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Home » Music

Testify - Pauline Oliveros

Submitted by RamonLP4 on November 18, 2024 – 9:33 amNo Comment

Pauline Oliveros (Photo by Gisela Gamper)

Deep Listening is an approach to music “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.” Houston native and Moore’s School of music graduate Pauline Oliveros has been espousing this aesthetic for decades now and her influence on the way musicians and others approach music and sound cannot be overstated. This Saturday at Rice University, Oliveros will perform live with two other musicians who are thousands of miles apart using internet2 technology. Being a fan of her work we contacted her to ask her a bit about this weekend’s show.

FPH - The telematic performance uses Internet2 technology to connect you with other performers who are in other locations - a kind of teleconferenced live show. Can you elaborate a little on how the idea came about, why Internet2 technology is a factor in this, and why your goal is in this type of performance?

Oliveros - I have been working with distance performance since 1990 moving through such technologies as video telephone, picture tel (now video conferencing), iCHATav, SKYPE and internet2. because I have musician friends in many parts of the world I am happy that these technologies have allowed us to play together even though not in the same room or geographical location. Internet2 is a broadband internet intended for transmission of large audio and video files thus it is suited to concerts such as the one at Rice on Nov 19. The software interface JackTrip developed by Chris Chafe director of CCRMA, Stanford University and one of the performers provides for low latency CD quality transmission of audio.

FPH - How is not having the physical presence of the other person affect your playing and interaction during a performance?

Oliveros - With the proper set up and monitoring of the distant locations especially good sound the performance can feel very present.

FPH - Is it something that takes some getting used to?

Oliveros - If you are listening then you can adapt and play very well with others.

FPH - Tell us a little about the music you will be performing on Saturday and how you approached it given the format.

Oliveros - We will be improvising the music that we perform on Saturday. As I said good audio and listening is key to the music.

FPH - You are playing with Ricardo Arias who will be performing in Colombia. He plays a balloon kit. Can you tell us a little about him and why you chose to work with him for this performance?

Oliveros - I have played with Ricardo before in a transmission from the University of Guelph in Canada. Ricardo brought me to the Universidad de Bogota a few years ago to perform. He is an excellent improviser so I thought it would be interesting to perform with him some more.
Ricardo has been developing his balloon kit for a long time and has a large repertoire of sounds that he can play using the balloon.

FPH - The other person you are playing with is Chris Chafe who will be playing in California. He’s also kind of interesting in that he plays a cello but he also plays an instrument he created called the electronic celletto which, if I gather correctly is a kind of cello he built himself that allows him to use midi devices to expand his sound. Can you tell us a bit about him as well and also why you felt he was right for this performance?

Oliveros - I have been collaborating with Chris Chafe to develop the use of his software interface JackTrip for a few years. We had a weekly connection to play with our ensembles together between Stanford and RPI. This partnership has produced many concerts and furthered the development of JackTrip.

FPH - What do you see as the larger goal of performances like this and how does it fit in with the larger body of your work?

Oliveros - These performances allow for many new connections among performers in many parts of the world. These transmissions make it possible to explore different cultural connections that otherwise might not be affordable or might not happen.

My body of work since Sonic Meditations (1970) is about bringing people together.


Saturday, November 19, 2024
Pauline Oliveros in a Live Telematic Trio with Ricardo Arias and Chris Chafe
Presented by Nameless Sound in collaboration with REMLABS
@ The Wortham Opera Theatre at the Shepherd School of Music in Rice University (6100 S. Main Houston, TX 77251)
$13 General, $10 Students, Everyone under 18 gets in for free

*Please Note: The concert begins at 7pm, not 8pm as was previously stated in earlier releases.

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