Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

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billygomberg
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by billygomberg »

I think Stephan Mathieu gets a mention here...the result is definitely more trad ambient than others discussed here, but resonance-based processes are a large part of his technique...

Dan Bennett
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by Dan Bennett »

Resisted this because it stinks of self promotion, but since you mentioned Mathieu and that moved it into less conceptually pure zones - a few tracks on my last record leant heavily on convolving sounds with resonances gathered from significant (to me, to the record) places.

It's an aberrent take on the way impulse reverbs/convolution reverbs work - classically you record the sound of a starter pistol in a space and record the decay, or else you sweep the space with sine waves and retreive an impulse from the analysis of the resonance - in either case taking care to avoid the sounds of people, traffic, air conditioning etc. It gives you a very "realistic" reverb, but I think it's a kind of problematic, reductive, uninteresting take on acoustic space.

I used similar techniques but I tried to do something less physically pure but that I perceived as, in a certain way at least, more honest. I kept in the background noise, footsteps, people, etc. used naturally occuring "impulses" rather than making my own...

may well not be what you're after - the resonance aspect is as much ...erm... literary as it is sonic, though personally I like the sounds too otherwise I'd not have bothered.

So yep, breathe in that stench of self-promotion.
But to move away from that for a second I do think this is an interesting topic. I saw a live version of I am Sitting in a Room recently, in a room quite open to the (largely quiet) street outside. The guy performing it paused the performance while two people talking loudly passed the venue - I thought that was a mistake - or maybe just a missed opportunity. The bleed from the street outside is part of the space.

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Joda
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by Joda »

I'm not sure how easy it is to find, but M. Behrens – Lecture Feedback / Source Feedback / The Aesthetics Of Censorship is likely of interest. One side is composed of/from acoustic feedback, to accompany a lecture on the subject. The other side seems to be digital manipulations of timbre from single instruments, the notes go into more detail than I can recall. Reads like a science experiment and is simultaoneously very dry and exciting,.

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Jesse
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by Jesse »

orangettecoleman wrote: ... wondering if there were other composers who specifically work a lot with things like room resonance and the physics of sound...
Check Justin Meyer's tapes on Tone Filth - specifically, The Amplitude of Neighbors and Permanent Pressure - both literally concerned with room resonances.

http://tonefilth.org/order.htm

For me the aforementioned Tsunoda works, if you can track them down, are the best. Plus, Radigue - she insists in her interviews that the causal relationship between her electronic work and listener's reporting induced meditative states is a byproduct, but I think that's humility, or humor - she's a resonance scientist who can manipulate my pit bull with blissed out beta waves.
http://crowwithnomouth.wordpress.com/

Experimental music should be something that suggests a way of organizing your thinking, your attitude toward the world, which suggests that the world could be different.
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billygomberg
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by billygomberg »

yeah and also work by Jacob Kirkegaard

http://www.fonik.dk/works/4rooms.html

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JasonZeh
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by JasonZeh »

Again, this is reeking of self-promotion. Nearly all of my work relies on these kinds of techniques. My track on the split 7" with Leslie Keffer uses recordings of radio static recorded in a small room covered with artificial wood paneling. The effect of the wall covering was really interesting to me on that one. Much of the processing of the source material on "Heraclitus" was done using this technique as well. It should be noted that I am also concerned with the effects of tape on the degradation of sound. So, the results are a bit different and the processing of my source material is not only dependent upon the resonant frequencies of the space, but the characteristics of tape as well.
brutally precise non-music http://jasonzeh.blogspot.com/

nhennies
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by nhennies »

Surprised nobody has mentioned Jason Kahn yet; for me his discs "Miramar" and "Sihl" are milestones in the genre/style/whatever we're talking about (though he has plenty of other great releases, of course). It uses the sound world of Lucier's experiments with resonance and the physicality of sound in a somewhat less scientific/exploratory way but structures that kind of music-making in a way that seems more concerned with form and composition to me than something like Lucier's "Still and Moving Lines..." pieces which are executed very mechanically (not meant as a criticism).

Also, if we're going down the self-promotion route then almost all of my recent work is concerned at least in part with this kind of stuff, though with a more strict focus on acoustic sound sources. In particular the "Psalms" album (which includes a Lucier piece) is a thorough exploration of the acoustic/resonant possibilities of 4 different percussion instruments in a specific type of acoustic space.

