Electroacoustic Projects + LIVE performance projects

For inquiries, please contact me.

As an electronic musician, Oliver writes and performs music for live instruments with computer and audio processing, as well as works for "fixed media". Oliver’s solo performance project, the Immersive Sound Project, consists of works for multiple guitars and computer processing that surrounds the audience in processed guitar. Oliver currently works in duos with poets, singers, and instrumentalists, transforming their sound in real-time. During the 2010-11 season, Oliver performed as guitarist and electronic musician for several projects for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, including a time-stretching project to introduce Vancouver Symphony Orchestra New Music audiences to Luca Francesconi's Etymo for soprano, orchestra and surround sound, as well as electric guitar soundscapes for Scott Good's Shock Therapy Variations, and a performance of John Cage's Ryoangi for trombone and computer.

Oliver was a founding member of G.E.M.S. (Group of the Electronic Music Studio) in 1983, and was active with the ensemble as composer, performer, and conductor, until 1987. From 1991 to 1993, Oliver played MIDI guitar with the Vancouver group MORE (with Sergio Barroso, Lori Freedman, and Peter Hannan). Since the 1990s, Oliver has been developing repertoire for his own performance project involving guitars, computers and synthesizers. In the fall of 1997 he performed the Body Electric Festival (Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria) and released a CD
Icicle Blue Avalanche on the earsay label, which he co-founded in the same year with composer/pianist Andrew Czink and designer Tanya Petreman for the promotion of new music. His most recent “immersive sound” project came about as the result of a Portrait Concert of his electroacoustic music hosted by the Réseau des art médiatiques in Montreal during their Akousma2 Festival, where Oliver performed live to 28 loudspeakers. This project has been released on a surround DVD-audio disc titled Time is Dust on the earsay label.


Latest Performances

Marina Hasselberg, cello; John Oliver, electronics. Live at the Western Front as part of the SONIC BOOM Festival, a presentation of Vancouver Pro Musica, March 18, 2017

Marina Hasselberg, cello; John Oliver, electronics. Gold Saucer, August 6, 2016. Read a lovely review of our concert by Alex Waterhouse-Heyward here

The Rehearsal (2015)

Inspired by the experimental films of the 1930’s Parisian avant-garde and the work of Maya Deren, The Rehearsal documents a musical gathering which is interrupted by a series of surreal encounters between the heroine, Natalie Brettschneider, and various objects. Read more here.

Flight 182 Meditations

with Renée Sarojini Saklikar, poet. 2014. Live at the Laura C. Muir Theatre, Dougals College, New Westminster, Canada

Main works

Flight 182 meditations 2015 poet and computer processing 59:00
Nylong Symphony #2 - “Crystal” 2010 fretless classical guitar, computer 23:35
Crushed Utopia 2005 tape alone 4:40
Over the edge 2005 12 channels of surround audio 20:00
Marimba Destruido 2005 8 channels of surround audio 12:45
Just inference 2003 quadraphonic sound 5:03
Give Us Peace 2002 2 or 4 track digital audio media 4:52
Copper Flying 1998 MIDI Guitar, computer, synthesizers 8:47
Second Nature 1992 CD/film sound track 8:05
Off the Edge 1992 digital audio 13:14
Marimba Dismembered 1990 digital audio 3:00
  1. Abstract Wind 1
  2. Copper Flying
  3. Give Us Peace
  4. Icicle Blue Avalanche
  5. InDia
  6. Just inference
  7. Marimba Dismembered
  8. Marimba Destruido
  9. Over the edge
  10. Nylong Symphony 2 - Crystal
  11. Off the Edge
  12. scintilla
  13. Second Nature
  14. Synprov for JA

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A Portrait Concert presented by Réseaux des arts médiatiques (Montréal) in 2005

Acousmatic works for fixed media and interactive computer system with guitars
Le Réseau des art médiatiques hosted a "portrait concert" at which Oliver performed his own electroacoustic music (both live and for fixed media) through an orchestra of 28 loudspeakers. The event occurred at ESPACE GO in Montréal during the 4-day long festival.

Featured works:

Over the Edge - for mixed media, 12 channels
Marimba Destruido -
for mixed media, 8 channels
Copper Singing - for fretless guitar & computer
Nylong Symphony part 5 -
for fretless guitar & computer

as well as,

just inference - for mixed media, 4 channels
Give Us Peace -
for mixed media, 4 channels

This music was released in February 2012 on a surround DVD-audio disc called Time is Dust on the earsay label.
Also available as stereo files on the earsay soundshop and iTunes