I have arrived in Zagreb, Croatia, to perform two concerts at the festival “Izlog Suvremenog Zvuka” (Showroom of contemporary Music). Amongst others I will premiere “They speak in layered…”, my new multimedia composition that has been inspired by your contributions to what-ifblog.net.
Contemporary music is at the heart of my (artistic) identity and to let you participate in what I experience here, I will keep a festival-journal for you.
Yesterday night at the pavilion of the student centre, we heard a performance of Alvin Lucier’s famous piece “I am sitting in a room”. In this piece a performer reads aloud the instructions which constitute the very piece he is performing:
“I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.”
In this fascinating exploration of acoustical phenomena, Alvin Lucier moves from the domain of language to that of music in the course of 32 repetitions of this simple paragraph of text. Slowly the text transforms from articulated speech into a warbled melody of the natural resonant frequencies of the room the performance takes place in. The acoustic identity of the space acts as a filter slowly transforming the original speech into pure sound. A light choreography enhanced the evolution of the composition and underlined the stunning architecture of the space. The French pavilion of the Zagreb student center, added its special beauty to the piece.
Credits: Excerpts from Alvin Lucier “I am sitting in a room” performed by Kaja Farszky-voice, Bojan Gagic-light, Niksa Gligo-introduction and Viselslav Labos-recording and reproduction. 6.5.2015, Zagreb.