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Pauline Oliveros - The Wanderer - LP / CD

Pauline Oliveros - The Wanderer - LP / CD

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Pauline Oliveros' The Wanderer is available on LP for the first time since it was originally released in 1984. Cut at Golden and pressed at RTI for maximum fidelity. Clear vinyl limited to 200 copies exclusively for Imprec mailorder. 

An utterly essential document of early American minimalism from this Pauline Oliveros. The Wanderer is the sister record to Accordion & Voice, also available on LP from Important Records.

The Wanderer is based on a single modal scale (B C# D D# E F# G#) and rhythmic modes based on a meter consisting of ¾ and . Part I, Song, is intended to explore the unique resonant qualities of accordion reeds through long sounds. Subtle variations come about from differences in tuning and air pressure. Part II, Dance, demonstrates the sharp accenting power of the accordion bellows in a mixture of cross-rhythms characteristic of jigs, reels, batucadas, Bulgars, klezmer forms, Cajun dances, and music of other diverse cultures.

The Wanderer was composed in November, 1982 especially for the Springfield Accordion Orchestra, directed by Sam Falcetti. This recording documents The Wanderer's world premiere, as it was performed 27 January, 1983 at Marymount Manhattan Theatre. The orchestra consists of twenty accordions, two bass accordions, and five percussionists, with Pauline Oliveros as soloist, Sam Falcetti conducting.

Horse Sings From Cloud, written in 1975, is one of Oliveros' best known works. Like most of her Sonic Meditations, it can be performed vocally and/or instrumentally, solo or in collaboration. A solo version of Horse Sings From Cloud has been recorded on Accordion & Voice. An early version of the score reads, “Sustain a tone or sound until any desire to change it disappears. When there is no longer any desire to change the tone or sound, then change it.” This time, Horse Sings From Cloud is performed in ensemble. Joining Pauline Oliveros on bandoneon are Heloise Gold on Harmonium, Julia Haines on accordion, and Linda Montano on concertina. This quartet version incorporates the microtonal differences in tuning of the selected instruments, creating shimmering reed sounds somewhat similar to the shimmering of a Balinese gamelan.


This is the first time The Wanderer has been made available on CD, having been out of print for over 20 years. Included as a bonus track is a lengthy live recording of Oliveros with David Tudor that was discovered on the reels during the digital transfer! Remastered from the original analog tapes by Carl Saff.



1. Duo For Accordion & Bandoneon

2. The Wanderer

3. Horse Sings From Cloud


“A quixotic body of work that seems to hover - like that of John Cage, to whom she is often compared - somewhere in the interstices among composition, philosophy, religion and self-help.” ~ San Francisco Chronicle

"Her solo accordion work 'Rattlesnake Mountain' was a simple, haunting melody over a pulsating drone. Few composers can summon such gentle majesty from this instrument." ~ New York Times

"Oliveros' music makes you listen afresh to the simplest sounds." ~ New York Times

"A particularly beautiful example of experimentalism - genuine musical individuality." ~ New York Times

"On some level, music, sound consciousness and religion are all one, and she would seem to be very close to that level." ~ New York Times

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