To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation (1970)

Composer:  Pauline Oliveros
Recorded live at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, September 1970.

Shortly after it was published in 1967 The SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas fell into my hands.  Intrigued by the egalitarian feminist principles set forth in the Manifesto I wanted to incorporate them in the structure of a new piece that I was composing. The women's movement was surfacing and I felt the need to express my resonance with this energy.  Marilyn Monroe had taken her own life.  Valerie Solanas had attempted to take the life of Andy Warhol. Both women seemed to be desperate and caught in the traps of inequality:  Monroe needed to be recognized for her talent as an actress.  Solanas wished to be supported for her own creative work. Commissioned by the Music Department of Hope College, Holland Michigan/ To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in recognition of their desperation /had its premiere in 1970.  Though everyone knew Marilyn Monroe hardly anyone recognized Valerie Solanas or took her Manifesto seriously.  I brought the names of these two women together in the title of the piece to draw attention to their inequality and to dedicate the piece.   -Pauline Oliveros


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