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Alien Bog / Beautiful Soop

Pauline Oliveros

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Album Review

Two fabulous early electronic works both employing the legendary Buchla Box 100 analog synthesizer and realized at the Tape Music Center at Mills College (now called the Center for Contemporary Music). Alien Bog evokes a place deep in the natural world far from humankind's civilizations — low gentle thumps at ground level, high cycling bird-like sounds, sustained cricket calls, quick side-to-side flights of unknown critters, and low calls of immense animals in the distance, all cycle contrapuntally to create a peaceful yet bizarre environment. The charming Beautiful Soop for reciting voices and electronics incorporates poetic fantasy texts from classic literature: The Jabberwocky, excerpts from Alice in Wonderland, and so on. The voices take on a fantastical aspect when processed through tape-delays (echoes and accumulative modulations), and the voices also are continually mixed with surrealistic and often humorous electronic sounds. After 27 minutes the fantasy build-up reaches an engrossing (and to some listeners, ironic) plateau, and the narrative voice fades, stuck in the repeating groove of a vinyl record. An unpretentious, enjoyable, yet pioneering work. ~ "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Rovi

Biography

Born: 30 May 1932 in Houston, TX

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Avant-garde composer Pauline Oliveros pioneered the concept of Deep Listening, an aesthetic based upon principles of improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation designed to inspire both trained and untrained performers to practice the art of listening and responding to environmental conditions in solo and ensemble situations. Born in Houston, Texas on May 20, 1932, Oliveros received her first musical instruction from her mother and grandmother — equally inspired by the...
Full bio

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