"Richard Felciano’s music was both prefaced and summarized by the title of his 1972 piece, I Make My Own Soul from All the Elements of the Earth. One such element was magnetic tape, a material developed only a few years before his admission into the Mills graduate program in 1953. The catalogue of his music offered by The New Grove Dictionary of American Music in 1984 lists more than 30 works which use it.
He used carillon in Islands of Sound and The Tuning of the Sky, handbells in Mad with Love, gamelan in In Celebration of Golden Rain, an FM tuner and transistor radio in Background Music, five flutes in Volkan, five harps in Four Poems from the Japanese, visual projections in Signs, and a recorder in Allelulia to the Heart of Stone. He was the first composer to use television as a compositional element (in Linearity for harp and electronics in 1968) and as an audience-participation event (in Trio for speaker, screen and viewer in 1968). By 1984, he had finished nineteen choral pieces... one of the most important collections of sacred pieces of the time, notable for its size and musical unorthodoxy. In Sic Transit (1970), for example, he used strobe lights and projections, tape excerpts from speeches by Martin Luther King and John Kennedy, tone clusters produced by the organist’s
forearms, and a grid filled with pitch and rhythm alternatives which were randomly chosen during the course of the performance. Orchestra, the piece done by the San Francisco Symphony in 1980, extended the composer's interest in the relationship of space to sound. "In the minute pauses between notes and the Grand Pauses in the central section..." he wwrote, "the sound is listening to the hall." He also told Ear that he started each piece by finding a dramatic gesture which he then subjected to a kind of stream-of-consciousness process. His concern with beginnings could have been learned from Stravinsky, who said in Poetics of Music that the most important thing was to limit one's possibilities (by establishing a starting point). Or he could have learned it from the succession of novel gestures with which Milhaud invested his music during the dadaist period, or from those which characterized the theater pieces done at the San Francisco Tape Center during the neo-dadist era."
— Nathan Rubin, John Cage and the Twenty-six Pianos of Mills College. Forces in American Music from 1940 to 1990