Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

April 7, 2009

composer Alvin Lucier featured at Austin New Music Co-op

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:30 am



An evening of works from the legendary minimalist/environmental-sound composer Alvin Lucier promises to be an evening to remember. His 1970 work  “I Am Sitting In A Room” was a stunning, seminal piece that can still stop the listener in his/her tracks today and that remains a fascinating exploration of the relationship between sound and environment and how the composer can use that relationship. Here’s the blurb on the Lucier program from the Austin New Music Coop website:

NMC is excited to present a full program of adventurous new music by influential minimalist composer Alvin Lucier. The co-op will be joined by virtuoso cellist Charles Curtis, a longtime colleague of Lucier and expert in his wonderfully innovative work. Through Lucier’s music, our audience will experience the physicality of sound while sine waves are frozen in time and performers use custom made electronic echo-location devices to reveal the unique sonic personality of the hall. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear the strange and beautiful music of this ground-breaking experimental composer.


Sound in Time – The Music of Alvin Lucier
With Special Guest Cellist Charles Curtis (San Diego, CA)
April 11th, 2009 – 8PM
Ceremony Hall
4100 Red River St.
$12 students/advance and $15 at the door
Advance tickets available at End of an Ear

Among the pieces to be performed is “Vespers,” composed in 1968 and dedicated to “all living creatures who inhabit dark places and who, over the years, have developed acuity in the art of echolocation.” The title of this work comes from the North American bat of the family “Vespertilionidae,” some of which reside under our very own Congress St. bridge. According to the composer, the piece seeks to “make a picture in sound about the space you’re in.” In order to perform the piece NMC members Bill Meadows and Travis Weller have crafted replicas of the electronic “Sondol” echo-location devices which were used in the original piece. In realizing this immersive piece, an ensemble of NMC performers will use the devices to send sounds into the environment. The sounds return as echoes carrying information about the shape, size, and substance of the performance space and the objects in it.

Also on the program is Lucier’s “Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas,” composed in 1984. This series of pieces for chamber instruments (woodwinds, strings, and percussion) feature closely tuned pitches to create “sound geographies” of standing waves. As the performers change their tunings, they cause sound waves to freeze in place, or begin to slowly shift in one direction or the other. The performers as well as the audience will experience the unusual sensations of these lines of sound physically interacting with each other.

Additionally, NMC percussionist Nick Hennies will present “Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra,” and our guest artist will perform Lucier’s piece, commissioned for the performer and entitled “Charles Curtis,” for solo cello with two sine wave sweeps. In all, this distinctive program is sure to be stunning in its physicality.

See you all there!

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: