Magazine article Gramophone

Lucier: 'Orchestra Works'

Magazine article Gramophone

Lucier: 'Orchestra Works'

Article excerpt

Lucier

'Orchestra Works' Diamonds for 1, 2, or 3 Orchestras (a). Slices (b). Exploration of the House (c) (b) Charles Curtis vc (b) members of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra; (ac) Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra / (a) Christian Arming, (ac) Petr Kotik, (a) Zsolt Nagy

New World (F) 80755-2 (76' * DDD)

Alvin Lucier creates music about the sound of music. In Exploration of the House (2005) he remakes Beethoven's overture The Consecration of the House by slicing the original score into fragments that are performed by an orchestra in real time. That performance is recorded. And then the recording itself is played back and re-recorded, and played back and re-recorded, and played back and re-recorded, and re-recorded, and played back, until this self-generating process of playback and re-record becomes disorientating, like this sentence, and has the effect of washing the music away. What remains is a tracing of the sound of Beethoven's music filtered through the acoustic space--Ostrava's House of Culture in the Czech Republic. Stuttering motor rhythms are frozen in time, caught in the act somewhere between up-beats and down-beats.

And that's why, presumably, 'Orchestra Works', rather than the adjectival 'Orchestral Works', a title which would imply music written for an orchestra to play. …

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