To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation

In 1970, Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016) wrote an orchestral score titled To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation. Created in the after-shock of the political upheavals of 1968, and after having read the radical feminist text “Scum Manifesto”, Oliveros’ score imagined a “continuous circulation of power” enacted through performance. The piece marked the beginning of her turn away from the hierarchical tendencies of contemporary classical music and towards a practice that she would continue to develop throughout her life that she called Deep Listening.

Scored for coloured light and any number of musicians, this influential and celebrated work is the subject of Public Recordings next major site-specific performance. Asking, in Oliveros’ words, “How do you go beyond what you know how to do?” Public Recordings has assembled an experimental orchestra of musicians and non-musicians to learn this piece together, through a series of public rehearsals in community spaces in Toronto. This process will culminate in a free, one-time-only performance in Toronto’s City Hall’s Council Chambers.

Contributing artists: Anne Bourne, Allison Cameron, Ishan Davé, Prices Easy, Ellen Furey, Thom Gill, Claire Harvie, Ame Henderson, Brendan Jensen, Germaine Liu, Bee Pallomina, Liz Peterson, Anni Spadafora, Evan Webber, Christopher Willes and others. Rehearsal direction: Kate Nankervis.

Produced by Public Recordings and Christopher Willes. Developed with support from Happy like a flower, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Feminist Art Museum, the Gardiner Museum, and Artscape Gibraltar Point. Performed courtesy of The Pauline Oliveros Trust. Published by Smith Publications 1973.

Music / Performance (in development)
Upcoming presentation
February 17th, 2019, presented by The Music Gallery
Past Presentations:
Part of Community Arts Space: Art is Change at the Gardiner Museum, Toronto, curated by the Feminist Art Museum, August 17, 2017