The Wanderer is based on a single modal scale (B C# D D# E F# G#) and rhythmic modes based on a meter consisting of ¾ and ⅜. Part I, Song, is intended to explore the unique resonant qualities of accordion reeds through long sounds. Subtle variations come about from differences in tuning and air pressure. Part II, Dance, demonstrates the sharp accenting power of the accordion bellows in a mixture of cross rhythms characteristic of jigs, reels, batucadas, Bulgars, klezmer forms, Cajun dances, and music of other diverse cultures.
The Wanderer was composed in November, 1982 especially for the Springfield Accordion Orchestra, directed by Sam Falcetti. This recording documents The Wanderer's world premiere, as it was performed 27 January, 1983 at Marymount Manhattan Theatre. The orchestra consists of twenty accordions, two bass accordions, and five percussion, with Pauline Oliveros as soloist, Sam Falcetti conducting.
Horse Sings From Cloud, written in 1975, is one of Oliveros' best known works. Like most of her Sonic Meditations, it can be performed vocally and/or instrumentally, solo or in collaboration. A solo version of Horse Sings From Cloud has been recorded on Accordion & Voice. An early version of the score reads, “Sustain a tone or sound until any desire to change it disappears. When there is no longer any desire to change the tone or sound, then change it.” This time, Horse Sings From Cloud is performed in ensemble. Joining Pauline Oliveros on bandoneion are Heloise Gold on Harmonium, Julia Haines on accordion, and Linda Montano on concertina. This quartet version incorporates the microtonal differences in tuning of the selected instruments, creating shimmering reed sounds somewhat similar to the shimmering of a Balinese gamelan.