Pioneering sound artist and composer Alvin Lucier’s Illuminated by the Moon boxset to be reissued on Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label

Pioneering sound artist and composer Alvin Lucier’s Illuminated by the Moon boxset to be reissued on Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label
Alvin Lucier...(wait for it)...sitting in a room.

How in the world are we to assess Alvin Lucier’s career? With over 50 years of discovering and asserting the artistic relevance of all manner of sounds and noises through ground-breaking acoustical installations and works and performances for voice and a multitude of instruments, Lucier doesn’t create musical projects that are “experimental” but rather conducts experiments that happen to be musical. Maybe the best thing is not to assess, but rather soak in the works of a truly original sound artist and composer who continues to march to the beat of his own loudspeaker.

When it comes to lathering in Lucier, it doesn’t get more luscious than a boxset comprising 4 LPs, 1 CD, and a LP-sized book. Originally assembled by Züricher Hochschule der Künste in Zurich (ZHdK, Zurich University of the Arts) — who issued the set as part of the celebration of their Alvin Lucier 85th Birthday Festival at the ZHdK October 12-14, 2016 — Illuminated by the Moon has been re-pressed and will be issued on September 21 by the Oren Ambarchi-run Black Truffle label in collaboration with Bernhard Rietbrock and ZHdK (pre-orders here and here).

There’s also a download code included, which might come in handy as you place this set on your mantle to view, but never touch. Thing’s just too damned swanky! Weighing in at 120 pages, the booklet alone is a latex gloves and tweezers page-turner with tons of installation and recording pictures and essays by/interviews with academics and performers like Charles Curtis, Joan La Barbara, Ambarchi, and Stephen O’Malley (all of whom are featured in the box’s recordings as well).

Whether you are a fan of Lucier’s work, you are interested in the history of avant-garde sound art, or you simply want to hear the stunning sounds made by the exotic-sounding amplified teapots or slow sweep pure wave oscillators, this boxset is a must.

Illuminated by the Moon tracklisting:

LP 1
Side A:
01. I Am Sitting in a Room (1970), for voice and electromagnetic tape
Side B:
01. Music for Solo Performer (1965), for enormously amplified brain waves and percussion

LP 2
Side A:
01. Charles Curtis (2002), for cello with slow sweep pure wave oscillators
Side B:
01. Double Rainbow (2016), for voice and slow sweep pure wave oscillator
02. Nothing Is Real (Strawberry Fields Forever) (1990), for piano, amplified teapot, tape recorder, and miniature sound system

LP 3
Side A:
01. Braid (2012), for alto flute, clarinet, English horn, and string quartet
Side B:
01. Two Circles (2012), for flute, B-flat clarinet, violin, cello, and piano

LP 4
Side A:
01. Hanover (2015), for violin, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, three banjos [three e-guitars], piano, and bowed vibraphone
Side B:
01. Step, Slide and Sustain (2014), for horn in F, cello, and piano

01. One Arm Bandits (2016), for four cellos

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