- Alvin Lucier
name = Alvin Lucier
image_size = 200px
birth_date = Birth date and age|1931|5|14|mf=y
Nashua, New Hampshire
Alvin Lucier (born
May 14, 1931) is an American composerof experimental musicand sound installations that explore acoustic phenomena and auditory perception. Lucier was a member of the influential Sonic Arts Union, which included Robert Ashley, David Behrman, and Gordon Mumma. Much of his work is influenced by science and explores the physical properties of sound itself: resonance of spaces, phase interference between closely-tuned pitches, and the transmission of sound through physical media.
Lucier was born in
Nashua, New Hampshire. He was educated in Nashua public and parochial schools and the Portsmouth Abbey School, Yale Universityand Brandeis University. In 1958 and 1959, Lucier studied with Lukas Fossand Aaron Coplandat the TanglewoodCenter. In 1960, Lucier left for Romeon a Fulbright Fellowship, where he befriended American expatriate composer Frederic Rzewskiand witnessed performances by John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and David Tudorthat provided compelling alternatives to his classical training. He returned from Rome in 1962 to take up a position at Brandeis as director of the University Chamber Chorus, which presented classical vocal works alongside modern compositions and new commissions. At a 1963 Chamber Chorus concert at New York's Town Hall, Lucier met Gordon Mummaand Robert Ashley, experimental composers who were also directors of the ONCE Festival, an annual multi-media event in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A year later, Mumma and Ashley invited the Chamber Chorus to the ONCE Festival; and, in 1966, Lucier reciprocated by inviting Mumma, Ashley, and mutual friend David Behrmanto Brandeis for a concert of works by the four composers. Based on the success of that concert, Lucier, Mumma, Ashley, and Behrman embarked on a tour of the United States and Europe under the name the Sonic Arts Group (at Ashley's suggestion, the name was later changed to the Sonic Arts Union). More a musical collective than a proper quartet, the Sonic Arts Union presented works by each of its members, sharing equipment and assisting when necessary. Performing and touring together for a decade, the Sonic Arts Union became inactive in 1976. In 1970, Lucier left Brandeis for Wesleyan University. In 1972, Lucier became a musical director of the Viola Farber Dance Company, a position he held until 1979.
Though Lucier had composed chamber and orchestral works since 1952, the composer and his critics count his 1965 composition "
Music for Solo Performer" as the proper beginning of his compositional career. In that piece, EEGelectrodes attached to the performer's scalp detect bursts of alpha wavesgenerated when the performer achieves a meditative, non-visual brain state. These alpha wavesare amplified and the resulting electrical signal is used to vibrate percussion instruments distributed around the performance space. Other important early pieces include "Vespers" (1968), in which performers use hand-held echolocation devices to locate the approximate physical center of a room, to deepen their understanding of acoustical perception, and to reveal the elements of environmental space through non-visual means.
I Am Sitting in a Room
One of Lucier's most important and best-known works is "
I Am Sitting in a Room" (1970), in which Lucier records himself narrating a text, and then plays the recording back into the room, re-recording it. The new recording is then played back and re-recorded, and this process is repeated. Since all rooms have a characteristic resonance (e.g., between a large hall and a small room), the effect is that certain frequencies are gradually emphasised as they resonate in the room, until eventually the words become unintelligible, replaced by the pure resonant harmonies and tones of the room itself. The recited text describes this process in action - it begins "I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice...", and concludes with, "I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have," referring to his own stuttering.
Other key pieces
Other key pieces include "
North American Time Capsule" (1966), which employed a prototype vocoderto isolate and manipulate elements of speech, " Music On A Long Thin Wire" (1977), in which a piano wire is strung across a room activated by an amplified oscillator and magnets on either end, producing changing overtones and sounds, " Crossings" (1982), in which tones play across a steadily rising sine wave produce interference beats, " Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas" (1973–74), in which the interferencetones between sine waves create "troughs" and "valleys" of sound and silence, and " Clocker" (1978), which uses biofeedback and reverberation.
Lucier's composition students include
Nicolas Collins, Ron Kuivila, Arnold Dreyblatt, Douglas Kahn, Daniel James Wolf, and Mladen Milosevic.
* Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas, 1-12, Lovely Music, Ltd. CD 1015, 2004
* Navigations for Strings, Small Waves, Mode Records, CD 124, 2003
* Still Lives, Lovely Music, Ltd. CD 5012, 2001
* Theme, Lovely Music, Ltd. CD 5011, 1999
* Panorama, Lovely Music, Ltd. CD 1012, 1997
* Fragments for Strings, Arditti String Quartet, Disques Montaigne, 1996
* Clocker, Lovely Music, Ltd. CD 1019, 1994
Music On A Long Thin Wire, Lovely Music, Ltd. LP/CD 1011, 1980/92
* Self Portrait, on Upper Air Observation, Barbara Held, flute, Lovely Music, Ltd. CD 3031, 1992
* Nothing is Real/Hyper Beatles 2, Eastworld, 1991
* Crossings, Lovely Music, Ltd. CD 1018, 1990
I Am Sitting in a Room, Lovely Music, Ltd. LP/CD 1013, 1981/90
* Music for Alpha Waves, Assorted Percussion, and Automated Coded Relays, on "Imaginary Landscapes," Elektra/Nonesuch 79235-2, 1989
* Sferics, Lovely Music, Ltd. LP 1017, 1988
* Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas, 5-8, Lovely Music, Ltd. LP 1016, 1985
* Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas, 1-4, Lovely Music, Ltd. LP 1015, 1983
* Music for Solo Performer, Lovely Music, Ltd. LP 1014, 1982
* Bird and Person Dyning/The Duke of York, Cramps, 1975
* Vespers, on "Electronic Sound," Mainstream MS-5010, 1971
North American Time Capsule, on "Music of Our Time" series, CBS Odyssey Records, 1967
I Am Sitting in a Room, SOURCE Record, 1966
*1976 - "Music With Roots in the Aether: Opera for Television". Tape 3: Alvin Lucier. Produced and directed by
Robert Ashley. New York, New York: Lovely Music.
