In 1970, radical American composer and electronic music pioneer Pauline Oliveros created To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation. The project marked the beginning of her turn away from the hierarchical structures of contemporary music and towards the experimental Deep Listening practice she would continue to develop over her long career. Insisting on a “continuous circulation of power” this influential work scored for coloured light and “any instrumentation” is the focus of Public Recordings’ major stage work being developed through public rehearsal over the upcoming season for premiere in 2019.
To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation is an investigation of lineage as well as form. Asking, “How do you go beyond what you know how to do?” (Oliveros, Software For People) Public Recordings organizes an experimental orchestra of musicians and non-musicians in pursuit of group listening and a new horizontality of practice in sound.
Initiated by Christopher Willes in consultation with Anne Bourne. Creation and performance: Allison Cameron, Ishan Davé, Ellen Furey, Thom Gill, Claire Harvie, Ame Henderson, Brendan Jensen, Germaine Liu, Anni Spadafora, Evan Webber and others. Produced by Public Recordings. Co-presentd by the Music Gallery and Art Metropole (2019). Supported by Artscape Gibraltar Point, The Gardiner Museum, Feminist Art Museum.
Special thanks to Ione for her consultation. To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation (1970) is performed courtesy of The Pauline Oliveros Trust. Published by Smith Publications 1973. Photos: Yuula Benivolski. Videography by Francesca Chudnoff, edited by Christopher Willes. Brick and Rattle installation pictured in images and video by FAM and Tsēma Igharas.