To listen to Lucier’s music one must have patience and an ear for subtle shifts of harmonics created by the other players. For this composer no sound is pure; it lives in an environment of rooms, other players, and distortions of air, artificial machines, and our own eardrums. Somewhat like Cage—yet using almost the opposite tactics of Cage’s renowned “silence”—this composer reveals how the listener has a major role in creating the music—no matter how precisely performed—is perceived. Even a cough, a yawn, or an exiting audience member alternates what we hear. Fortunately, the mostly young and enthusiastic crowd in the filled theater sat raptly, clearly enthusiastic to hear the orchestra’s West Coast premiere.
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 the physical fact, but more as a way to smooth
(here the composer stutters the first letters