The Squid's Ear Magazine

Lucier, Alvin

Works for the Ever Present Orchestra Vol. II [VINYL]

Lucier, Alvin: Works for the Ever Present Orchestra Vol. II [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

The Swiss-based Ever Present Orchestra, dedicated to the presentation of later works by composer Alvin Lucier written for this orchestra and centered on pieces for the electric guitar, in two works of differing characteristics: "Arrigoni Bridge" for 3 lap steel electric guitars + violin, sax & cello; and "Flips" for two guitars, bass and glockenspiel.
 

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Personnel:



Alvin Lucier-composer

Oren Ambarchi-steel lap electric guitar

Bernhard Rietbrock-steel lap electric guitar

Jan Thoben-steel lap electric guitar

Joan Jordi Oliver Arcos-alto saxophone

Rebecca Thies-violin

Lucy Railton-cello

Ross Wightman-double bass

Trevor Saint-glockenspiel


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UPC: 4250101455698

Label: Black Truffle
Catalog ID: BT 109LP
Squidco Product Code: 33945

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Australia
Packaging: LP
Side A recorded at Bonello Studio in Berlin, Germany, by Tobias Ober.

Sise B recorded at Pineapple Room Studio, in Kerhonkson, New York, by Matt Sargent and Tom Deis.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Works for the Ever Present Orchestra Vol. II continues Black Truffle's documentation of the late work of legendary American experimental composer Alvin Lucier, who sadly passed away in 2021 at the age of 90. Like the first volume of the series, the two works recorded here were written for The Ever Present Orchestra, an ensemble founded in Zurich in 2016 to perform Lucier's work exclusively. At the core of the music Lucier wrote for the ensemble is the electric guitar, an instrument he began to explore in 2013. Played with e-bows, in these works electric lap steel guitars take on roles akin to the slow sweep pure wave oscillators heard in many of Lucier's works since the early 1980s. This strikingly elegant pair of compositions would serve as an ideal introduction to Lucier's late music for a listener as yet unfamiliar with its graceful exploration of beating patterns and other acoustic phenomenon.

The two pieces have quite different characters, exemplifying Lucier's ability to harvest a remarkable range of musical results from closely related compositional procedures and concerns. In Arrigoni Bridge (2019), Lucier uses a technique familiar from earlier works such as Still Lives (1995), where sine waves traced the shapes of household objects. Here, three lap steel electric guitars (played by Oren Ambarchi, Bernhard Rietbrock, and Jan Thoben) follow the form of the Arrigoni Bridge that connects Middletown and Portland, Connecticut. The bridge's two enormous steel arcs become slowly sweeping pitches, alongside which alto saxophone (Joan Jordi Oliver Arcos), violin (Rebecca Thies) and cello (Lucy Railton) sustain long tones, creating a variety of audible beating patterns depending on their distance from or proximity to the guitars. With its stately pacing, warm middle register tones, and rich timbral variety in the sustaining instruments, Arrigoni Bridge is a beautiful exampleof compositional reduction producing immersive results.

Flips (2020), on the other hand, is more austere. Scored for two lap steel electric guitars (Rietbock and Thoben), double bass (Ross Wightman) and glockenspiel (Trevor Saint), the two acoustic instruments played with bows, the piece zooms in on the range of a major second (two semitones). The two guitars sweep in opposite directions within the range, crossing every four minutes; the double bass and glockenspiel sustain long tones, producing beats of different speeds determined by their distance from the guitar tones. This limitation of the tonal range means the music is often dissonant and forces the phenomenon of audible beating to the surface, resulting in a paradoxical music composed entirely of long tones yet alive with pulsating rhythm. Exemplifying Lucier's ability to uncover near-infinite complexity within seemingly simple materials, Works for the Ever Present Orchestra Vol. II is a fitting tribute to one of the major figures of the experimental music tradition and atestament to the continuing power of his work.-Black Truffle"


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)
2/26/2024

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"Oren Ambarchi is a composer and multi-instrumentalist with longstanding interests in transcending conventional instrumental approaches. His work focuses mainly on the exploration of the guitar, "re-routing the instrument into a zone of alien abstraction where it's no longer easily identifiable as itself. Instead, it's a laboratory for extended sonic investigation". (The Wire, UK).

