top of page

Pauline Oliveros


Intensity 20.15: Grace Chase for Claire and the Expanded Instrument System (EIS) (2015)





Pauline Oliveros' life as a composer, performer and humanitarian was about opening her own and others' sensibilities to the universe and facets of sounds.    Her career spanned fifty years of boundary dissolving music making.  In the '50s she was part of a circle of iconoclastic composers, artists, poets gathered together in San Francisco. In the 1960's she influenced American music profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual.

She was the recipient of four Honorary Doctorates and among her many recent awards were the William Schuman Award for Lifetime Achievement, Columbia University, New York, NY,The Giga-Hertz-Award for Lifetime Achievement in Electronic Music from ZKM, Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany and The John Cage award from from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts.

Oliveros was Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, and Darius Milhaud Artist-in-Residence at Mills College. She founded "Deep Listening ®,"  which came from her childhood fascination with sounds and from her works in concert music with composition, improvisation and electro-acoustics.  She described Deep Listening as a way of listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing.  Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, of one's own thoughts as well as musical sounds.

'Deep Listening is my life practice," Oliveros explained, simply.  Oliveros founded Deep Listening Institute, formerly Pauline Oliveros Foundation, now the Center For Deep Listening at Rensselaer, Troy, NY. Her creative work is currently disseminated through The Pauline OliverosTrust and the Ministry of Maåt, Inc.



Program Notes

Pauline Oliveros: Intensity 20.15 – A Tribute to Grace Chase

Intensity 20.15 is inspired by text written by Grace Chase, grandmother of Claire Chase and by the virtuosity and flexibility of Claire Chase the performer.

In addition to the text and many small percussion instruments the piece incorporates the use of Expanded Instrument System (EIS), a computer controlled sound interface that I have designed and continued to evolve since 1963. Sounds are picked up by microphone and fed to different processing modules in the computer then output to a multichannel sound array that distributes sound around the performance space. All sounds heard during the performance are originated from the sounds performed by Claire Chase. EIS transforms sounds and plays them back. EIS is performative and is played by Levy Lorenzo.



Intensity 20.15, a collaboration between Claire Chase and the late Pauline Oliveros, is not available for performance by others at this time. For more information on Pauline Oliveros and her scores, visit

bottom of page