Alvin Lucier

Born in Nashua, New Hampshire on 14 May 1931, American composer Alvin Lucier became interested in the science of music and in the physics of sound itself. He studied with Aaron Copland and Lukas Foss at Tanglewood, and became a key member of the Sonic Arts Union - a collective of experimental musicians which also included Robert Ashley, David Behrman and Gordon Mumma.

Lucier's most important compositions are probably the 1969 I Am Sitting In a Room, in which his recorded voice is played back into the room and re-recorded, multiple times, North American Time Capsule, using a prototype vocoder to modify bits of speech and Music On A Long Thin Wire, which stretches a piano wire across a room and sets up standing waves and overtones.

Alvin Lucier died on 1 December 2021, aged ninety, in Middletown, Connecticut, where he was, for many years, a music professor at Wesleyan University.


A selection of articles about Alvin Lucier

CD Spotlight. The Space as an Instrument - John Dante Prevedini listens to the fine sonic details of music by the late Alvin Lucier

Classical music news - December 2021 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month