The Squid's Ear Magazine


Lucier, Alvin: One Arm Bandits (Important Records)

Using only their right arms and never fingering the strings with their left hand, this recording of Alvin Lucier's "One Arm Bandits" was recorded in Lucier's own dining room, the hour-long piece in four parts exploring the relationship between bow direction changes and shifts in phase, scored for four cellists and performed by Tyler J. Borden, Laura Cetilia, Charles Curtis and Judith Hamann.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Alvin Lucier-composer

Tyler J. Borden-cello

Laura Cetilia-cello

Charles Curtis-cello

Judith Hamann-cello


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UPC: 793447551425

Label: Important Records
Catalog ID: IMPREC 514CD
Squidco Product Code: 33603

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Pinewood Studio, in Middletown, Connecticut, on November 16th, 2015, by Matt Sargent.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"One Arm Bandits is an hour-long piece in four parts, scored for four cellists. The cellists play only open strings, thus using only their right arms, never fingering the strings with the left hand. Recorded in Alvin Lucier's dining room, this work features cellists Tyler J. Borden, Laura Cetilia, Charles Curtis and Judith Hamann. Lucier oversaw and produced the recording, and approved the final takes.

One Arm Bandits was an important project for Alvin Lucier. The idea for the piece goes back to conversations we first had in 2007 about the relationship between bow direction changes and shifts in phase. In the summer of 2015 we worked these ideas out in long sessions with Judith Hamann and T. J. Borden in New York, and the resulting piece received its first performances in Graz and Zürich in 2016.

Alvin thought of One Arm Bandits as a radical statement, I think primarily in view of the severe reduction in material - even in the context of his music - and the physical restraint required in performance. The unusually long duration attests to Alvin's recognition that an expansion of scale was required in order to magnify acoustical details of such subtlety.

In November 2021 Alvin saw proofs for the CD artwork. He passed away at the age of 90 on December 1, before he could see the album in its final form. Work with Alvin was always joyful, stimulating, and surprising. We dedicate this recording to the continuing spirit of this remarkable musician and friend."-Charles Curtis


Artist Biographies

"Alvin Lucier was born in 1931 in Nashua, New Hampshire. He was educated in Nashua public and parochial schools, the Portsmouth Abbey School, Yale, and Brandeis and spent two years in Rome on a Fulbright Scholarship. From 1962 to 1970 he taught at Brandeis, where he conducted the Brandeis University Chamber Chorus, which devoted much of its time to the performance of new music. In 1966, along with Robert Ashley, David Behrman and Gordon Mumma, he co-founded the Sonic Arts Union. From 1968 to 2011 he taught at Wesleyan University where he was John Spencer Camp Professor of Music.

Lucier lectures and performs extensively in Asia, Europe and The United States. He has collaborated with John Ashbury (Theme) and Robert Wilson (Skin, Meat, Bone). His recent sound installation, 6 Resonant Points Along a Curved Wall, accompanied Sol DeWitt's enormous sculpture, Curved Wall, in Graz, Austria, and in the Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University in January 2005. Recent instrumental works include Coda Variations for 6-valve solo tuba; Twonings for cello and piano; Canon, commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and Music with Missing Parts, a re-orchestration of Mozart's Requiem, premiered at the Mozarteum, Salzburg in December 2007. In October 2012 Two Circles, a chamber work, commissioned by The Venice Biennale, was premiered there by the Alter Ego Ensemble and in December 2013 a new work, December 12th, was performed by the Ensemble Pamplemousse at the Issue Project Room, Brooklyn and Firewood, performed in March 2014 by the Bang on a Can All Stars at Merkin Hall, New York. Lucier has recently completed two new chamber works: Orpheus Variations for solo cello and seven wind instruments and Hanover for violin, alto and tenor saxophones, piano, percussion and three banjos.

In 2013 Mr. Lucier was the guest composer at the Tectonics Festival in Glasgow, the Ultima Festival, Oslo and gave a portrait concert at the Louvre, Paris, with cellist Charles Curtis. Recent events in 2014 include three evenings of Lucier's works presented by the International Contemporary Ensemble, in Chicago; two concerts at Roulette, performed by the Callithumpian Consort, as well several concerts at The Tectonics Festival, Reykjavik, Iceland. In October 2014 Lucier was honored by a three-day festival of his works at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Reflections/Reflexionen, a bi-lingual edition of Lucier's scores, interviews and writings was published by MusikTexte, Köln. In September 2012 the Wesleyan Press published Lucier's latest book, Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music. In 2013 New World Records released a recording of three of Lucier's orchestra works.

Alvin Lucier was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States and received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Plymouth, England. In November 2011 Wesleyan University celebrated Alvin Lucier's retirement with a three-day festival of his works."

