SOUND: ALVIN LUCIERPosted: November 25, 2013
I am sitting in a room(1969)
This piece is of Alvin Lucier’s and is several sentences of recorded speech that are simultaneously played back into a room and re-recorded many times.
Since all rooms have their own characteristics; special sensations and formant frequencies (all of which are different depending on size); the effect is that certain frequencies are highlighted as they reverberate around the room and respond to its own frequencies. Eventually, the words become ambiguous and are replaced by the pure harmonies and tones of the room itself.
The space acts as a filter; the speech is transformed into pure sound.
The speech is repeated 32 times. The effect is hypnotic, airy, and extremely intimate in the way Lucier interacts with his environment.
I was completely astounded by how clever yet how simple this piece was. Coming from a science background, I did not realise how four walls could create such a sound. This world continues to fascinate me, but much more the people living on it; generating such ingenius concepts, and thinking outside the box (or four walls).