Oren Ambarchi's works are hesitant and tense extended songforms located in the cracks between several schools: modern electronics and processing; laminal improvisation and minimalism; hushed, pensive songwriting; the deceptive simplicity and temporal suspensions of composers such as Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier; and the physicality of rock music, slowed down and stripped back to its bare bones, abstracted and replaced with pure signal.

From the late 90's his experiments in guitar abstraction and extended technique have led to a more personal and unique sound-world incorporating a broader palette of instruments and sensibilities. On recent releases such as Grapes From The Estate and In The Pendulum's Embrace Ambarchi has employed glass harmonica, strings, bells, piano, drums and percussion, creating fragile textures as light as air which tenuously coexist with the deep, wall-shaking bass tones derived from his guitar.

Ambarchi works with simple constructs and parameters; exploring one idea over an extended duration and patiently teasing every nuance and implication from each texture; the phenomena of sum and difference tones; carefully tended arrangements that unravel gently; unprepossessing melodies that slowly work their way through various permutations; resulting in an otherworldly, cumulative impact of patiently unfolding compositions.

Ambarchi has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists such as Fennesz, Otomo Yoshihide, Pimmon, Keiji Haino, John Zorn, Rizili, Voice Crack, Jim O'Rourke, Keith Rowe, Phill Niblock, Dave Grohl, Gunter Muller, Evan Parker, z'ev, Toshimaru Nakamura, Peter Rehberg, Merzbow and many more. Since 2004 Ambarchi has worked with American avant metal outfit Sunn 0))) contributing to many of their releases and side-projects including their Black One album from 2005 and the recent Monoliths & Dimensions release.

For 10 years together with Robbie Avenaim, Ambarchi was the co-organiser of the What Is Music? festival, Australia's premier annual showcase of local and international experimental music. The festival hosted over 200 local and international performers. Ambarchi now curates the Maximum Arousal series at The Toff In Town in Melbourne and has recently co-produced an Australian television series on experimental music called Subsonics. Ambarchi recently co-curated the sound program for the 2008 Yokohama Triennale."

-Oren Ambarchi Website (http://orenambarchi.com/category/biography/)
2/26/2024

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"Bernhard Rietbrock is a musician, producer, and research associate at the Institute for Theory at the Zurich University of the Arts. He is the head of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) research project "Reflexive Experimental Aesthetics after Alvin Lucier" and artistic director of the Ever Present Orchestra, which is dedicated to the presentation of the exceptional work of Alvin Lucier."

-ZDHK (https://www.zhdk.ch/en/research/former-research-institutes-7626/ith/alvin-lucier-ever-present-orchestra-6353/ever-present-orchestra-6355)
2/26/2024

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"Jan Thoben is a musician and musicologist from Berlin. He has published essays on the work of John Cage and Alvin Lucier and since 2014 has worked at the master's program Sound Studies and Sonic Arts (UdK Berlin). Thoben joined several bands and ensemble projects as guitarist and drummer. Together with composer Boris Hegenbart he formed the audiovisual performance duo '60Hz'."

-ZDHK (https://www.zhdk.ch/en/research/former-research-institutes-7626/ith/alvin-lucier-ever-present-orchestra-6353/ever-present-orchestra-6355)
2/26/2024

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"Born in 1994 in Mallorca, Joan Jordi Oliver Arcos is a saxophonist based in Zürich. After receiving a Bachelor degree in Conservatorio Superior de Música de Aragón (CSMA, Zaragoza, Spain), he continued his studies with Lars Mlekusch at the Züricher Hochschule der Künste. Unsatisfied with the traditional profile of the saxophonist and devoted to the music of our time, he regularly collaborates with emerging and established composers, as well as with artists from many different fields. His performances include his own compositions, electroacustic music, audiovisual media and free improvisation. He has performed at festivals such as Radical dB (Zaragoza) or Laokoon Festival (Zurich) and participated in academies as Impuls International Academy (Graz) or LAbO #5 (Antwerpen). He has been selected as a fellow participant in the Atlantic Music Festival's program Future Music Lab (Maine, United States) and in the Lucerne Festival Academy (Lucerne, Switzerland)."

