UCC Music Department Opens Pauline Oliveros Sound Studio and Receives €2m Donation

The late American performer and composer Pauline Oliveros (1932–2016)

UCC Music Department Opens Pauline Oliveros Sound Studio and Receives €2m Donation

Donation by the late Sidney V. Regan is the single largest gift to the music department in its history.

The music department of University College Cork has announced that it has opened a new sound studio named after the late American performer and composer Pauline Oliveros, and that it has received a bequest of €2m from Sidney V. Regan, a British builder who moved to Cork in the 1960s.

The Pauline Oliveros Sound Studio (POSS), which was formally unveiled at an online event last Tuesday 19 January, consists of a fully equipped live room, vocal booth and control room. Oliveros was a pioneer in the use of music technology, especially in the form of live electronics, and was director of the trailblazing San Francisco Tape Music Center in the 1960s.

The American performer, improviser and composer had a close working relationship with members of the UCC music department staff and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the university in 2014. She performed and directed the first Deep Listening Workshop to be held in Ireland at the 2008 Quiet Music Festival, held in the Glucksman Gallery in Cork, and visited Ireland several times thereafter, performing at the Guesthouse venue in 2014. In the same year, the Quiet Music Ensemble, founded by UCC music lecturer John Godfrey, gave the world premiere of Oliveros’ The Mystery Beyond Matter, which the ensemble also commissioned. Oliveros and her spouse and frequent creative partner IONE purchased a house on the Beara peninsula, now a sanctuary for spiritual creative research run through the Ministry of Maat. Oliveros passed away in 2016.

Speaking about the new studio, the Head of Music at UCC Dr Jeffrey Weeter said:

In keeping with the spirit of its namesake, the Pauline Oliveros Sound Studio has been designed as a space for learning, creativity and experimentation; it is an exciting development in a Department already rich with possibilities.

Regan donation
In a separate development, a bequest of €2m has been made to the music department by the estate of Sidney V. Regan. Regan moved to Cork in the 1960s where he and his wife Hilda became involved in the music scene. He was a member of the Commodore Male Voice Choir in Cobh and founder of the Cobh Gramophone Society.

It was during this time that the Regans befriended former UCC music professor and composer Aloys Fleischmann (1910–1992). On Regan’s death in 2017, he bequeathed almost all of his €2m estate to the music department.

Prof. John O’Halloran, Interim President of UCC, welcomed the donation:

University College Cork is hugely grateful to the estate of Sidney V. Regan for this exceptionally generous bequest to further support Music at UCC. His generous support will enable us to continue to build on the great tradition of Seán Ó Riada, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Aloys Fleischmann, and more recently the likes of Ann Cleare, Karen Power, Karen Desmond, Julie Feeney, Rosaleen Molloy, Eibhlín Gleeson, Jack O’Rourke and so many others in inspiring the creation, performance and study of music for the next generations.

Dr Weeter also thanked the Regan estate: ‘Sidney Regan’s bequest is the single largest gift to the Music Department in its storied history, and this act of unmatched generosity will enrich the lives of current and future students immeasurably.’

The bequest will enable the department to provide direct support to students in the form of scholarships for undergraduates and postgraduates, improve physical resourcing for performers, composers and the academic study of music, and further enable the department to bring in outside expertise such as professional performers to support its activities.

Developed independently of the bequest, the Pauline Oliveros Sound Studio will also benefit from some new equipment facilitated by the donation. 

Watch the full announcement below.

For more, visit www.ucc.ie/en/fmt/music/

Published on 26 January 2021

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