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Pauline Oliveros Four Electronic Pieces 1959-1966

Oliveros was among many composers and scholars who spent much of the ’60s exploring the then-exotic sounds of electricity flowing through enormous, clunky machines called synthesizers. Four Electronic Pieces 1959-1966 documents some of her early synth- and tape-collage works. Half of the CD is best left for the lecture hall, as “V of IV” is a punishing synth blowout whose buzzing tones sound like a clogged lawnmower, while “Once Again/Buchla Piece” has enough shrieking hits of noise to rival Merzbow. The relief is “Time Perspectives,” where Oliveros creates an otherworldly atmosphere by tweaking the tape speeds of recorded clacks, rumblings, and deep breaths. Her sources? Nothing more than a table knife, soup ladles, and her voice.

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