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Pauline Oliveros, Deep Listening Pioneer [1932 - 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, November 27, 2016 03:20pm | Post a Comment


Music lost another important figure in 2016 with the passing of experimental composer and "deep listening" pioneer Pauline Oliveros, who died Thursday (November 24th) at age 84.  Filled under such categories as classical, avant-garde, electronic, and experimental Oliveros was an artist, author, educator and humanitarian with strong ties to the Bay Area. She may not have been a household name like some of the other musical greats we've lost this year such as Bowie, Prince or Leonard Cohen. Nonetheless Pauline Oliveros' contributions to music history were no less significant: most notably her development of deep listening, the theory she summarized as "listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what one is doing."

With a career spanning six decades, Oliveros' diverse body of work included musical compositions themed on such subjects as African history of the 17th century. An author and prolific writer who penned papers on various aspects of musical theory, Oliveros was also a teacher at institutes including Oakland's Mills College. Beyond being a pioneer within music Oliveros was also an early ambassador for equality of women in the male dominated field of music. Decades before "women's music" became a thing and long before the mainstream would take notice of just how unbalanced the ratio of women to men was in every field of music from classical to pop, Oliveros was loudly advocating for gender equality in music on behalf of both composers and performers. 
 
Born in Houston, Texas where her introduction to music came by learning to play the accordion, the geographical locale that Oliveros is perhaps most associated with is the San Francisco Bay Area. Back in  the early sixies, along with such fellow forward thinking experimental composers as Terry Riley and Steve Reich, Oliveros was part of the nonprofit, cultural, educational entity the San Francisco Tape Music Center (SFTMC) that was founded by composers Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender. Founded in 1962 the SFTMC was an outgrowth of the  San Francisco Conservatory electronic studio established a year earlier. It was founded by the improv group Sonics that Oliveros was a part of.
For an accurate example of the work of the SFTMC pick up Music From The Tudorfest San Fancisco Tape Music Center 1964 that features David Tudor John Cage, Toshi Ichiyanagi, as well as Pauline Oliveros.  In the latter 1960's the SFTMC would receive a grant to join the Mills Center for Contemporary Music with Oliveros as director. As time moved on Oliveras work morphed into studies and practices of rhythms and flow patterns of the human breath. But the school of thought she dubbed "deep listening" that would influence many generations of musicians will be her greatest legacy.

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Avant-Garde Music Collection Arrives at Amoeba Hollywood October 22

Posted by Amoebite, October 18, 2016 12:09pm | Post a Comment

Avant-Garde CD Sale

We are very excited to announce that we've acquired the amazing CD collection of LA Free Music Society member Juan Gomez! This one-of-a-kind collection will be on display and available for sale at Amoeba Hollywood starting Saturday, October 22nd. Juan's collection leans toward the catalog of mindfully experimental artists with classical influence, with many obscure releases and long out-of-print titles among the assemblage. It features over 700 pieces, including hard-to-find gems from artists such as Philip Glass and Olga Neuwirth, as well as labels Kairos, ECM New Series, Wergo, and Neos.

Avant-Garde Music Collection at Amoeba Hollywood

Los Angeles Free Music SocietyJuan Gomez, as an early adapter and member of the improvisational LAFMS collective, has always had an interest in contemporary music of all kinds. His taste for modernism also drew him into the musical landscape of 20th century avant-garde composers and thus inspired his interest in collecting their recordings early on. As a young man, the recordings he experienced at his local library of Arnold Schoenberg, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and John Cage helped to strongly influence his music buying tastes.

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Cellist Joshua Roman

Posted by Amoebite, July 19, 2016 11:13am | Post a Comment

Joshua Roman Amoeba Music What's In My Bag?

When classical musician/composer/curator Joshua Roman visits Amoeba Hollywood he's sure to pick out a very eclectic mix of music, one that includes electronic, opera, jazz, and Ween. "I discovered Ween in college when I discovered a lot of things, musical and non-musical," says Roman, "and some of them go very well with Ween." Masters of style" is what he calls them, saying, "They're the most versatile band that I know." High praise coming from someone with tastes as versatile as Roman.

Joshua Roman at Amoeba Hollywood

Joshua Roman began his career in 2006 as the principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, a coveted position attained when he was only22. He has gone on to serve as the director of Seattle Town Hall's Town Music series, and has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestras, the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Ecuador. He has collaborated with artists such as Cho-Liang Lin, the Assad Brothers, Earl Carlyss, Christopher Taylor, Christian Zacharias, The JACK Quartet, So Percussion, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two, and playwright Anna Deveare Smith.

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Bay Area's Foothill College Radio Station KFJC Kicks off Its Annual Month of Mayhem

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2015 01:30am | Post a Comment


Nestled in the Los Altos Hills of the South Bay is one of the best radio stations not just in the Bay Area but anywhere. KFJC has been serving a rich and diverse musical presentation at 89.7FM for the better part of six decades, including many legendary live sessions from the Foothill College campus radio station's in-studio live performance space, the Pit.

The Foothill College campus radio station has been broadcasting since 1959. For over half its lifespan, KFJC has been dedicating their airwaves each May to the month of Mayhem. It's an entertainment-packed month (referred to as Mayhem, never May, throughout the 31 days) of special programming every day such as today's (May 1st) kickoff specials: The Mini Detest-A-Thon: A Survey of the Musical Obsession of Loathing Part 2, and A Brief Introduction to John Tejada, Part 1. Next Monday (Mayhem 4) brings May the Fourth Be With You: A Star Wars Mayhem Special, Mayhem 5's early morning International Psychedelia (Part 1) special, Bright Spots featuring Light In The Attic Records on Mayhem 10th, and Ms. Tiza and Cadillac Margarita's Pants Off Dance Off on Mayhem 16th.

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Dip Your Toes into Classical Music with Our Handy Conversion Chart

Posted by Amoebite, November 17, 2014 03:56pm | Post a Comment

Classical Music Conversion Chart

There is a type of customer at Amoeba Music that remains one of my favorites. Those brave souls who sheepishly make their way to the deepest, most remote area of the store: The Classical Section. They look vulnerable but hopeful, curious but intimidated. They come, knowing they want Classical music, but unsure how to find something they’ll like.

I’ve found the most efficient and fun way to lead folks is to learn about the other forms of music they love, and then use that to inspire selections. For every contemporary artist on the scene today, I assure you that there’s a composer in the Classical section with parallels. Beyond that, after working in record stores for over a decade, I’ve learned that people who enjoy certain acts – such as, let’s say, Black Sabbath – typically will also enjoy the string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich.

It’s these interactions that led me to create the following "conversion chart." While no means infallible, think of it as a fun way to find a starting point in your adventure into the Classical music genre. But remember – no chart can replace a living, breathing, Amoeba Music employee. Don’t be afraid to come in and ask for suggestions. We love that!

The best time to come explore the Classical section will be November 28-30 when we're having a huge Classical blowout at our stores over Black Friday weekend. All red and green tag Classical CDs and vinyl will be 50% off! Sale details here.

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