News Release

REF NO.: 27

SUBJECT: Memorial’s School of Music welcomes internationally recognized composer as artist-in-residence

DATE: October 4, 2011

            Memorial University’s School of Music will welcome internationally acclaimed composer, performer and humanitarian Pauline Oliveros Oct. 13-15.
            Dr. Oliveros is an important pioneer in American music. For more than five decades she has explored sound – forging new ground for herself and others. For three days she will visit Memorial’s St. John’s campus, bringing that spirit of adventure to the School of Music as artist-in-residence where she will present on her work with music technology, give a Deep Listening workshop and perform in a concert of her music featuring both faculty and student ensembles.
            “Pauline is one of the most original musical creators of our time,” said Dr. Ellen Waterman, dean of Memorial’s School of Music. 
            Dr. Oliveros has a lifelong interest in musical resonance and its connection to meditation leading her to make recordings in unusual environments such as a cavern with a natural 45-second sound delay.
            “Pauline is a deeply spiritual musician and a fantastic listener,” said Dr. Waterman. “Whether she is playing accordion, electronics or a simple harmonica, she creates beautiful, ethereal textures with drones and overtones.” 
            There will be three public events taking place during Dr. Oliveros’ three-day residency:
           Thursday, Oct. 13, at 12 p.m., free public talk at Petro Canada Hall
           Friday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m., free public concert at D.F. Cook Hall, $15/$10
           Saturday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m., free Deep Listening workshop at Petro Canada Hall.
            Dr. Waterman, a flutist, will perform with Dr. Oliveros along with saxophonists Jason Caslor and Greg Bruce, drummer Leaf Miller and sound artist Michael Waterman at the concert taking place on Friday, Oct. 14. It will also feature works by Dr. Oliveros performed by Memorial’s chamber choir and wind ensemble. 
            In the 1950s Dr. Oliveros was one of the first composers working with electronic music. Today, as Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she conducts leading-edge work in music and digital technology. Creating music over vast distances through Internet technologies allows Dr. Oliveros, who will be 80 next year, to be constantly active worldwide. She is also composer-in-residence at Mills College in San Francisco. Every week, she teaches a music seminar at the college via teleconferencing. 
            “Pauline will give a presentation on what she calls telepresence in teaching,” said Dr. Waterman. “In our own research project on teaching e-music lessons, we’re interested in how a clarinet teacher at Memorial can communicate effectively with a student in Labrador.”
            Beginning in the 1970s Dr. Oliveros developed the concept of Deep Listening, a practice based on developing an acute awareness of environmental sound. For Dr. Oliveros, this is not only a philosophy and a creative practice, but a form of activism. She founded the Deep Listening Institute to foster research into the relationships among listening, meditation and health. Listening promotes awareness of others and empathy, and this principle has driven the composer’s work for the past several decades. Dr. Oliveros will give a public workshop on Deep Listening during her residency that will be of interest to musicians but also to anyone who is interested in developing a greater awareness of the environment. 
            In recent years, Dr. Oliveros has brought her Deep Listening philosophy and her interest in technology to bear on creating musical instruments that allow people with physical disabilities to participate in music making. Joining Dr. Oliveros in St. John’s will be several other members of her research team exploring Adaptive Use Musical Instruments, says Dr. Waterman.
            “We’re collaborating with Easter Seals to offer a training session on using this digital instrument and we’ll hold a family oriented jam session with Leaf Miller, who is a hugely energetic and fun drummer.”

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