* [http://alucier.web.wesleyan.edu/ Alvin Lucier's website (Wesleyan University)]
* [http://www.lovely.com/artists/a-lucier.html Lovely Music Artist: Alvin Lucier]
* [http://www.cdemusic.org/artists/lucier.html CDeMUSIC: Alvin Lucier]
* [http://www.ps1.org/cut/volume/lucier.html Volume: Bed of Sound: Alvin Lucier]
* [http://research.umbc.edu/~tmoore/interview_frame.html?/~tmoore/lucier.html Alvin Lucier in conversation with Thomas Moore]
* [http://www.newmusicbox.org/article.nmbx?id=4054 "Sitting in a Room with Alvin Lucier"] Alvin Lucier in conversation with
Frank J. Oteri, NewMusicBoxPublished: April 1, 2005
* [http://www-ccrma.stanford.edu/%7ecburns/realizations/lucier-1.html I am sitting in a room (1969) by Alvin Lucier real-time realization by Christopher Burns (2000)]
*MusicBrainz artist|id=d1e226c0-63b9-4c64-a533-e94ad21c5180|name=Alvin Lucier
* [http://www.ubu.com/sound/lucier.html] UBUWeb - includes original 1969 recording of "I Am Sitting In A Room"
* [http://alucier.web.wesleyan.edu/listen.html Music for Piano with One or More Snare Drums] (1990) by Alvin Lucier, performed by
* [http://www.archive.org/audio/audio-details-db.php?collection=other_minds&collectionid=OM5OMEnsembleLucierIslands Island (1998)] performed by The Other Minds Ensemble at the Other Minds Music Festival in 1999 at Cowell Theater in San Francisco.
* [http://www.archive.org/audio/audio-details-db.php?collection=other_minds&collectionid=OM5LengTanLucier Nothing Is Real (Strawberry Fields Forever) (1990)] performed by
Margaret Leng Tanat the Other Minds Music Festival in 1999 at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco.
* [http://www.archive.org/audio/audio-details-db.php?collection=opensource_audio&collectionid=residuum-i_am_sitting_in_a_room_mp3 "I Am Sitting in a Room Recreation"] , from Internet Archive
* [http://homepage.mac.com/deyestone/qosvideo.html Queen of the South Video performance at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Eyestone/McCabe/DeKam]
* Alvin Lucier, "Reflections: Interviews, Scores, Writings" (Köln: MusikTexte, 1995).
* Alvin Lucier, "Origins of a Form: Acoustic Exploration, Science, and Incessancy," "Leonardo Music Journal" 8 (1998): 5–11.
* Christoph Cox, "The Alien Voice: Alvin Lucier's '
North American Time Capsule'," "Mainframe Experimentalism", ed. Hannah Higgins and Douglas Kahn (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).
* [http://research.umbc.edu/~tmoore/interview_frame.html?/~tmoore/lucier.html Alvin Lucier in Conversation with Thomas Moore]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Alvin Lucier — Alvin Lucier, né le 14 mai 1931 à Nashua, New Hampshire, est un compositeur américain. Il est considéré comme l un des compositeurs de musique contemporaine les plus influents de sa génération. Ses œuvres font appel à la mise en… … Wikipédia en Français
Alvin Lucier — (* 14. Mai 1931 in Nashua, New Hampshire) ist ein US amerikanischer Komponist von Neuer Musik, Minimal Music und Klang Experimenten. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Arbeiten 3 Werke (Auszug) … Deutsch Wikipedia
Lucier — Alvin Lucier (* 14. Mai 1931 in Nashua, New Hampshire) ist ein US amerikanischer Komponist von neuer Musik, Minimal Music und Klang Experimenten. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Arbeiten 3 Werke (Auszug) … Deutsch Wikipedia
Lucier — is a surname, and may refer to:*Alvin Lucier (born 1931), American composer *Lou Lucier (born 1918), Major League Baseball pitcher *Paul Lucier (1930 1999), Canadian politician … Wikipedia
Mary Lucier — (born 1944, in Bucyrus, Ohio) is an American artist who has worked in many mediums including sculpture, photography, and performance. Concentrating primarily on video and installation since 1973, she has produced numerous multiple and single… … Wikipedia
I Am Sitting in a Room — (1970) is one of composer Alvin Lucier s best known works, featuring Lucier recording himself narrating a text, and then playing the recording back into the room, re recording it. The new recording is then played back and re recorded, and this… … Wikipedia
Hauke Harder — (* 1963 in Heide (Holstein)) ist ein deutscher Komponist und experimenteller Physiker.  Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 1.1 Auszeichnungen … Deutsch Wikipedia
Hildegard kleeb — (* 1957 in Richenthal, Amt Willisau) ist eine Schweizer Pianistin. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Wirken 1.1 Interpretin/Pianistin 1.2 Arbeit/Projekte 2 Weblinks // … Deutsch Wikipedia
Roland Dahinden — (* 1962 in Zug, Schweiz) ist ein Schweizer Posaunist und Komponist. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Wirken 1.1 Interpret 1.2 Komponist 1.3 Auszeichnungen … Deutsch Wikipedia
Nurse with Wound list — The Nurse With Wound list The Nurse with Wound list is a list of 291 musicians and bands that accompanied Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella (1979), the first album by Nurse With Wound. The list was… … Wikipedia