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The Political Body: Closing Party and Performance

April 29, 2017 · 5:00 pm8:00 pm

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Pauline Oliveros - Sonic MeditationsOn Saturday, April 29, from 5–7 pm, Trident Gallery will host a Closing Reception for the public and the artists represented in the exhibition The Political Body. We began this exhibition with memorable performances by Monstah Black and Mx. Oops. Now it is time to celebrate the visual art and artists. Between now and then, Gallery Director Matthew Swift will be writing about each work in the exhibition on the exhibition web page.

At 7:00pm, we will put away the wine and cheese, and the Trident Live Art Series will remember experimental composer Pauline Oliveros, who passed away last November, with an event called “Listening to Pauline Oliveros.”

A staging of Oliveros’s work Sonic Images will be followed by several groups of performers improvising responses.

In Sonic Images, a reader reads a sequence of questions, and other participants respond. Stephen Hastings-King will play the reader on April 29. According to Stephen, the questions and responses direct attention, memory, and stimulate listening, and the cumulative effect of the work is a highly focused social space.

Into that space we introduce the improvised responses—solos, duets, or trios about five minutes each. Performing respondents will include Reg Edmonds, Somer O’Brien, Michael O’Leary, Lou Cannon, Ann-Marie Ciaraldi, Sarah Slifer Swift, and Carl Thompsen.

About Pauline Oliveros

“When explaining the process that informed her performances, Oliveros identified two sorts of listening: focal attention and global attention. The first is when I attend to a specific local sound; the latter is when I take in all the sounds around me and those inside of me, including sounds I remember as well as ones I imagine.…

“The principles and implications of [Oliveros’s] listening philosophy, including the dismantling of sonic hierarchies, are by no means purely esoteric; they clearly have a political dimension too. People are noisy, and we often say disagreeable things. I can plug up my ears to blot out these offenses or I can continue trying to get the hang of combined focal and global attention and thus broaden my field, which is probably a better bet. Living in an echo chamber is not only sad, it can also be fairly perilous.”
— Claire-Louise Bennett, New York Times Magazine, 9 February 2017

“Pauline Oliveros (1932–2016) influenced American music extensively in her career spanning more than 60 years as a composer, performer, author and philosopher. She pioneered the concept of Deep Listening, her practice based upon principles of improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation, designed to inspire both trained and untrained musicians to practice the art of listening and responding to environmental conditions in solo and ensemble situations. During the mid-’60s she served as the first director of the Tape Music Center at Mills College, aka Center for Contemporary Music followed by 14-years as Professor of Music and 3 years as Director of the Center for Music Experiment at the University of California at San Diego. Starting in 2001 she served as Distinguished Research Professor of Music in the Arts department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where she was engaged in research on a National Science Foundation CreativeIT project. Her research interests included improvisation, special needs interfaces. and telepresence teaching and performing. She also served as Darius Milhaud Composer in Residence at Mills College and executive director of Deep Listening Institute, Ltd. where she led projects in Deep Listening.”

— adapted from DeepListening.org