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orangettecoleman
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by orangettecoleman »

thanks for all the great recommendations, everyone. I did order a few things from Erstdist and will be investigating many of the names mentioned here...

Herb Levy
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by Herb Levy »

This is an interesting thread and I appreciate pointers to many things I haven't heard; thanks for all of them.

But I would make a distinction between musical works that exhibit/exploit the acoustic characteristics of whatever space they’re being performed in, as most of Lucier’s pieces do; and those musical works that exist as recorded objects exhibiting/exploiting the acoustic characteristics of a specific space as part of the content of the recording.

I don’t mean to valorize one kind of work over the other, (there are certainly pieces of each type that I appreciate), but how each kind of work deals with and presents acoustic space is quite different.

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bedouin
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by bedouin »

Herb Levy wrote:But I would make a distinction between musical works that exhibit/exploit the acoustic characteristics of whatever space they’re being performed in, as most of Lucier’s pieces do; and those musical works that exist as recorded objects exhibiting/exploiting the acoustic characteristics of a specific space as part of the content of the recording.
Interesting point.
If I understand it, on the first category the acoustic characteristics of a space have been used to determine the direction of a composition. While on the second, the recording is primarily about the space.

A very nice recording that, I believe, falls into the 2nd category is Abandon by [The User], who, according to their website, is a duo comprised of architect and installation artist Thomas McIntosh, and composer and sound artist Emmanuel Madan.
Abandon is preoccupied with the resonance of objects within a space itself (an abandoned elevator in this case). The concept/experiment is extraordinarily immersive.

Herb Levy
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by Herb Levy »

bedouin wrote:
Herb Levy wrote:But I would make a distinction between musical works that exhibit/exploit the acoustic characteristics of whatever space they’re being performed in, as most of Lucier’s pieces do; and those musical works that exist as recorded objects exhibiting/exploiting the acoustic characteristics of a specific space as part of the content of the recording.
Interesting point.
If I understand it, on the first category the acoustic characteristics of a space have been used to determine the direction of a composition. While on the second, the recording is primarily about the space.
I don't think of the first category in the way you describe it, though we may mean the same thing.

For me, Lucier's compositional direction and processes are stable, the acoustic character of the room only affects the content. Even though any particular recording of the work is an example of the second kind of work, the process of Lucier's best known work, "I Am Sitting In a Room" demonstrates this well.

For the one person who's stumbled this far into the thread who doesn't know the work, quickly, in this piece a recording is made of a spoken text and played back into a a room. That playback is then recorded and played back and that playback is recorded & played back, etc, etc. In any particular room and recording set up the resonance of the room, the distance between the speaker(s) & the recording mic(s), etc will filter the recording emphasizing and de-emphasizing various harmonics. As the playback/recording process goes on, less and less of the original spoken material is heard, leaving only those sounds that are reinforced by the room's resonance and the recording set up.

What's not necessarily obvious until or unless you've heard this process done in very different spaces with different recording setups, the pitch, rhythmic, & timbral content is determined by the room, but the process (which I would think of as the "direction") remains the same.

I've heard what may be an apocryphal story of a composition student who flunked an assignment to make a piece related to "I Am Sitting In a Room" because he made a work based on the specific melodic material of a particular recording of the work, rather than a work that was based on any kind of reiterative process.

I don't know if that makes my point any more clear.

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jkudler
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by jkudler »

lots of good recs, here. i second toral, particularly "wave field," though that's about guitar resonance specifically. kahn makes me think of some of the more recent jon mueller records. also kaffe mathews has some works based on feedback and resonance, but i don't really know them. jacob kierkegaard seems specifically to be "after lucier." eg http://www.fonik.dk/works/4rooms.html

-j.

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orangettecoleman
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Re: Where to go after Alvin Lucier for 'resonance music'?

Post by orangettecoleman »

I knew starting this thread would end up costing me a lot of money... In any case so far I ordered 2 Mitsuhiro Yoshimura CDs as well as another Tsunoda CD. I also ordered that Lethe CD since Howard is doing a sale on Intransitive stuff so it was super cheap... And many many things are going on the magic list of stuff to order once I get closer to being caught up on my listening... thanks again, all!