Obituary: composer Pauline Oliveros, 84

Posted on: November 28, 2016

“Pauline Oliveros, a pioneering composer, performer and musical thinker who influenced several generations of musicians with her call for a process she dubbed ‘deep listening,’ died Friday at age 84,” writes Joshua Kosman in Friday’s (11/25) San Francisco Chronicle. “Ms. Oliveros played an integral role in the flurry of musical experimentalism that clustered around the San Francisco Tape Music Center during the early 1960s. In later years, she developed a distinctive brand of slow-moving, spiritually tinged improvisation built on the rhythms of the human breath…. Ms. Oliveros [composed] works based on subjects as diverse as 17th-century African history, the inventor Nikola Tesla, and Native American mythology. She was a compelling teacher, holding posts at Mills College in Oakland, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and elsewhere, and a prolific writer on musical subjects. She was also a tireless advocate for the place of women in music…. Ms. Oliveros was born in Houston…. At 20, carrying her accordion and $300 in cash, she made her way to the Bay Area, where she studied at San Francisco State University and became enmeshed in a lively new-music scene that also included Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Loren Rush and others…. Since 1985, Ms. Oliveros had been based in upstate New York.”

Posted November 28, 2016