Though she’s a product of the ravenously experimental late 60s–she cofounded the famous Tape Music Center at Mills College in Oakland–the music Pauline Oliveros has forged over the last few decades is decidedly timeless. It rolls into your consciousness like thick banks of fog: gorgeous, amorphous, ethereal, enveloping. In her best-known vehicle, the ten-year-old Deep Listening Band, she, trombonist Stuart Dempster, keyboardist David Gamper, vocalist Panaiotis, and a parade of prominent guests have severely yet unobtrusively manipulated sound beyond recognition, cranking the reverb to 11–you’d hardly guess Oliveros’s main ax was the accordion. In many situations they rely on electronics, but ideally the effects are achieved naturally: the ensemble has recorded in an abandoned 186-foot-wide cistern and an old limestone quarry in search of watery echoes. While some of the DLB’s works seem best suited to an hour in a flotation tank, others, like its 1992 album, The Ready Made Boomerang (New Albion), can be downright unsettling, with softened metallic clangs leaping out of a low, soothing din. Oliveros will collaborate with a number of local musicians this weekend: Saturday’s performance will feature ad hoc pieces with improvisers Robbie Hunsinger and Fred Lonberg-Holm and sound artists Andrea Polli, Carol Genetti, and Olivia Block. For Sunday’s free performance she’ll be joined by Carrie Biolo and Jeff Kowalkowski (aka Jack the Dog) in a 90-minute piece for which they’ll transform a room adjacent to the theater into a giant reverb chamber. Saturday, 8 PM, Artemisia, 700 N. Carpenter; 312-226-7323. Sunday, 3 PM, Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; 312-744-1430. PETER MARGASAK
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Peter Margasak.