Musicophilia Daily

[Audio] – Pauline Oliveros – “Bye Bye Butterfly” (1965)

Posted in Audio by Soundslike on April 22, 2009

Pauline Oliveros – “Bye Bye Butterfly” (1965)

Oliveros seems like one of the least po-faced and self-serious of the early electronic/minimalist/musique concrete pioneers.  It’s not that she didn’t take her work seriously–it’s just that she possesses an eclecticism and verve that doesn’t call to mind tweed jackets and wooden pipes (she writes books with titles like.  Rather than seeing music as the purview of the ivory tower (although she was a moving force in the study of experimental sound), she promotes the idea of music being everywhere–requiring attention, perhaps effort to discover, but not “education” or “correctness”.   She seems to think a great deal about the relationship between spaces and sound, something I find greatly appealing–although my career is in preservation architecture, it is the sound of St. Pauls which strikes me most fully, for example.  This early piece creates a cavernous soundscape, constituted of echoing sheets of modulating sine-waves and pastiched orchestral and operatic samples, creating a web of sound that is definitely not pop music, but which I find quite viscerally appealing.  Like a sensitive AM radio, you sort of have to tune to the right wavelength, but once you’re there I think you’ll find it rewarding.  [Pauline Oliveros is featured in the complex web of sound found in the Somnambulist mix at Musicophilia.]

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