Author Topic: Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)  (Read 1008 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« on: May 14, 2021, 06:26:54 PM »
Starting yesterday at Issue Project Room in New York, an all-star group of musicians have been performing Alvin Lucier's I am sitting in a room (1969), to mark the composer's 90th birthday. It's almost over, but the entire 27 hours have been recorded and will be archived for later viewing.

https://issueprojectroom.org/event/i-am-sitting-room-alvin-luciers-90th-birthday-celebration

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Online Mandryka

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Re: Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2021, 10:21:38 PM »
It’s like Satie’s Vexations!
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2021, 06:40:13 AM »
It’s like Satie’s Vexations!

Yes! It's been very entertaining seeing people on Facebook post excerpts from the performance. And the variety of musicians is pretty impressive: Last person I noticed participating was Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.  8)

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Brewski

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Re: Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2021, 06:48:52 AM »
PS, browsing YouTube, there are apparently dozens of versions. This one is pretty great, by Mischa Salkind-Pearl of the Equilibrium Ensemble in Boston, recorded in 2016 to mark the composer's 85th birthday. I like it because his vocal timbre is appealing and very clear at the beginning...before it begins to change8)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjiX4oc8e2U

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline mabuse

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Re: Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2021, 01:26:07 PM »
Thanks very much for the news, Brewski  :)


(Personally, having much trouble hearing my own voice, I find the exercise much more difficult than it seems)

Offline Brewski

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Re: Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2021, 01:32:48 PM »
Thanks very much for the news, Brewski  :)


(Personally, having much trouble hearing my own voice, I find the exercise much more difficult than it seems)

Most welcome! You're probably right about the deceptive difficulty. As a PS, in one of the other versions I found (below, by "herbatkie," who looks to have recorded it in his bedroom), the musician stumbles slightly over the word "irregularities," which adds its own spice to the results.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsfr8_QIfjM&t=266s

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline T. D.

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Re: Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2021, 03:57:36 PM »
New (AFAIK) string quartet recording by Quatuor Bozzini, summary here: https://www.lafolia.com/string-theory-36-predominantly-quartets/

Much more on the QB website: https://quatuorbozzini.ca/en/discographie/6124



Online Mandryka

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Re: Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2021, 08:19:34 AM »
I just think that Still And Moving Lines Of Silence In Families Of Hyperbolas is a fabulous masterpiece. Here's the score


Quote
Create standing waves in space caused by
constructive and destructive interference patterns
among sine waves from loudspeakers. With single
sine wave oscillators, amplifiers, and pairs of
loudspeakers, design sound geographies for
dancers consisting of troughs and crests of soft
and loud sound that form in outward-arching,
symmetrically mirrored hyperbolic curves
between the loudspeakers, the size and number of
which are determined by the frequencies of the
sine waves and the distances between the
loudspeakers. Add loudspeakers, creating
additional sets of hyperbolas, some of which
intersect. When necessary, clear pathways for
dancers by slightly changing the frequencies of
the sine waves, shifting the locations of the
hyperbolas.

Any number of dancers discover troughs of quiet
sound along axes of pairs of loudspeakers which
they may follow, changing directions, if they wish,
at intersections. If bumps of sound occur due to
reflections from walls or other surfaces, search for
open paths or wait for troughs to shift.
Play any number of sine tones, simultaneously in
chords or clusters, or sequentially, through any
configuration of loudspeakers. Any number of
singers sing long pure tones in near-unison above
or below the given sine tones so as to produce
audible beating, forming continually variable
rhythmic patterns. Sing within intervals, beating
upper pitches at one speed, lower ones at another,
creating double rhythms.

Closely tune any number of oscillators, causing
hyperbolas between loudspeakers to spin in
elliptical patterns through space at speeds
determined by the tunings and in directions
toward the lower-pitched loudspeakers. Balance
oscillator and amplifier volumes to achieve
maximum and minimum amplitudes including
silences, if possible, during beating cycles.
Play any number of brass and wind instruments in
such a way as to create and spin hyperbolas
toward and away from your instruments and
sounding loudspeakers. Pluck any number of
stringed instruments, including electric guitars, to
create series of beats, the speeds and numbers of
which are determined by the tunings and
amplitudes of the plucked sounds and sine tones.

Deploy any number of snare drums (metal snares)
anywhere in space. Search for resonant
frequencies of the drums and spin hyperbolas of
those frequencies across them, the crests of which
cause sympathetic vibrations, creating rhythmic
patterns determined by the speeds of the beatings.
Parts of this work may be performed singly or in
any combination simultaneously, in any order.


This is the recording I'm enjoying, there may be others, I recommend this one with great enthusiasm.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Still-Moving-Silence-Families-Hyperbolas/dp/B0000DI4RX

I can't find any videos of it being danced unfortunately.



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Online Mandryka

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Re: Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2021, 11:52:57 PM »


In Music for Solo Performer Alvin uses his brain waves to activate a whole bunch of percussion instruments. You’re either going to have to listen or take my word for it, but it is really good! How it can be so good is another question, I don’t have the answer. 
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Offline Brewski

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Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2021, 08:56:20 AM »
Sad news: Alvin Lucier has died, at age 90.

Here is Music for Piano and Amplified Sonorous Vessels (1990), performed by pianist Daniel Schlosberg, with sound engineering by Gleb Kanasevich and William Gardiner:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAUuIXHZ07o

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline T. D.

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Re: Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2021, 03:34:55 PM »
RIP.

Earlier this year I checked out his 90th birthday marathon:

https://issueprojectroom.org/event/i-am-sitting-room-alvin-luciers-90th-birthday-celebration

Offline Brewski

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Re: Alvin Lucier (1931-2021)
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2021, 07:11:52 PM »
RIP.

Earlier this year I checked out his 90th birthday marathon:

https://issueprojectroom.org/event/i-am-sitting-room-alvin-luciers-90th-birthday-celebration

Wasn't that great! Makes me happy that at age 90, he got to see that happen.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY