Pauline Oliveros: Crone Music


Crone Music

Crone Music was commissioned by Mabou Mines, the New York based experimental theater collective, for their production of Lear, by William Shakespeare. The music was composed to lay throughout the majority of scenes in the play as a cinematic-style accompaniment to the action and the actors’ amplified dialogue.

Crone Music is a continuous concert version of Music for Lear with the follwing subtitles:

• The Fool’s Circle
• “A Woman Sees How the World Goes with No Eyes”
• “Reason in Madness Mixed”
• “This Great Fool’s Stage”
• “Let It Be So”
• “Let Me Not Be Mad”
• “Lear On The Road”

The total playing time is 57:41 minutes.

The storm music for Lear is recorded as The Roots of the Moment on HatArt compact disc. The final scene is recorded as Lear on the New Albion compact disc, Deep Listening, by the Deep Listening Band.

The expanded accordion
Pauline Oliveros has developed a unique style of accordion playing through her interest in electronics. The expanded accordion is her concept. Oliveros uses four digital delay processors. During performance each output from the right and left hand is sent separately to a processor which she controls to accomplish layering, pitch bending or modulation. Pitch bending is controlled with foot pedals. The results are sent to two other processors for reverberations which simulate a variety of aural experiences from landscapes and indoor spaces. The second pair of processors and the mixing is controlled by Panaiotis.

The accordion used by Oliveros for Crone Music is a custom-built Titano Emperor V with an extra large sound chamber designed for concert use. The bass range is extended down to C2 and the right hand registration includes a quint stop which sounds the twelfth above the fundamental. The reeds are handmade with precision-cut tongues designed to fit the reed blocks exactly. The resulting airtight seal in the instrument rewards the performer with superb response. Attention to tuning was a labor of love. To make such an instrument today would cost about $11,000.

“As a musician, I am interested in the sensual nature of sound, its power of release and change. In my performances throughout the world I try to transmit to the audience the way I am experiencing sound as I hear it and play it in a style that I will call deep listening. Deep listening is listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, of one’s own thoughts as well as musical sounds. Deep listening is my life practice.” — Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros has played the accordion for almost fifty years of her lifetime. Her interest in the accordion began when her piano-playing mother brought one home to learn in 1942. Pauline quickly learned to play many tunes and very soon was playing in a one-hundred-piece accordion band for such occasions as the rodeo. She studied for several years with Willard Palmer, who managed by 1949 to introduce the accordion to the curriculum at the University of Houston, which she attended. Her studies included making transcriptions of organ and orchestral works to perform on the accordion.

Although the accordion declined in its popularity with the general public, after the 1950s Oliveros continued to perform her own music and to improvise with other on the accordion as she developed her distinctive career as a composer. Oliveros has composed a large body of music works which range from solo vocal and instrumental, to large ensemble and orchestral. She has composed music for dance in collaboration with choreographers including Merce Cunningham, Anna Halprin, Deborah Hay, Paula Josa Jones and Susan marshall; and theater pieces for virtuoso performers Stuart Dempster, Jacob Glick, William O. Smith and David Tudor. She has created Sonic Meditations and Deep Listening Pieces, which may be performed by audiences as well as musician, and continues to perform her expanded accordion as a soloist and with the Deep Listening Band, which she founded together with Stuart Dempster and Panaiotis in 1988.

“Music is sound moving in space, moving through space, heard in spaces; captured by our ears and rearranged in our mind. I am interested in sound and space: the sounds and spaces both within and outside of us, interacting with and affecting our souls.” — Panaiotis

Panaiotis incorporates numerous non-traditional vocal and instrumental techniques, electronics and computers to create works rich in sonic textures and spatial ideas. His compositions cover a wide spectrum of musical concepts and methods, ranging from his Audience Symphony, in which the performers interact with individual audience members, to The Akeda, an opera based on Greek and Biblical myths of child sacrifice, to his most recent endeavor experimenting with the creation of electro-acoustical environments that become locations for musical journeys.

His continuing interest in other performing arts and in collaborations has led him to write and compose numerous works for dance and theater, and to become involved with the performance art movement. As a theater composer and sound designer, he has worked with the San Diego Public Theater, the San Francisco Repertory Theater, and the Hans-Otto Theater in Potsdam, East Germany.

Panaiotis (a.k.a. Peter Ward) grew up in Los Angeles and eventually found himself with a Ph.D in music from the University of California at San Diego. He is currently a member of the Deep Listening Band, performing with his voice and creating interactive sound spaces with electronics.

Accordion and Processing: Pauline Oliveros
Processing and Mixing: Panaiotis
Recording Engineer: Connie Kieltyka
Recorded at Studio PASS/Harvestworks, New York City.

Publisher: Deep Listening Publications (ASCAP)
156 Hunter Street
Kingston NY 12401

Administration: The Pauline Oliveros Foundation, Inc.

Special Thanks to The Ernest Deffner Co.

Digital Editing and Mastering: Allan Tucker, Foothill Productions, NYC.

Art Direction and Design: By Design

©1989 Pauline Oliveros (ASCAP)
©P 1990 Lovely Music, Ltd.