Pauline Oliveros' Tuning Meditations
Music on the Rebound Gives New Meaning to Cinq a Sept
By: Susan Hall - Apr 12, 2020
By Pauline Oliveros
Presented by Ione and Music on the Rebound
Saturdays at 5 on Zoom
Tuning Meditation is presented by Ione, who lived with the composer, and Music on the Rebound. Participants from 30 countries joined on Zoom to listen for their own notes and listen to others. Find a pitch that no one else is sounding. Tod Machover, America's most wired composer, was there. So too, quietly, piano and composing phenom Conrad Tao. The celebrated and willing joined together in unique sounds.
With countries worldwide represented, a global neighborhood is building. Some people joined for the first time. Others come back week after week. This event is a bright light in this moment. Through singing, we feel a sense of belonging.
Oliveros, whose work is often performed at Tanglewood, found her personal mantra early on. "Listen to everything all the time and remind yourself when you are not listening". This thought filled her life in music. It is the driving concept of this group work, in which the audience becomes not only listeners but hummers of their own notes, found in the tympanic membrane and cavity of their ear channels, and by appropriating their neighbors' tones.
An ending is suggested by chimes originated perhaps by Claire Chase, the founder of the International Contemporary Ensemble and one of the leaders of this event.
It is difficult to single out a tone from one of the faces playing before us on the Zoom screen. Abandoning the effort, and closing your eyes, you hear a wonderful mashing of tones. I tried to move up and down a small scale and had no sense at all that my order was making a contribution. Yet it pleased me, which is part of the point. Of course, it was also part of the mass tone. My audio was on.
From time-to-time people accidentally muted themselves. Asking in chat to be re-connected, a mysterious force brought them back into the fold. People also kept joining from New Zealand, British Vancouver, Slovenia and London. Many states in the US were represented.
Does this event succeed? I will return next week. I want to. In fact, I can't wait.