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Artist Talk and Performance: Pauline Oliveros

3 May 2012, 7pm-9.15pm
Starr Auditorium and Turbine Hall Bridge at Tate Modern
Bankside, London SE1 8TG

A talk and performance by pioneering composer, performer and humanitarian Pauline Oliveros. The talk, entitled Archiving the Future: The Embodiment Music of Women brought together Oliveros' reflections on her own work, and her presentation of a selection of six female performers and composers from different generations and approaches. 'Archiving the Future' was delivered with a solo performance on a V-accordion and followed by a restaging of her seminal piece from 1970, To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of their Desperation in the Turbine Hall.


Pauline Oliveros: Listening for Life/Death Energies Solo performance on V-Accordion
Hearing is the first sense organ to develop in the foetus and the last sense organ to shut down after death. I am listening backwards and forwards for my life/death energies.

Pauline Oliveros: Archiving the Future: Embodiment of Music of Women Keynote talk
This talk references six women affecting music composition, sound art and performance, along with others, who are pushing towards a paradigm shift in the future. Each woman has a unique approach and story concerning her creative work. The composers were selected from the many new voices in the field since the 1980s, as representative of embodiment, each through unique ways of expressing "her noise".

20:45-21:15 To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation (1970), Pauline Oliveros
"In 1968 the SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas fell into my hands. Intrigued by the egalitarian feminist principles set forth in the Manifesto, I wanted to incorporate them in the structure of a new piece that I was composing. The women's movement was surfacing and I felt the need to express my resonance with this energy. Marilyn Monroe had taken her own life. Valerie Solanas had attempted to take the life of Andy Warhol. Both women seemed to be desperate and caught in the traps of inequality: Monroe needed to be recognized for her talent as an actress. Solanas wished to be supported for her own creative work. Commissioned by the Music Department of Hope College, Holland Michigan, To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation had its premiere in 1970. Though everyone knew Marilyn Monroe hardly anyone recognized Valerie Solanas or took her Manifesto seriously. I brought the names of these two women together in the title of the piece to draw attention to their inequality and to dedicate the piece." Pauline Oliveros.

To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation is performed by a specially convened ensemble of 14 musicians and conducted by Claudia Molitor.

Rachel Aggs (violin)
Viv Corringham (voice)
Angharrad Davies (violin)
Sharon Gal (voice)
Naomi Graham (recorder)
Holly Ingleton (laptop)
Caroline Kraabel (alto sax)
Cathy Lane (ems synth)
Lina Lapelyte (violin)
Sarha Moore (baritone sax)
Maggie Nicols (voice)
Greta Pistaceci (theremin)
Lucy Railton (cello)
Verity Susman (tenor sax)

Claudia Molitor


Pauline Oliveros is a composer, performer, humanitarian and important pioneer in American Music. Acclaimed internationally, she has explored sound for four decades, forging new ground for herself and others. Through improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation she has created a body of work with such breadth of vision that it profoundly affects those who experience it and eludes many who try to write about it. "On some level, music, sound consciousness and religion are all one, and she would seem to be very close to that level"stated John Rockwell. Oliveros has been honored with awards, grants and concerts internationally. Whether performing at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., in an underground cavern or in the studios of a West German radio station Oliveros' commitment to interaction with the moment is unchanged. She can make the sound of a sweeping siren into another instrument of the ensemble.

Through Deep Listening Pieces, and the earlier Sonic Meditations, Oliveros introduced the concept of incorporating all environmental sounds into musical performance. To make a pleasurable experience of this requires focused concentration, skilled musicianship and strong improvisational skills, which are the hallmarks of Oliveros' form. In performance Oliveros uses an accordion which has been re-tuned in two different systems of just intonation in addition to electronics to alter the sound of the accordion and to explore the individual characteristics of each room.

Pauline Oliveros has built a loyal following through her concerts, recordings, publications and musical compositions that she has written for soloists and ensembles in music, dance, theater and inter-arts companies. She has also provided leadership within the music community from her early years as the first director of the San Francisco Tape Music Center (now known as the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College), to her time spent as director of the Center for Music Experiment during her fourteen year tenure as Professor of Music at the University of California at San Diego to acting in an advisory capacity for organisations such as The National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts and many private foundations. She now serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Darius Milhaud Composer in Residence at Mills College. Oliveros has been vocal about representing the needs of individual artists, about the need for diversity and experimentation in the arts, and promoting cooperation and good will among people.

