening practice of pioneer composer Pauline Oliveros, providing a unique approach to music, literature, art, meditation, technology and healing. DLI fosters creative innovation across boundaries and across abilities, among artists and audience, musicians and non-musicians, healers and the physically or cognitively challenged, and children of all ages. This ever-growing community of musicians, artists, scientists and certified Deep Listening practitioners strives for a heightened consciousness of the world of sound and the sound of the world.

Tom Service’s Guide to the Music of Pauline Oliveros (2012) Guardian UK

Pauline Oliveros – Heart of Tones

On the web site of Pauline Oliveros there is a banner that flashes the headline from The New York Times, “Strange Sounds Led Composer to Long Career.”

Pauline Oliveros, composer, performer and humanitarian is an important pioneer in American Music. Acclaimed internationally, for four decades she has explored sound — forging new ground for herself and others.
Through improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation she has created a body of work with such breadth of vision that it profoundly effects those who experience it and eludes many who try to write about it. “On some level, music, sound consciousness and religion are all one, and she would seem to be very close to that level.” John Rockwell Oliveros has been honored with awards, grants and concerts internationally. Whether performing at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., in an underground cavern, or in the studios of West German Radio, Oliveros’ commitment to interaction with the moment is unchanged. She can make the sound of a sweeping siren into another instrument of the ensemble.

Through Deep Listening Pieces and earlier Sonic Meditations Oliveros introduced the concept of incorporating all environmental sounds into musical performance. To make a pleasurable experience of this requires focused concentration, skilled musicianship and strong improvisational skills, which are the hallmarks of Oliveros’ form. In performance Oliveros uses an accordion which has been re-tuned in two different systems of her just intonation in addition to electronics to alter the sound of the accordion and to explore the individual characteristics of each room. Source: Important Records

Deep Listening Institute

Guide to her music

Deep Listening Certificate session

Interview at Music Mavericks

Listen From Where You Are

Maybe/hoping, by Sunday, I’ll post mp3’s and downloadable Apple lossless tracks from my completed recording, Slidemare. (Tonight I’ve posted the track list and credits, and will post track notes with the tracks.) To build up to this, I’m going to provide context by exemplifying the most important influences for my first new recording in 8 years. There are four tracks that didn’t make the cut, so I’ll post at least two of those, too.

These masterful influences also provide a portent of the kinds of sound worlds I design in a painterly way. The genre conventions I have one foot in are several: drones, dark ambient, and, noise. My play-in-sound is intended only to please me, so, tis not likely to be universally palatable! My music, for the daring listener, hopefully warrants excursions through its strange sonic worlds.

I’ll present examples in the order the various exemplars flowed into my own sound field. First up, Pauline Oliveros. She’s, firstly, a genius in many dimensions–as composer and instrumentalist, as educator, as philosopher, and as inspiratrix. It is enough to say that her Deep Listening Band provided a startling initiation when I first heard their self-titled recording on New Albion almost twenty years ago. Her deep listening philosophy has been very influential for my sense of the total experience of sound.

What is Deep Listening?
Deep Listening┬« is a philosophy and practice developed by Pauline Oliveros that distinguishes the difference between the involuntary nature of hearing and the voluntary selective nature of listening. The result of the practice cultivates appreciation of sounds on a heightened level, expanding the potential for connection and interaction with one’s environment, technology and performance with others in music and related arts. (

An interesting report about Deep listening from a sensitive neophyte: