Field – City groupwork – Research – Alvin Lucier

This is a performance piece which uses only the human voice, with the artist reading a narrative which is then recorded and played back. The play back is then picked up and recorded again by the microphone, and played back which becomes an endless cycle. The speech becomes more and more distorted as it echoes around the room, which makes the piece different every time it’s performed and a response to the environment.

This links in really well with my field group project, where we have been investigating the idea of sensory overload involving the human experience. Sound is our second most used sense, and while we are constantly surrounded by a variety of sounds, the human voice is always distinctive to us. The ability to pick out words from our own language is almost inherent, to the point where we often hear words in generic noise, yet this piece is contradicting that taking a sample of the voice that we understand and taking it to a point where we can no longer understand it. Being unable to understand something so familiar can be disconcerting, yet the melodious sounds it creates are soothing and force you to release your only control over the situation (your comprehension of language) and reach a new sense of understanding and peace. In our piece we aim not to bring people a sense of peace through their lack of understanding, but the make them feel uneasy. I think in order to do this we will need to keep the sounds semi recognisable, at least to the point of not becoming abstract harmonies

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One Comment on “Field – City groupwork – Research – Alvin Lucier”

  1. […] as well as a few videos of influential work such as Susan Philipsz “Lowlands” and Alvin Lucier’s “I am sitting in a room”, which were used more as reminders and demonstrations of the kind of ideas we had been thinking […]


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