Alvin Lucier: In Memoriam Jon Higgins
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Alvin Lucier wrote a soundtrack for videoconference marathons in lockdown limbo as far back as 1969. “I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now,” are the first words of what is probably his best-known piece, a masterful meditation on medial presence and physical absence. Ironically, the sound art mastermind is not present in person at The Sound of Distance, but worthily represented with four works curated by Oren Ambarchi.
In Memoriam Jon Higgins is only a half, or rather double, solo piece. Sam Dunscombe duets on the clarinet with a sine wave generator that runs through the full range of the wind instrument from bottom to top, counterpointed by the performer of one-minute notes. As a result, depending on how far apart the human- and machine-generated sounds are, the more the (listening) space seems to change.