International Contemporary Ensemble Presents the Music of Alvin Lucier at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

By Louise Burton on Mar 21, 2014 11:04 PM EDT

This weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) is presenting three concerts of works by Alvin Lucier, a trail-blazing force in contemporary music for over 50 years.

Each concert takes place in the intimate setting of the MCA's fourth-floor atrium--and each concert has a distinct program.

Lucier, himself, will be present at these performances on March 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Alvin Lucier explores the nature of sound and language in his work. Using the simplest means to create grand aural experiences, his work examines the acoustics of space, psychoacoustics, resonance, and other qualities of sound, itself.

Lucier has been a pioneer in many areas of composition and performance, including notating performers' physical gestures, using brain waves in live performance, generating visual imagery via vibrating media, and evoking the acoustics of rooms for musical purposes.

His breakthrough composition Music for Solo Performer (1964-65) for Enormously Amplified Brain Waves and Percussion, was the first work to feature sounds generated by brain waves in live performance.

Biological stimuli played an increasing role in Lucier's subsequent work, most notably through his notation of performers' physical movements.

His work I am sitting in a room--using only a recording of the composer's voice, the resonance of a room, and a simple repeated process to transform voice into shimmering tones of pure sound--is regularly hailed as a landmark in 20th-century experimental composition.

More information about these concerts is available at

Remaining concerts in this series include:

Saturday, March 22

"Still and Moving Lines"

Spira Mirabilis, for bass sustaining instrument and electric light (1994)

Codex, for soprano, violin, oboe, guitar, cello, clarinet in Bb

In Memoriam Jon Higgins for clarinet and pure wave oscillator (1984)

Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas (1973-74, rev. 2013)

Directions of Sounds from the Bridge (1978)

Sunday, March 23

"Pure Waves and Pendulums"

Music for Pure Waves, Bass Drums and Acoustic Pendulums (1980)

Nothing is Real (Strawberry Fields Forever), for piano, amplified teapot, tape recorder and miniature sound system (1990)

Charles Curtis, for cello with slow sweep pure wave oscillators (2002)

Still Lives, for piano and sine waves (1995)

Carbon Copies, for saxophone, piano, percussion, and environmental recordings (1989)

Silver Street Car for the Orchestra, for amplified solo triangle (1988)

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TagsICE, International Contemporary Ensemble, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Alvin Lucier

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