Pauline OLIVEROS: Nubian Word for Flowers

FIRST TAKE | Wild Up and the Industry
In 2013, we partnered with The Industry opera company to workshop a half dozen new works by composers, including: David Brynjar Franszon, Aaron Siegel, and Ellen Reid (workshopping the work that would develop into Ellen’s Pulitzer Prize winner opera “p r i s m” and the early start to Ellen’s relationship with Beth Morrison Projects), all as part of the first iteration of the new opera forum “FIRST TAKE.”

One particular highlight from this first year was the workshop of a new opera by Pauline Oliveros, The Nubian Word for Flowers. Looking back, Pauline feels like a thought mentor for the group. We’ve been so influenced by her lifelong exploration into Deep Listening, that her ideas about music and it’s function in the world have, we think, have changed all of us. In every single one of Pauline’s pieces, compositional form takes the place of education, meditation, group thought experiment, and cross-genre art practice.

We love the way she heard music in the world, where she found it — everywhere around us all, and how she approached all new music as practicum in finding ourselves in nature, and finding ourselves with a more clear idea of who we each are. It’s rare to encounter an artist and artistic practice that intellectually changes performers as they rehearse, perform and even simply contemplate the work itself. Oliveros’s work accomplishes this glorious feat. These pieces are designed to help musicians of all types and levels, but they’re particularly designed to classical musicians, who often have such a self-motivated practice. These pieces help them listen to each other, and their environment, more effectively. Following a year of Wild Up as Orchestra in Residence at the Hammer museum, this workshop was a natural outgrowth of our time there, and the beginning of a number of fruitful activities with The Industry.