-Wesleyan University (http://alucier.web.wesleyan.edu/bio.html)
7/10/2024

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"Hailed for his "technically polished playing" as well as an "endless amount of musical knowledge and creativity", Tyler J. Borden is a rising force in the contemporary music landscape. A dedicated purveyor of modern music, Tyler has performed with many contemporary music luminaries such as the JACK Quartet, the Theater of Eternal Music Brass and String Band, the Slee Sinfonietta, Ensemble Offspring, Tony Conrad, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, and Steve McCaffery. He has performed at the Soundways New Music Festival in St. Petersburg, June in Buffalo, the New Media Art and Sound Summit, and the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, and he has been a participant at the Lucerne Festival Academy and the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik. His performance of Witold Lutoslawski's "Cello Concerto" with the University at Buffalo Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Daniel Bassin was praised for how he "mastered the works intricacies with elegant grace." Currently, Tyler is a member of the [Switch~ Ensemble], a group dedicated to the performance of works that incorporate multimedia into live performance

Particularly committed to working directly with composers, Tyler has worked with several established composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, La Monte Young, Alvin Lucier, Phillippe Leroux, and Steven Mackey. He is particularly interested in the music of his generation and has worked extensively with many burgeoning young composers, such as Wojtek Blecharz, Zane Merritt, Ben Isaacs, Lena Nietfeld, and Matt Sargent. As a creative force, Tyler has been commissioned to write and perform by a variety of entities, including the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Hochstein Alumni Orchestra, and hammered dulcimer virtuoso Mitzie Collins He is also an active improviser, having performed in that capacity throughout North America and Europe, and he his improvisations are included in Guggenheim Fellow Kasumi's film "Shockwaves".

Tyler received his BM at Ithaca College, where he studied with Elizabeth Simkin and he received his MM at the University at Buffalo, where he studied with Jonathan Golove. Throughout his studies, Tyler has had the great fortune to be coached by many wonderful artists such as Irvine Arditti, Lucas Fels, Eric-Maria Couturier, Eric Huebner, Marcus Weiss, Rhonda Rider, Joel Krosnick, Peter Wiley,and Gil Kalish, as well as members of the Ying, Jupiter, and Borromeo string quartets. Currently, he is working towards his DMA at UC San Diego with Charles Curtis."

-Tyler J. Borden Website (https://tylerjbordean.com/bio/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Cellist and electronic musician Laura Cetilia is a performer, composer, educator, and presenter. A daughter of mixed heritage, she is at home with in-betweeness. As a composer, her music has been described as "unorthodox loveliness" by the Boston Globe and and her debut solo album was hailed as "alternately penetrating and atmospheric" in Sequenza 21. The Grove Dictionary of American Music describes her electroacoustic duo Mem1 as a "complex cybernetic entity" that "understands its music as a feedback loop between the past and present." Mem1 has held artist residencies and toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. In her viola/cello duo, Suna No Onna, she has worked closely with and premiered works by composers André Cormier, Jürg Frey and Antoine Beuger, among others. As a product of the now-dwindling public school music program, Laura believes in the right to accessible music education and is a Resident Musician at Community MusicWorks, a non-profit organization that provides free after-school music education programs for children in urban neighborhoods of Providence, RI. There she teaches cello, is co-director of the media lab and the curator of the Ars Subtilior experimental music series. She is also a proud mother of one."

-Laura Cetilia Website (http://laura.cetilia.org/about/)
7/10/2024

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"Cellist Charles Curtis is an internationally renowned performer and composer of a wide variety of music, with particular emphasis on the avant-garde. Curtis is most strongly associated with minimalism, modern classical, and so-called "downtown music."

A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School, Curtis has since been involved with the music department at Princeton University and at the University of California, San Diego, where he has served as Professor of Contemporary Music Performance since the year 2000.

Curtis has studied under such masters as vocalist Pandit Pran Nath and composer La Monte Young and still regularly records and performs."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Curtis_(musician))
7/10/2024

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"Judith Hamann is an Australian-born cellist currently based between Melbourne and San Diego. Her performance practice stretches across various genres, encompassing elements of improvised, art, experimental, and popular music. Judith has studied contemporary repertoire with many cellists, including Charles Curtis and Séverine Ballon. She is developing a strong practice in improvisation through collaborative projects and performances, both in Australia and internationally, including Hammers Lake (with Carolyn Connors) and Golinski/Hamann/Dunscombe trio. She has worked with artists and ensembles, including Oren Ambarchi, ELISION Ensemble, Ellen Fullman, Graham Lambkin, Jon Rose, Not Yet It's Difficult, Ilan Volkov, and La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. Judith is a founding member of Golden Fur and one-half of the immersive duo project Cello II (with Anthea Caddy).

She has performed widely with festivals including Tectonics (Glasgow, Adelaide), UnSound (NYC), Adelaide Festival of Arts, Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Now Now (Sydney), Dark Mona (Hobart), Extremities: Japanese Australian Festival (Tokyo), Tokyo Experimental Festival, SiDance Festival (Seoul), Ausland Summer Festival (Berlin), and Liquid Architecture (Australia).

She is a champion of new and rarely performed music and immersive approaches to concert presentation and engages with a range of interdisciplinary and experimental projects, including the Amper&nd project (Korea/Australia) and collaborative work with the visual artists Keith Deverell and Sabina Marselli. She has worked with many composers directly in presenting their work, including Natasha Anderson, Richard Barrett, Wojtek Blecharz, David Chisholm, Marco Fusinato, Liza Lim, Anthony Pateras, Timothy McCormack and Tashi Wada."

-Bifem (http://www.bifem.com.au/2015/musicians/judith-hamann)
7/10/2024

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Track Listing:



1. I 15:23

2. II 15:21

3. III 15:21

4. IV 15:17

Related Categories of Interest:


Compositional Forms
Stringed Instruments
Quartet Recordings
New in Compositional Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Important Records.


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