Ghost Ensemble and the 'Deep Listening' of Pauline Oliveros

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 (Anthony Morris)

The late composer Pauline Oliveros has had a bit of a mini-renaissance lately, with a new generation of electronic and classical musicians embracing her work. Of course, she was a huge figure in composition here in the Bay Area, and New York's Ghost Ensemble really adheres to her concept of deep listening. Here’s how Ghost Ensemble’s Ben Richter explains the idea.

“Deep listening is really about sonic awareness, and listening to everything that’s possible to hear all the time… When I think of experiencing deep listening, my natural imagination goes to sitting in a field and listening to the wind and the birds. It doesn’t necessarily go to standing on a subway platform and listening to the various human conversations and the scurry of the rats, but that’s just as valid.”

This is music that really rewards experiencing it in person. Ghost Ensemble plays music by Pauline Oliveros, Ben Richter, Sky Macklay, and others on May 17 at the Center for New Music in San Francisco — which gives 100 percent of the door money to the performers (!). Ghost Ensemble also plays Wind River, a studio in Santa Cruz, on May 19. Details here.