Lucier, Alvin (Augustus Jr.)

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Lucier, Alvin (Augustus Jr.)

Lucier, Alvin (Augustus Jr.), American composer; b. Nashua, N.H., May 14, 1931. He studied with Boatwright, Donovan, Kraehenbuhl, and Porter at Yale Univ. (1950–54); continued his training with Berger, Fine, and Shapero at Brandeis Univ. (1958–60); also studied with Foss (composition) and Copland (orchestration) at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood (1958,1959); then went to Rome on a Fulbright scholarship (1960–62). He was on the faculty of Brandeis Univ. (1962–70), where he served as choral director. With Robert Ashley, David Behrman, and Gordon Mumma, he founded the Sonic Arts Union (1966), an electronic music performing group with which he toured the U.S. and Europe. He joined the faculty of Wesley an Univ. (1970); was music director of the Viola Farber Dance Co. (1972–77). He contributed many articles to music journals and other publications; with D. Simon, he publ. Chambers (Middletown, Conn., 1980). In 1990 he was in Berlin on a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst fellowship. His works exploit virtually all known musical and non-musical resources available to the creative artist.


Action Music for Piano (1962); Music for Solo Performer for Amplified Brain Waves and Percussion (1965); North American Time Capsule for Voices and Vocoder (1967); Chambers, realized by moving large and small resonant environments (1968); Vespers, acoustic orientation by means of echolocation (1969); “I am sitting in a room” for Voice and Electromagnetic Tape (1970); The Queen of the South for Players, Responsive Surfaces, Strewn Material, and Closed-circuit Television System (1972); Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas for Singers, Players, Dancers, and Unattended Percussion (1973–74; Paris, Oct. 18,1974); Outlines of persons and things for Microphones, Loudspeakers, and Electronic Sounds (1975); Bird and Person Dyning for Performer with Microphones, Amplifiers, Loudspeakers, and Sound- producing Object (1975); Music on a Long Thin Wire for Audio Oscillators and Electronic Monochord (1977); Directions of Sounds from the Bridge for Stringed Instrument, Audio Oscillator, and Sound-sensitive Lights (N.Y, Feb. 11, 1978); Clocker for Amplified Clock, Galvanic Skin Response Sensor, and Digital Delay System (1978–88); Solar Sounder I, electronic music system powered and controlled by sunlight (1979; in collaboration with John Fulle-mann); Shapes of the Sounds from the Board for Piano (1979); Lullaby for Unamplified or Amplified Voice (1979); Music for Pure Waves, Bass Drums, and Acoustic Pendulums (1980); Reflections of Sounds from the Wall (1981); Crossings for Small Orch. with Pure Wave Oscillator (Chicago, July 6,1982); Seesaw, sound installation (1983); Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas, Part II, Nos. 1-12 (Oakland, Calif., Feb. 16, 1984); Spinner, sound installation (1984); In Memoriam Jon Higgins for Clarinet and Slow-sweep, Pure Wave Oscillator (Hartford, Conn., Dec. 8,1984); Serenade for 13 Winds and Pure Wave Oscillator (Aspen, Colo., Aug. 8, 1985); Sound on Paper, sound installation (1985); Septet for 3 Strings, 4 Winds, and Pure Wave Oscillator (Middletown, Conn., Sept. 20, 1985); Music for Men, Women, and Reflecting Walls for Pure Wave Oscillators (N.Y, June 11, 1986); Salmon River Valley Songs for Soprano, English Horn, Xylophone, and Pure Wave Oscillators (Hartford, Conn., Sept. 27, 1986); Kettles for 5 Timpani and 2 Pure Wave Oscillators (1987); Fideliotrio for Viola, Cello, and Piano (1988); Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra for Triangle (1988); Carbon Copies for Piano, Saxophone, and Percussion (1988); Amplifier and Reflector I for Open Umbrella, Ticking Clock, and Glass Oven Dish (1991); Navigations for String Quartet (Frankfurt am Main, Oct. 11, 1991).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire