Standing Waves: Performing the music of Alvin Lucier

Notes to Music on a Long Thin Wire

"Music on a Long Thin Wire is constructed as follows: the wire is extended across a large room, clamped to tables at both ends. The ends of the wire are connected to the loudspeaker terminals of a power amplifier placed under one of the tables. A sine wave oscillator is connected to the amplifier. A magnet straddles the wire at one end. Wooden bridges are inserted under the wire at both ends to which contact microphones are embedded, routed to the stereo sound system. The microphones pick up the vibrations that the wire imparts to the bridges and are sent through the playback system. By varying the frequency and loudness of the oscillator, a rich variety of slides, frequency shifts, audible beats and other sonic phenomena may be produced." - Alvin Lucier

The liner notes to the original release on Lovely Records is here, and a short interview with Alvin about the piece here.

[15/02/2013] After a few false starts and a lot of email help from people who have installed it previously, we finally have a functioning wire. Thanks especially to technical staff at the University of Huddersfield, and Ryoko Akama and Mark Bokowiec.

Reconstruction of Alvin Lucier's 1977 piece - Music On A Long Thin Wire from Mark Bokowiec on Vimeo.

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