The Alvin Lucier Festival, May 12-20

Source: The Alvin Lucier Festival.

THE ALVIN LUCIER FESTIVAL

Three dozen musicians from eight states come together to pay tribute to trailblazing electronic composer Alvin Lucier (1931-2021) with four epic concerts of his work.

Thursday, May 12, 7:30pm, University of Baltimore
Thursday, May 19, 7:30pm, University of Baltimore
Friday, May 20, 6:00pm, George Washington University
Friday, May 20, 8:00pm, George Washington University

BALTIMORE, Md. & WASHINGTON, D.C. – Composers and organizers Ian Power (University of Baltimore), Sam Pluta (Peabody Conservatory), and Heather Stebbins (George Washington University) announce The Alvin Lucier Festival, four concerts of music by the experimental composer who passed away last December. The festival will bring together over thirty musicians from around the region and the country. All events are free and open to the public.

The first two concerts will take place at the University of Baltimore’s Wright Theater, 21 W Mt Royal Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230, on Thursday, May 12 and Thursday, May 19, each at 7:30p.m. The latter two will take place at George Washington University’s Corcoran Flagg Building, 500 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20006, on Friday, May 20 at 6pm & 8pm. Tickets may be reserved at these links:

UBalt Shows, May 12 & 19: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-alvin-lucier-festival-university-of-baltimore-tickets-322232384737

GWU Shows, May 20: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-alvin-lucier-festival-tickets-319864733027

Lucier was one of the most influential composers of the 20th Century. He wrote music that highlighted the physical effect of sound in space and on the listener’s body, and he managed to make scientific sonic principles into tender, sincere musical pieces for many different instruments. A recent article in VICE gives an excellent overview of his work: https://www.vice.com/en/article/nz83j7/alvin-lucier-has-found-the-music-in-the-world-around-him-for-more-than-50-years

Highlights of the festival include Georgia Tech professor Grace Leslie, a researcher on using brain waves in music making, performing Lucier’s Music for Solo Performer, in which she generates alpha brain waves that make percussion instrument sound via an EEG sensor. Pluta and Christopher Burns will install Music on a Long Thin Wire, which uses a large horseshoe magnet and a wire to generate strange, vibrating, droning music. The New England experimental ensemble Ordinary Affects will perform Corner Church & High, a recent piece of Lucier’s that was written for them. And the largest piece will be Lucier’s Septet for seven instruments and sine wave oscillator.