Claudia Molitor is a composer and sound artist whose work draws on the tradition of classical music but extends to video, performance and fine art practices. Claudia's work is regularly performed and broadcast throughout Europe and has been heard at festivals such as Wien Modern, hcmf/ /, Spor and the Wire Magazine's "Off the Page", and commissioned, amongst others by the London Sinfonietta, hcmf/ / and the BBC. She is currently working on Remember me... a miniature desk Opera produced by Cryptic; a commission for a headphone-piece for the BBC Proms Music Walk; and a string orchestra piece for Hamburg based Ensemble Resonanz.

Rachel Aggs lives and works in the East End of London. She plays guitar and violin in punk bands like Trash Kit, Covergirl and Sacred Paws. She also writes the music fanzine 'I Trust My Guitar' - "writings on African music from a punker perspective by and for radical queer POC + assorted record bin and zine freaks".

Viv Corringham is a British vocalist and sound artist, currently based in Minneapolis, USA, who has worked internationally since the early 1980s. Her work includes music performances and audio installations. Her project Shadow- walks, which explores peoples' relationship with familiar places and how that links to personal history and memory has been presented internationally from New York to Istanbul to Portugal. She has an MA in Sonic Art from Middlesex University and is a certified teacher of Deep Listening by Pauline Oliveros. She was a 2006 McKnight Composer Fellow through the American Composers Forum.

Angharad Davies is a violinist based in London. She is an active performer in contemporary, improvisation and experimental music both as a soloist and within ensembles. Since making London her base in 2002 she has developed a specific approach to the violin, extending the sound possibilities of the instrument by attaching and applying objects to the strings or by sounding unexpected parts of the instrument's body. She is dedicated to exploring and expanding sound production on the violin. Collaborations include Tony Conrad, Matt Davis, Axel Dorner, Kazuko Hohki, Sara Hubrich, Lina Lapelyte , Tisha Mukarji, Tim Parkinson, JG Thirlwell, Paul Whitty, Taku Unami. Regular groups include Apartment House, Incidental Music, Cranc, Decentred and Manorexia.

Sharon Gal is a cross-disciplinary artist, performer and musician. Her praxis involves vocal and electronics free improvisation, collaborative group and site specific performances, field recordings and radio broadcasts. She has been developing and performing a series of collaborative group compositions: TOY ORCHESTRA;L’ESPRIT D’ESCALIER - for voices in a staircase; LONG DRONE- for a large ensemble; GALS with GUITARS - for female players. Sharon is a founding member of Resonance 104.4 FM radio, and has been presenting various programmes, including 'Diggers', with Edwin "Savage Pencil" Pouncey. She has released music with Ash International, Paradigm, Chocolate Monk, Emanem and Ecstatic Yod labels, with a forthcoming 7" for American Tapes.

Naomi Graham studied for a BA in Music majoring in recorder at Victoria College of Arts in Melbourne where she set up her group 'The Weird Sisters'. She came to the UK in 1991 and completed a post-graduate diploma in early music at the Guildhall. In 1995 Naomi won the Moeck International Recorder prize. She lived in Munich for five years, performing as a soloist at contemporary music festivals including A•DEvantgarde and the Munich Biennale, collaborating with pianist and composer Moritz Eggert and the Bavarian State Opera orchestra. Since returning to the UK she has played an eclectic range of music with her duo Byrde. Recently she directed Musique de Table, a performance piece for three sets of hands and is currently playing recorders, small pipes and whistles and developing sound pieces with violin, oud, guitar and voice.

Holly Ingleton is a researcher and maker of sound arts whose practice spans issues of feminism, gender, publicness, collaborative practice and community building through both technologically mediated and material networks. Often working under the collaborative pseudonym, Ennoia Neoptolemus, Holly has engaged artist networks in Australia through the A.R.I project Plateau_589, and more recently in Greece and the UK through the project RadioPlateaux. The subject of sound arts and feminism continues to inform the majority of Holly_s creative practice and directly informs her current PhD research, "Generative Listening/ (Un)Social Composition: A Feminist Analysis of the Soundscape" at London's City University in the Department of Music.

Caroline Kraabel is an improviser and composer. She plays the saxophone.