-Zagreb Academy of Music (https://www.zagrebsaxcongress.com/index.php/participants/artists/item/468-oliver-arcos-joan-jordi)
2/26/2024

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"Rebecca Thies, violinst from Germany, studied in Stuttgart with Christine Busch and since 2015 with Nora Chastain in Zürich. Playing in several orchestras as well as playing chamber music or as a soloist are components of her musical career."

-ZDHK (https://www.zhdk.ch/forschung/ehemalige-forschungsinstitute-7626/ith/lucier/ever-present-orchestra-6355)
2/26/2024

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"Lucy Railton is a British cellist and composer whose work bridges experimental electronic and electroacoustic practices with modern classical composition and performance. Since graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in 2008, Railton has worked as a cofounder and director of the London Contemporary Music Festival, played with electronic producers as varied as Peter Zinovieff and Beatrice Dillon and performed works by avant-garde artists such as Iannis Xenakis and Morton Feldman. In March 2018, she released her debut solo album, Paradise 94, on the Modern Love label. As she explores her interest in electroacoustic music, improvisation and modified cello, Railton's sound is an absorbing, often extreme examination of the potential of an acoustic instrument."

-Last.FM (https://www.last.fm/music/Lucy+Railton/+wiki)
2/26/2024

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"Ross Wightman is a sound and media artist from New Jersey. Currently, he serves as a Technical Manager at the Yale Center for Collaborative Arts and Media (CCAM) and Curator of the CCAM Sound Art Series. At Yale and the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, he teaches a variety of media studies, computer music and composition courses, and leads electroacoustic improvisation ensembles.

As a sound artist and composer, his work incorporates microtonality, electro-acoustic multimedia composition and instrument building. In his electroacoustic instruments building practice, Ross repurposes and deconstructs found instruments, combining 3D printing, robotics, and machine learning to investigate themes related to performance practice, virtuosity, timbre and resonance.

As a visual artist, Ross' work spans video, 3D modeling, mixed reality, graphic design and other media. Drawing often on a deep love of film, his video art practice subverts the intended functionality of consumer electronics to concoct amalgamations of glitched and distorted vintage media via digital sampling and circuit bending analog A/V equipment.

As a double bassist, Ross focuses on the performance of contemporary music, specifically microtonal music and seeks to bring this rarely performed music to wider audiences as well as commission new works. Ross has premiered works for the double bass by Alvin Lucier and Anthony Coleman and has had the pleasure of performing with contemporary music ensembles such as The Ever-Present Orchestra, Ghost Ensemble, Ensemble Mise-en, Callithumpian Consort and at international festivals including the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, The Lucerne Festival, Ambient Festival Köln, The New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival and the Bang on a Can Summer Festival."

-Ross Wightman Website (https://www.rosswightman.net/)
2/26/2024

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Trevor Saint - American percussionist.

"Percussionist Trevor Saint plays new music for glockenspiel. He performs the first solo works for the extended-range instrument, and works regularly and in various ways with composers Christopher Burns, Jeff Herriott, Matt Sargent and Alvin Lucier."

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/6861192-Trevor-Saint)
2/26/2024

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Track Listing:



SIDE A



1. Arrigoni Bridge 21:09

SIDE B



1. Flips 16:03

Related Categories of Interest:


Vinyl Recordings
Compositional Forms
Guitarists, &c.
Electro-Acoustic
Sextet Recordings
Quartet Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
lowercase, reductionist, micro-improv, sound improv, onkyo sound
New in Compositional Music
New in Experimental & Electronic Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Black Truffle.


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