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Alvin Lucier

A Celebration

Andrea Miller-Keller

Publication Year: 2011

This small, striking book commemorates the career of experimental music composer Alvin Lucier, and features an interview with Lucier and curator Andrea Miller-Keller, essays by Nicolas Collins, Ronald Kuivila, Michael Roth and Pamela Tatge, and details of a symposium, exhibit and special performances of Lucier's work held at Wesleyan University, November 4-6, 2011. Lucier has pioneered in many areas of music composition and performance, including the notation of performers' physical gestures, the use of brain waves in live performance, the generation of visual imagery by sound in vibrating media, and the evocation of room acoustics for musical purposes. From 1970 to 2011 he taught at Wesleyan University where he was John Spencer Camp Professor of Music. Lucier performs, lectures and exhibits his sound installations extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press

Title Page

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pp. 1

Copyright Page

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pp. 2

Table of Contents

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pp. 3

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pp. 5-6

What a gift, what a pleasure to celebrate the musical contributions of Alvin Lucier, who has been inspiring students at Wesleyan since 1968. When he started teaching here, Alvin was joining a department that already had demonstrated a strong commitment to experimental and world music. John Cage had made Wesleyan a home away from home, and David McAllester, Bob Brown and Richard Winslow were bringing sounds from around the world (and the instruments that make them) to...

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In Appreciation

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pp. 7-8

On behalf of the faculty, staff and students affiliated with Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts, we are delighted to offer this catalog in tribute to the widely acclaimed Alvin Lucier, known affectionately to many of us here at Wesleyan simply as Alvin. A liberal arts education is the opportunity to expand one’s world-view, and at Wesleyan the arts are seen as an essential component of this exploration. Alvin’s work on our stages...

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pp. 9-12

November 4, 2011 from 12:15pm–2pm
CFA Hall
Since the composition of Crossings (1982–1984), Alvin Lucier has devoted much attention to composing pieces for instrumentalists. In all of these works, the actions of the performer serve more to expose the sonic phenomenon that is the central focus of the piece than to enact an expressive gesture. The

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pp. 13-16

One of the peculiar charms of American universities is their warm embrace of the clueless applicant. In most countries, admission to higher education is predicated on one’s having a pretty clear idea of a specific course of study. American colleges, by contrast, have a fondness for the applicant who avows passion for physics, poetry and pottery in equal measure. I was one...

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Alvin in Albany

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pp. 17-20

I first encountered Alvin Lucier in 1972, as a high school student. I attended a SUNY Albany screening of Nam June Paik’s A Tribute to John Cage, celebrating Cage’s 60th birthday. One feature in this post-Fluxus vaudeville is an interview between WGBH’s Russell Connor and Professor Alvin Lucier of Wesleyan University. In the interview,...

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The Early Years: Excerpts from an interview with Alvin Lucier

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pp. 21-30

AMK: There is much intelligent, thoughtful material written about your work. And, you have written about it so clearly and extensively. However, covered to a lesser extent are your early years—your childhood and adolescence in Nashua, New Hampshire, your time as a student at Yale, Tanglewood and Brandeis, where you subsequently assumed your first academic...

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Alvin Lucier Biography

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pp. 31-32

Alvin Lucier, Wesleyan’s John Spencer Camp Professor of Music, began teaching full-time at Wesleyan in 1970, and retired at the end of the spring 2011 semester. He was born in 1931 in Nashua, New Hampshire, and was educated in local public and parochial schools and at the Portsmouth Abbey School in Rhode Island. Lucier studied music theory and composition at Yale University (BA ’54)...

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pp. 33-42

Lucier Celebration Concert I: Solos Friday, November 4, 2011 8pm Crowell Concert Hall
Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra is one of a series of pieces for conventional musical instruments I have been making since 1982. These include Crossings, for small orchestra with slow-sweep pure wave oscillator (1982–1984); In Memoriam Jon Higgins, for clarinet with slow-sweep pure wave oscillator (1984)...

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Alvin Lucier (and His Artist Friends) Exhibition Checklist

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pp. 43

The exhibition includes audio recordings, scores and album/CD artwork for most of the musical compositions included below. There are also selected works by other artists who have inspired or been inspired by Lucier’s work, or exchanged ideas with the composer in meaningful ways. Some of the artists referenced in this exhibition include: John Ashbery, Robert Ashley, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, John Cage, Italo Calvino, Nicolas Collins, Robert Coover, Viola Farber, Jacqueline Gourevitch, Robert Irwin, Ronald Kuivila, Sol LeWitt, Lee Lozano, Mary Lucier, George Manupelli, Keith McDermott, Nam June Paik, Steve Paxton, Richard Serra, Richard Tuttle, Bill Viola, William Carlos Williams, Robert Wilson....


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pp. 45-47

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pp. 48

We gratefully acknowledge the funders whose generosity has made this festival, symposium and exhibition possible, including many departments at Wesleyan University: Academic Affairs, the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, Center for the Arts, the Music Department, the Lemberg Fund, University Relations and Wesleyan University Press. Many people collaborated to make...

E-ISBN-13: 9780819572806
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819572790

Page Count: 48
Publication Year: 2011

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