Cathy Lane is a composer, sound artist, lecturer and researcher. Current interests include how sound relates to our environment and our collective and individual memories; composing with the spoken word; sound and gender and cross arts collaboration. A series of works with choreographer Rosemary Butcher have been performed and exhibited worldwide. Publications include Playing with Words:The Spoken Word in Artistic Practice (Gruenrekorder, 2010). Forthcoming research on Listening and Field Recording is due for publication in 2013. Cathy Lane established the department of Sound Art and Design and now co–directs Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP( at the University of the Arts, London. She has a PhD in electroacoustic music composition from City University, London.

Lina Lapelyte is a Lithuanian born artist, composer and performer. Lina is an academically trained violinist and since 2005 has been making electronic/ electroacoustic music. During the last couple of years she has been actively involved in London's improvised music scene, using violin, electronics and environmental sound recordings. Her recent work Have a Nice Day, an opera for 10 singers and electronics, premiered at the Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius in 2011. In 2012 Lina has been reworking existing hip-hop lyrics into her own songs and audiovisual performances. She has presented them at various festivals including Redsonic in the UK and Spor in Denmark. Lina has completed several sound installations, most often site specific and dealing with the evoking of a sense of place through its own live input: people, their voices; nature and its energy.

Sarha Moore is the soprano sax player of the Bollywood Brass Band, performing hits from the Hindi film industry around the world. She played for five years with Ghanaian Highlife band Orchestre Jazira, and was baritone sax player in socialist big band, The Happy End. She specialises in performing with street bands, including playing the tenor sax in the York Street Band. She also plays alto sax in FreylekhKlezmer Band, and baritone sax in Hog Callin', a Charlie Mingus jazz cover band. She is completing a PhD on "The Flattened Supertonic" at Sheffield University.

Maggie Nicols is a musician, composer, educator, actor, dancer, writer, and community activist, and she has performed and led workshops internationally since the 1960s. She co-founded F.I.G (Feminist Improvising Group) in the1970s and started the ongoing multi media women's workshop performance group CONTRADICTIONS in 1980. In 1991, she began hosting the improvised happening The Gathering which now takes place in several locations including; London, South Wales, Liverpool and Austria. Her aim is to be an effective channel for universal creativity, healing and liberation. She believes that in our different rhythms together we can co-create situations that bring out the best in us all.

Greta Pistaceci is an artist and self-taught musician. She has a BA in Sound Art from the London College of Communication and is currently studying for an MA in Sound Art. She has played with several improvising groups including the A Band, the London Theremin Group and Unknown Devices.

Lucy Railton is a cellist living and working in London. Since graduating from the Royal Academy of Music she has focused on the performance of contemporary music and is the founding member and curator for the music series KammerKlang. Her last appearance at the Tate Modern was with Alison Knowles for the Fluxus Olympiad Weekend in 2008. Lucy is involved with many strands of the music scene including improvisation, electronic collaborations, installation work and studio recording and has also performed for theatre and dance productions.

Verity Susman spent a decade as lead singer of experimental rock band Electrelane, and is now working on a solo project that probes new territory. Using music, visuals and text, her live shows create a world of psychedelic alienation, embracing the subversive possibilities of awkwardness. Often appearing in drag, her saxophone becomes an organ of musical and gender performance, confronting audiences with a queer female masculinity that is all at once serious, humorous, angry and uncomfortable. At times ironic, often passionate and full of joyous heartbreak, Verity takes the audience into a collage of exploratory soundscapes, woven through surreal reconstructions of lesbian pulp romance novels and sci-fi slash fiction tales.

Andrea Zarza- Canova, sound engineer, grew up between Spain and the U.S.A. She has a BA in Philosophy and is now studying Sound and Music Technology at the London College of Communication. She has been expanding her listening through workshops with numerous sound artists such as Jana Winderen, Francisco López and Pauline Oliveros and specialising in sound archiving through internships at the Pacifica Radio Archives and currently the British Library.

Archiving the Future:
Embodiment music of women

Listening for Life/Death Energies

To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe
in Recognition of Their Desperation

Related Links
Her Noise: Feminisms and the Sonic

The Voice is a Language

Symposium: Feminisms and the Sonic
Pauline Oliveros invterview
Music Matters, BBC Radio 3

A Guide to Pauline Oliveros' Music
The Guardian

Pauline Oliveros: Her Noise
Frieze Blog