Pamela Z’s “Echolocation” Retrospectively Reviewed

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

The career of Bay Area-based composer and performer Pamela Z has been long and varied, covering commissions for the Kronos Quartet and San Francisco Symphony, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and one of the more abstract TED Talks ever given. And while this year has brought her latest album, A Secret Code, it also unearthed something from her past. Soon after graduating with a music degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Z relocated to San Francisco and began putting down her voice-centered compositions to tape, ultimately releasing them on cassette as Echolocation in 1988. “I always thought of myself as a fence-sitter,” Z says from her studio in San Francisco. She’s buoyant and upbeat as she moves around the space, whether it’s to shut out a blaring car alarm outside or to dig out an old score. “I had one foot in punk and new wave and another in the avant-garde,” she says. “I had things I loved on all sides and I refused to choose a camp. I always tried to knit them together.”