Eighty-five-year-old American Alvin Lucier scrutinises and challenges music’s individual elements until they reunite to form a new whole. For musikprotokoll he follows the movement of cellist Charles Curtis.
With compositions by Alvin Lucier (US)
With Charles Curtis Quartet (US/DE)
The Latin word “com-ponere” means “to put together”. In European languages the term has evolved to describe a person who writes music, that is someone who puts together more or less pre-determined building blocks – sounds, tones, rhythms – as a professional. Looked at that way, Alvin Lucier is not a composer – putting together building blocks is not exactly his cup of tea. Quite the contrary.
Examining and challenging these building blocks so as to turn them into music is far more to his taste, with brainwaves generating percussion music and wires causing an endless buzzing all by themselves. Sound waves begin to play with each other; Lucier’s voice traverses spaces, disintegrating language, en passant. His most famous piece “I Am Sitting in a Room” is a particularly pure and minimalistic examination of the voice-space relationship.
For musikprotokoll 2016 the eighty-five-year-old “composer” sets out on a new journey once more, with the movement of cellist Charles Curtis’s bow arm serving both as the starting point and end point of his endeavours: The Charles Curtis Quartet will be performing Alvin Lucier’s music in Graz.