Celebrating Alvin Lucier at 90 with “I am sitting in a room” marathon, “Adagio for Strings” premiere

Posted on: May 14, 2021

“In March 1970 … the composer Alvin Lucier … sat in his living room with two tape recorders, a microphone, a single loudspeaker and an amplifier,” writes Kerry O’Brien in Tuesday’s (5/11) New York Times. “Lucier … pressed record and began to speak. ‘I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now,’ he said. ‘I am recording the sound of my speaking voice, and I am going to play it back into the room again and again.’ … Each recording accumulated more and more of the resonant characteristics of the space. … By 23 minutes, speech has fully transformed into noisy drones.… On Thursday—continuing through Friday, Lucier’s 90th birthday … Issue Project Room in Brooklyn hosts a 26-hour streamed ‘I am sitting in a room’ marathon, featuring 90 performers…. On Friday, the Ever Present Orchestra, an ensemble dedicated to Lucier’s music, will premiere his ‘Adagio for Strings.’ … A new box set of archival recordings … demonstrates how the music reflects the acoustics of the space in which it’s performed…. Although the work has long been synonymous with Lucier’s voice and personality, anyone can perform it.”