Pauline Oliveros

American composer and accordionist Pauline Oliveros was born on 30 May 1932. She had decided at sixteen that she wanted to compose, having learnt to play accordion from the age of nine, from her mother.

She studied at the University of Houston's school of music with Willard A Palmer and at San Francisco State College with Robert Erickson.

At twenty-one she began to work with tape, leading to various compositions and projects. She was one of the first members of the San Francisco Tape Music Center and she created the Expanded Instrument System, an electronic signal processor, which she used for improvising in performances and recordings.

From 1967 until 1981 she worked in the music department at UCSD, then later worked independently. She cultivated the 'deep listening' and 'sonic awareness' concepts, wrote books and produced new music theories.

Pauline Oliveros died on 24 November 2016, aged eighty-four.

Further information:


A selection of articles about Pauline Oliveros

A Real Treasure House - Dialogues with and about John Cage, reviewed by Patric Standford