Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, New Age, Rock, Classical
Steve Benner | Lancaster, UK | 11/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This disc contains some 70-odd minutes-worth of material from one of America's foremost pioneers of electronic music. It contains just three works, each dating from the mid-1960s. Although the equipment, as well as the techniques, utilised in the production of these works were relatively unsophisticated, the same cannot be said of the end product. The emotional depth that these pieces plumb is quite staggering. In all three, Pauline Oliveros demonstrates that her compositional technique has always been driven first and foremost by the sonic results of her experimentations: in other words, by her listening to what she produces. It is this concern for the way her music actually sounds that in my view sets this wonderful composer apart from so many of her (often better known or more fêted) contemporaries. And which ultimately will make her music last longer.Something else which distinguishes these works from those of other electronic music composers of the time - especially those of European schools of composition - is that these are all recorded in real time, rather than consisting of sounds built by painstakingly spliced together bits of tape. Or by recording and rerecording, ad infinitum. The end product has an immediacy and vibrancy that other composers only rarely achieve. It also results in larger scale works, as well as works of a much higher sound quality. Contemporaneous works by Karlheinz Stockhausen, or Pierre Schaeffer (even in their 1970's remasterings) cannot hold a candle to the sound quality of these pieces. For its time, it is truly stunning.Perhaps the best-known work here is "Bye Bye Butterfly". Consisting mostly of clicks and screaming oscillator whine, the inclusion of a chunk of recorded Puccini nevertheless manages to expose this work for what it really is: a short but powerful feminist statement. (Oliveros has always been a pioneer in much more than just musical composition!) "I of IV" uses super-heterodyning and a complex tape-delay set-up to weave a densely textured edifice, which has obvious resonances (pardon the pun) with the composer's oft-recounted tales of experimenting as a child with her grandfather's short wave radio set. But the real masterpiece on this disc is "Big Mother is Watching You". Using the same tape-delay set-up as "I of IV" but with real sound sources, rather than oscillators, this massive work is as solid a piece of musique concrète as any one could wish. And is as cleverly and daringly constructed as only Pauline Oliveros could achieve. Unreservedly recommended to anyone with an open ear and a mind to match."