I am sitting in a room, 1969/1970
March 26th, 2020
Via Wikipedia: "The first performance of the work was in 1970 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In collaboration with his partner Mary Lucier, the performance featured projections of Polaroid images that had been degraded like the voice. [...]
The text spoken by Lucier describes the process of the work, concluding with a reference to his own stuttering:
I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have."
Every year since 2005 I play this piece to my students and ask them to not leave the room for its duration. Every year I experience something new. Every year I come out of the experience really happy.
Thanks for introducing me to the piece, and for reminding me of its birthday today, Marcus Schmickler!
Thanks to introducing me to Alvin Lucier, Phillip Schulze!