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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. A highlight of his work was a Portrait Concert of his electroacoustic music hosted by the Réseau des art médiatiques in Montreal during their Akousma2 Festival, December 2005, where Oliver performed live to 28 loudspeakers. This project was released on a surround DVD-audio disc titled Time is Dust on the earsay label in 2012.

My Image

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 fixed media, 12 channels
Marimba Destruido -
for fixed media, 8 channels
Copper Singing - for fretless guitar & computer
Nylong Symphony part 5 -
for fretless guitar & computer

as well as,

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

AVAILABLE as MP3, FLAC, OGG, AIFF, WAV and in surround sound on DVD
  • MP3 only at iTunes
  • DVD-audio disc (surround and 24bit stereo) and stereo digital download in many formats at the earsay soundshop

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

Flight 182 Meditations

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

Site updated 2022-11-01