In tribute to the American composer and improviser Cecil Taylor, who recently passed away, the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer is offering free copies of Cecil Taylor and Pauline Oliveros’ Solo. Duo. Poetry., a DVD of the two late musicians’ performance at the center’s opening 10 years ago. The DVD is available through the EMPAC website for the cost of shipping and handling.

On October 5, 2008, pianist Cecil Taylor and accordionist Pauline Oliveros performed together for the first time in their careers on the EMPAC Concert Hall stage as part of the center’s opening celebration. Taylor and Oliveros were creators of American music that “never existed in the world” until they changed the world by making it. They were two of America’s most unique creative voices—internationally renowned as improvisers, composers, and philosophers-of-sound—as artists who were all of these things at once, challenging listeners to reconsider distinctions between composition, improvisation, the art of listening, and making sound. On April 5, 2018, Taylor passed away at the age of 89, following Oliveros who passed on November 24, 2016.

The DVD Solo. Duo. Poetry. documents the two performers in a range of configurations. Following a pair of solo improvisations, Taylor and Oliveros take the stage together for 22 minutes of focused musical meditation, exploring each others’ open musical vernacular as well as the sonics of the hall. While this duo performance and Oliveros’ solo have been available for viewing on EMPAC’s Vimeo page, Taylor’s solo is available only on this DVD.

Also included, and recently added to Vimeo, is Floating Gardens: The Poetry of Cecil Taylor, a 75-minute epic tour of Taylor’s poetic work, performed earlier that same day. This is likely the longest, most comprehensive video documentation of Taylor performing his poetry.

For more information, visit For press inquiries, contact Josh Potter at