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Live At CNMAT 2002

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Live At CNMAT 2002 album cover
Untitled 1
Untitled 2
Untitled 3
Album Information

Total Tracks: 3   Total Length: 52:39

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They Say All Music Guide

Pauline Oliveros is one of a kind when it comes to listening to other improvisers and contributing to the moment of an improvisation without showing any trace of ego. And yet, in group contexts she always seem to steal the show. Is it because of her natural sense of harmony (yes, there is still room for that in free improv) or the beautiful drones she squeezes out of her accordion? This 53-minute set was recorded live at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies in Berkeley. Surrounding Oliveros are George Marsh and Jennifer Wilsey on percussion and David Wessel on electronics. Most of the set consists of tapestries of soft textures: accordion drones, cymbal rolls, gongs, bells and chimes, cavernous drones. That’s when the music works best (and the third of these three untitled tracks is a charm). Any sounds rising over this level of activity feel awkward. When Marsh plays patterns with brushes on the tom-toms toward the end of the first track, he disrupts the flow, startling the listener, stirring him out of his or her reverie. The same applies to Wessel’s use of Gregorian choir samples at the beginning of track two. The source is too easily recognizable and the music surely didn’t need that kind of push toward spiritual serenity, it was already there. It may be free improvisation, but the expression loses its meaning when presented with this kind of music. It flows so naturally and peacefully that it transcends any and all categories. People desperately looking for so-called non-idiomatic improvisation should pay attention to Timeless Pulse, even more than to Taku Sugimoto or Radu Malfatti. – François Couture

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