Pin It

Jamming in the Ether 

click to enlarge Composer Pauline Oliveros
  • Composer Pauline Oliveros

Whether you’re networking on MySpace, looking for love, shopping on eBay, or simply e-mailing a friend, the Internet is our generation’s most miraculous way for people to stay connected. The possibilities at our fingertips seem endless. Pauline Oliveros of the Deep Listening Institute is no stranger to the intangible Internet and is taking full advantage of it by using the free, state-of-the-art Web telephony network called Skype to bring her musical trainees together from different locations around the world.
After receiving a grant from the New York State Music Fund, Oliveros was able to establish an online virtual residency, which began in January. “Skype allows you to call people, computer-to-computer, and do conference calls, 10 people at a time," she says. "The musicians are calling each other up, setting up group appointments and jamming, creating large scale pieces and ensembles.”
Oliveros has been hosting instructional retreats on her Deep Listening musical/philosophical concepts for the past 17 years, recently teaching a three-year certificate program that enables participants to teach Deep Listening workshops themselves. Currently, there are 30 certificate holders in Switzerland, Canada, and the US, and their virtual residency is called the Deep Listening Convergence. The result of the online jams? The musicians will be coming together for three concerts in June here in the Hudson Valley, all rehearsals having been done online.
“[The Internet] is an amazing place. It’s wonderful that you can hear each other, and if you’re doing one-to-one, you can do a video conference, but the audio conferences are for up to 10 people.” She mentions one conference in which people were working on a piece that involved uploading files to the Internet, writing the files, doing several generations of mutation to the files, then dumping them into a “sound pool” to use for improvisation. “The members are jamming on Skype, holding message forums on Basecamp, and posting recorded sessions on Imeem [an online community for promoting music, video, blogs, and more],” she says.
The array of instruments used is vast: trombone, accordion, cello, harp, percussion, colombine/amaranth, recorder, shakuhachi, piano, koto, guitar, vocals, laptop; visual performance is also sometimes added to the activities. Musicians improvise in different combinations, such as two vocalists and two pianists each in a different city in Switzerland jamming with an amaranth player in Canada and a vocalist in Texas. “[The resulting sound is] very mixed,” she says, “as there are different ways that people improvise—free improvisation to guided improvisation. It will be diverse, and there are quite a few vocalists involved and also some local musicians, as well. We’re working with 45 musicians, so there will be some very large ensembles as well as smaller ones, each concert with different configurations of those musicians, each curated by a different member of the group.”
The concert schedule is as follows: June 8 at 8pm at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy; June 9 at 8pm at Time & Space Limited in Hudson; and June 10 at 3pm at The Lifebridge Sanctuary in High Falls. (845) 338-5984;

Speaking of...

  • Life With and Within the Robot
  • Life With and Within the Robot

    The Internet is an environment, and by a definition I like to work with—that of Marshall McLuhan—an environment is an invisible phenomenon. Most people do not consider the Internet a robot, but that's exactly what it is, and it's exactly how we use it.
    • Jun 1, 2015
  • Standing Apart from Mommy Internet
  • Standing Apart from Mommy Internet

    Most people I know have a relationship to their Internet life and social media experience that’s a little ambivalent—neither wholly positive nor wholly negative. We’re all hurtling at fiber-optic speeds along a path whose implications for how and where we locate identity, self-esteem and emotional/spiritual nourishment are questionable (when they’re questioned at all).
    • Apr 23, 2015
  • In the Belly of the Internet
  • In the Belly of the Internet

    We are now at the point where we live our lives through a gigantic robot, which keeps time in nanoseconds and remembers everything we write, nearly everything we say, many things we see, and knows nearly everything we do.
    • Feb 1, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Spring Annual Yard Sale

Sat., April 22, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sun., April 23, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. — Annual Yard Sale in support of our Veterans....
ZviDance @ Kaatsbaan International Dance Center


Sat., April 22, 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sun., April 23, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

View all of today's events

Latest in Music

Related to Music

  • The Moonlights Sunday Brunch
  • The Moonlights Sunday Brunch

    The Moonlights, a debut musical collaboration for families, is making the rounds at a series of live performances, including two of the upcoming Sunday Brunch at the Falcon in Marlboro.
    • Mar 20, 2017
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park

    With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.
    • Jul 25, 2016
  • More »

More by Sharon Nichols

Hudson Valley Tweets