Pauline Oliveros, Pioneer of ‘Deep Listening,’ Dies at 84

Pauline Oliveros, the American composer, performer and teacher who developed a theory called “deep listening”, died in her sleep Thursday. She was 84.

Read her obituary by National Public Radio.

Pauline addressed the 2015 School of Sound from her home in upstate New York. Here is her biography from the programme.

PAULINE OLIVEROS (1932) is a composer and improviser. She plays a custom Titano acoustic accordion and the Roland V Accordion FR7X in her solo and ensemble improvisations as well as Expanded Instrument System (EIS), an ever evolving electroacoustic processing unit of her design. She performs extensively locally and in many parts of the world in a variety of venues. Her music is performed widely as well by many notable musicians and ensembles. Oliveros’ works are recorded and available through download sites, cassette, CD, DVD, and Vinyl releases. Recent compositions include The Mystery Beyond Matter 2014 commissioned by Quiet Music Ensemble Cork, Ireland; Concerto for Bass Drum and Ensemble commissioned by International Contemporary Ensemble and performed in New York at Lincoln Center in August 2013; Tower Ring 2011 commissioned by the Oliver Ranch Foundation for Ann Hamilton’s Tower situated at the Oliver Ranch in Geyserville California.

In 2009 Oliveros was honored with the William Schuman Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Columbia University along with a three-hour retrospective of her music at the Miller Theater in New York in 2010. Foundation for Contemporary Arts presented Oliveros with the 2012 John Cage Award at Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation in New York. She received the GigaHertz Award from ZKM in Karlsruhe 2012.

Oliveros is the founder of Deep Listening®. Through her Deep Listening practice she has facilitated numerous workshops and intensives throughout the world leading to collaborations across many disciplines. Deep Listening: Art/Science an international conference produced by Deep Listening Institute, Ltd. was held at EMPAC, RPI in Troy NY, July 2013 and 2014 She has created Adaptive Use Musical Instruments (AUMI) to enable artists with disabilities to improvise music. For more information see and