John Oliver composer



I explore new and ancient materials and techniques from around the world, creating a perceptually-based, visceral listening experience, from the simplest melody to the most intricate musical structures. Acoustic and perceptual principles guide my design with the intention to engage the listener. I write music to intensify the experience of our common humanity. My music typically deals with serious issues, philosophical, moral, spiritual, and existential, and ranges from the dramatic to lyric, ecstatic to placid, tragic to humourous, and can be playful or frightening, cathartic and restorative, restful or stirring, and often invites the listener to reach through a dense and sometimes riotous musical surface to find stillness at the core.

I believe in synthesizing the music of the world, past and present. My catalogue includes rock & folk-inspired hallucinations, post-minimalist drive, post-modern play, organic forms, mythic and socially-relevant subject matter, and works in which many of these merge.

I perform solo and chamber music on electric and classical guitars. For my electronic/media projects, I employ an array of electronic devices (synthesizers and processors) which I may use with guitars and other soundmaking devices, and video. I also sometimes conduct my own music or mix a show of electroacoustic music.

Music on CDs from Centrediscs, Red Shift Records, empreintes DIGITALes, earsay, CBC Records, ZaDiscs, and others, as well as my independent releases on Bandcamp.

You can support my work in a number of ways: 

Enjoy your time exploring my site.

Site updated 2023-09-09