Tip! The Well & The Gentle, two of the major works of Pauline Oliveros, are presented here in a first time reissue on double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with extensive liner notes. If Oliveros had followed a more conventional path she may have, all social obstacles aside, been considered among the major composers of her time. However, Oliveros approached composition in a more egalitarian manner. She wrote music for musicians to interact with or, in the composers words, she wished to create "an inclusive and interdependent and unfolding world of relationships." Oliveros' propensity towards inclusion is part of what makes this work so remarkably distinctive.
The Well & The Gentle is carefully crafted, allowing performers to participate in the creation of the work. Players are asked to collaborate, focus, react and make imaginative choices. Only then can the performers "pass through stages of awakening to the possibilities inherent in making music, working together, leading to the essence of what can shape musical impulses and individual freedom simultaneously." Unlike most major composers of the era, Oliveros' work focuses on collaboration and improvisation. For Oliveros, the processes involved in making music are as fundamental as the music itself.
Oliveros creates, as Arthur Sabatini put it so eloquently in the liner notes, "A world in which sound and the practices entailed in making music merge; become, at once, source and atmosphere, energy and essence, presence and dynamic."