Monday, July 23, 2007

I am sitting in a room

This is one of the finest pieces of experimental music ever created. Lucier dictates a simple speech, describing what he is doing, into a tape recorder:

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 r-r-r-rhythm [these are places where he stutters in the original recording], is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity nnnnnot so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to s-s-smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.
and then plays it back into the room, recording it on another recorder. He then plays that second recording out into the room, recording that one, and so on and so forth until the spoken text dissolves into celestial rings of feedback. His voice is basically playing the room as an instrument, the recorder becoming part of the piece's greater continuum, the score itself manifesting itself as the sole content. This is profound piece of sound art, and a stunning example of the rich tapestry that can arise from conceptual art when the parameters are well considered and kept simple

I mention this because today, I am sitting in a room with my class as they slog through creating resumes, complaining about the length of the cover letter, and how do I do this, and when are we getting out of here today, and I feel I am repeating the same text into the air only to have it bounce around the room back onto me, with thin strands of my droning content being caught on stray branches at they breeze by.

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