We recently lost Pauline Oliveros, pioneering electronic and meditative music composer, educator and accordionist. She was a founding member of the San Francisco Tape Music Center, founded in 1962 alongside Morton Subotnick, Steve Reich, Terry Riley and others.
A native of Houston, she started playing accordion as a young child, deciding pretty quickly that music would be her life. She played French horn and tuba as well and started working with musique-concréte in the mid-'50s. She later re-tuned her accordion and added digital electronics to her set up. Her early electronic works from the late '60s, Alien Bog and Beautful Soop, made on a Buchla tape delay system, are classics of the genre.
She developed the concept of "deep listening", which involved improvisation, meditation, electronics and ritual, relevant for all levels of musician. The Deep Listening Band included Oliveros, Stuart Dempster and David Gamper. They went on to make several recordings and concerts in caves, underground chambers and cathedrals. They have also collaborated with Ellen Fullman and her 70-foot Long Stringed Instrument of just intonation.
She was domestic partner with performance artist Linda Montano (aka Rose Mountain) since 1975. She has also collaborated with Randy Raine-Reusch, Joe McPhee, Roscoe Mitchell, Nels Cline, Chris Brown, Connie Crothers and many others. She was a black belt in karate.