Monday, February 29, 2016

Alvin Lucier - 1976 - Bird and Person Dyning

Alvin Lucier 
Bird and Person Dyning

01. The Duke Of York
02. Bird And Person Dyning

Synthesizer [Sintetizzatori] – Nicolas Collins, Stuart Marshall, Ron Kuivila
Voice [Voce] – Alvin Lucier

"The Duke Of York" was composed in 1971, and this version was recorded th 19th of February 1972, at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York.

"Bird and Person Dyning" was composed and recorded in 1975.

Alvin Lucier (1931 in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA) is a composer, a writer and a visual artist. He studied at Yale and Brandeis University and spent two years in Rome on a Fulbright Scholarship. From 1962 to 1970, he taught at Brandeis, where he conducted the Brandeis University Chamber Chorus which devoted much of its time to the performance of new music.
Lucier has pioneered in many areas of music composition and performance, including the notation of performer's physical gestures, the use of brain waves in live performance, the generation of visual imagery by sound in vibrating media, and the evocation of room acoustics for musical purposes. He performs, lectures and exhibits his sound installations extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia. He regularly contributes articles to books and periodicals. His major book Chambers, was written in collaboration with Douglas Simon and published by Wesleyan University Press

As a piece of proto-harsh noise, the title composition is important. Basically, Lucier follows an electronic bird song throughout a room; the microphones he's holding produce ear-scraping waves of feedback. It's interesting how he did it, but the results are a truly difficult listen. The vocal-and-synths piece "The Duke of York", where Lucier's recitations are modulated and deformed by two synthesists (apparently in real time) is much less painful and (to these ears) far more fascinating and successful. Despite what my review indicates, I don't dislike "Bird and Person Dyning" outright; I feel it's one of those pieces that would be more effective in a live performance.

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