Pauline Oliveros

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Pauline Oliveros (born 1932 in Houston, Texas) is an accordionist and composer who currently resides in Kingston, New York. Her instrument is tuned in just intonation and she often includes it in her meditative improvisational music. Her music is not meditative in the sense that it is intended for listening to while meditating, rather each piece is a form of meditation, such as her aptly titled Sonic Meditations.

A central figure in post-war electronic art music, Oliveros is one of the original members of the San Francisco Tape Music Center (along with Morton Subotnick, Ramon Sender, Terry Riley, and Anthony Martin), which was the resource on the U.S. west coast for electronic music during the 1960s. The Center later moved to Mills College, where she was its first director, and is now called the Center for Contemporary Music. Oliveros often improvises with the Expanded Instrument System, an electronic signal processing system she designed, in her performances and recordings.

Oliveros coined the term "Deep Listening", which she then applied to her group The Deep Listening Band and to the Deep Listening program of The Pauline Oliveros Foundation, which she founded. The Deep Listening program includes annual listening retreats in Europe and in upstate New York, as well as apprenticeship and certification programs. The Deep Listening Band, which includes Oliveros, David Gamper, Panaiotis and Stuart Dempster, specializes in performing and recording in resonant or reverberant spaces such as cathedrals and huge underground cisterns. They have collaborated with Ellen Fullman and her Long String Instrument, as well as countless other musicians, dancers, and performers.

Oliveros currently teaches at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Mills College. She is the author of three books, Initiation Dream, Software for People, and The Roots of the Moment.

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