Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros: Electronic Works, 1965 + 1966

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These three compositions from a pioneering American electronic composer date from 1965 to 1966 and display her early explorations into tape music. The first piece, I of IV, is a real-time recording of a partially improvised experiment at the artist San Francisco Tape Music Center, which creates hypnotic droning effects with tape loops, and its duration builds to stunning sonic effect. Big Mother Is Watching You was produced at Toronto Electronic Music Studio a year later in 1966 and is a development of Oliveros' techniques of repetition and transformation that characterized her work for the ensuing three decades. The tape-delay technique and sine-wave combination build a massive cloud of sound that floats through a reverberating architecture. Doppler effect from the drones and tape loops create a three-imensional sound that is far too elaborate to be called minimalist, the harmonies bubbling within make for ecstatic listening pleasure. The final piece, Bye Bye Butterfly, is a short tone poem made with stereo-imaging techniques. This issue comes highly recommended as an insight into the fascinating early work of this maverick composer.

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