Alvin Lucier: Two Circles

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  • Three Translations of the Works of Maurizio Mochetti (2008)
    • Arrows for alto flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano
    • Counting people for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano
    • Rebounds for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano
  • Two Circles (2012) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and pure wave oscillators
  • “I am Sitting in a Room” (1968) for speaking voice and electronics
  • Fideliotrio (1986) für viola, cello and piano

Alvin Lucier’s (born 1931) work has been more often described in terms of science than of art and his scores often contain experimental procedures. Lucier perfectly represents the fusion of a scientist with an artist. His pieces arise from an inspection of a pure physical phenomenon.
The performers on Mode’s fourth disc of Lucier’s music are the Italian experimental music ensemble Alter Ego —  two of the works were written for or dedicated to them — and Alvin Lucier himself.
This new recording of his classic I am Sitting in a Room is from the Biennale Musica 2012 in Italy. This is Lucier’s first new recording of the work since the original from 1980.
The interaction of electronic and acoustic sounds is the central point of . These electronic sounds move from the same note in two glissandi, ascending and descending. The acoustic instruments interfere, generating beating (so-called binaural beats) from the interaction of closed frequencies. In some cases, these pulsations give the impression to expand the sonic space, whilst in others they appear to bring to an ending.
In a comparable way, Fideliotrio focuses its attention on the tonal interplays between instruments. In this case, cello, viola and piano form a steady flux: the central note of the piano designs a sort of line around which the string instruments move. When the viola and cello start to drift away from piano’s tone, one may have the impression that the sonic stream is bending and is losing its center of gravity.
Artist Mochetti’s work focuses on light, space, time; it explores the use of materials and often includes a unique conception of the geometry, made of trajectories, lines and surfaces. In the Three Translations of the Works of Maurizio Mochetti, Lucier transfers the exploration of these elements to sound as he literally designs sonic profiles, reflections and music shapes.
The booklet includes an interview with Lucier and flutist Manuel Zurria and liner notes by Riccardo Dillon Wanke and Alvin Lucier.

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