Death of a brilliant American composer, aged 84
November 26, 2016 by norman lebrecht
The death has been announced of Pauline Oliveros, a composer of striking originality and a profound philosopher of modern music.
An activist at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, she she coined the term ‘Deep Listening’ and founded the Deep Listening Institute. Aside from electronic music, she was an accordion enthusiast.
From an interview with Bruce Duffie:
BD: So what are the issues that are currently at hand?
PO: It’s the great dispersion that I predicted in my book Software for People, which was that the two factors were the great increase in population — there more people than there ever have been before — and the acceleration of new technology. You really don’t know what’s coming next, exactly. Everyone is always trying to predict and control the future, but I don’t think it’s possible at this time because there are just too many X factors.
BD: So you and your foundation and your music are building the future brick by brick?
PO: Yeah, I would say something like that; or we might take some leaps! But the idea is that we need a context for new work, because it has to do with the quality of life. It has to do with problem solving, understanding the creative nature of the human being, and working with it and accepting it; finding ways to do that. Not just repeating things that have been done before, but to bring some kind of balance in place for the unknown.
BD: Is it at all disappointing that the public isn’t craving the unknown in music?
PO: The public is, but they don’t necessarily know it! [Laughs]
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