Pauline Oliveros: Ghostdance

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  • Procession
  • Greetings Ghostings
  • Fragments
  • In the Houses of My Families
  • Reverberations
  • Duet
  • Body Stories
  • Monkey
  • Wolf
  • Private Journies
  • River of the Folk Dance
  • The Last Time
  • Pauline Oliveros – accordion/EIS
  • David Gamper – djembe/EIS
  • Julie Lyon Rose – voice/EIS
  • Sound Engineer David Gamper

"The Ghostdance collaboration with choreographer Paula Josa Jones began in Monterrey Mexico supported in turn by two month US/Mexico Exchange Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and FONCA. Together with our host—composer/ ethnomusicologist Arturo Salinas—we attended El Dia de los muertos in Chalco to help inform our work. The beauty and depth of the ceremonies, ritual dancing and music honoring the dead touched me deeply as did the dancers we worked with in Monterrey. I am grateful for the experience that was shared with me so graciously by the Nahuatl-speaking families of Chalco and the dancers of Monterrey. The Ghostdance soundscape begins with my recording of a flock of grackles who were roosting in the trees by my hotel in Chalco. I imagined the music to emanate from the voices of those birds with a transformation to a spirit voice created and sung by Julie Lyon Rose. The collaborative process with Jones was a wonderful interchange of two years to bring Ghostdance to it's premiere performances at Lincoln Center and in Radcliffe Yard in Cambridge." – Pauline Oliveros

"The theme of Ghostdance centers on our relationship to the spirit world—to the voices and stories of our ancestors, both recent and ancient. The world of daylight and the senses confronts the realm of memory, dream and death. Drawing upon the cultural palettes of Mexico and the United States, the work evokes this mysterious middle world through movement, sound, text, music and visual design, creating a landscape of inter­actions, collisions and revelations.
Ghostdance is designed for the outdoors, with audience members seated on all sides. The dance is visually lush, the space decorated with brightly colored baskets, flowers, bones, musical instruments, and other objects gathered to evoke both a Mexican cem­etery during El Dia de los Muertos, and a lavish carnival. The space also contains long swaths of textured paper, which evoke a landscape of enormous fallen bodies.
My experiences in Mexico were life-transforming, as was the opportunity to work deep and long with Pauline" – Paula Josa Jones

The Expanded Instrument System (EIS) used in this recording is an evolving electronic ! sound processing environment dedicated to providing improvising musicians control over various interesting parameters of electronic transformation of their acoustic performances. Performers each have their own setup which includes their delay and ambiance processors, microphones, signal routing and mixing, and a computer which translates and displays control information from foot pedals and switches. In addition, they have access to shared processing resources, such as a special digital signal processing; computer. The musicians and their instruments are the sources of all the sounds, which they pick up by their microphones and subject to several kinds of pitch, time and spatial ambiance transformations and manipulations. No electronic sounds are used. The sources , of all the resulting sounds are acoustic instruments and voices. Software for the EIS was partially developed by Panaiotis of PanDigital Corporation and by David Gamper tech­nical director of Pauline Oliveros Foundation. EIS is a program of the Foundation.

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