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LUCIER, ALVIN - Almost New York

Format: do-CD
Label & Cat.Number: Pogus Productions 21057-2
Release Year: 2011
Note: Four quite NEW pieces (written 2001-2006) by the famous conceptual / electronic / minimal composer, feat. CHARLES CURTIS on cello and others.. - *Almost New York employs slow sweep pure wave oscillators, Broken Line, flute glissandi. In Twonings two different tuning systems collide and in Coda Variations slight variations in pitch are heard chronologically.*
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €18.50

More Info

"CD 1 - Twonings: Charles Curtis, cello; Joseph Kubera, piano; Almost New York: Robert Dick, flutes; Broken Line: Robert Dick, flute; Danny Tunick, vibraphone; Joseph Kubera, piano
CD 2 - Coda Variations: Robin Hayward, tuba

Pogus is extremely delighted to release this 2 CD set of recordings of works by Alvin Lucier.
He is one of the key experimental artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, and is one of my favorite composers. A unique and individual artist: No one sounds quite like Alvin Lucier.

Lucier writes about the genesis of the works on this release:

"Since the early 1980's I have made a series of works for conventional musical instruments. Before that time I had been mainly occupied with the exploration of such phenomena as echoloca-tion, brain waves, room acoustics and the visual representation of sound. Often these works required special equipment-hand held pulse wave oscillators (Vespers), differential amplifiers (Music for Solo Performer), horseshoe magnets (Music on a Long Thin Wire). Then players began asking me for pieces. Now I needed to find a way of achieving the same poetry with acoustic instruments as I did with electronic means.

"One of the things I discovered was that players could create rhythmic patterns by closely tuning with electronically generated pure waves or with each other, producing audible beats. Often, to get continuous motion, I have one or more voices sweep up or down at various speeds against fixed sustained pitches. As a wave approaches a sustained pitch the audible beating slows down to zero when it reaches unison, then speeds up again as the wave leaves the pitch. Almost New York employs slow sweep pure wave oscillators, Broken Line, flute glissandi. In Twonings two different tuning systems collide and in Coda Variations slight variations in pitch are heard chronologically."

Recorded by Charles Curtis, Joseph Kubera, Robert Dick, Danny Tunick, and Robin Hayward - some of the leading new music performers of our era, these works are essential additions to the Alvin Lucier oeuvre, as well as satisfying anyone interested in great experimental music." [label info]


"Usually press texts say lots of things which is just the sort of thing record label use to exaggerate to drum up interest for their artist. But when Pogus writes about Alvin Lucier 'an unique and individual artist: no one sounds quite like Alvin Lucier', I can only agree. I sang praise for the work of Lucier before. His ongoing investigation into sound phenomena, with or without the use of instruments has been going on for more than forty years now, and brought him the status of a well-known composer. And when you are well-known, people will ask you for pieces, for them to perform. On 'Almost New York' we find four of those pieces, three on disc one and one on disc two. We have hear instruments we came across before in Lucier's work, such as piano, cello and flute. In 'Twonings' for cello (performed by Charles Curtis, who himself performed more work by Lucier, and released a 2CD by Antiopic - see Vital Weekly 498) and piano, we don't have any sweeping oscillations to be followed, but two closely tuned instruments, but with enough variation in pitches to clearly distinguish differences. In the title piece we have one player and five flutes, who follows two pure wave oscillators and moves between playing five flutes, not simultaneously of course. 'Broken Line' is, then again, more alike the first piece, but then staged for three instruments, flute, vibraphone and piano. The most radical work here is the piece 'Coda Variations', which takes up the entire second disc. Robin Hayward performs it on tuba. Based on eight notes from a Feldman piece, Lucier subjected them to seven sets of permutations of sixty-three notes each. No sine waves to play along, just the sound of single notes played at one time each, for almost fifty minutes. An intriguing work. Of these four pieces, there is only one which we could label as 'traditional Lucier' work, but the three others display probably just as well what Lucier, less the pure waves and all four are simply four more great pieces. Indeed: no one sounds quite like Alvin Lucier." [FdW/Vital Weekly]