You can see the portrait of an old man looking directly into the camera.


In remembrance of Alvin Lucier

14.05.1931 – 01.12.2021

ZKM | Karlsruhe mourns the death of the US-American sound artist and pioneer of electronic experimental music, who died on December 1 at the age of 90.


He found his very own musical language with the performative piece »Music for Solo Performer« (1965), in which he used brainwave amplification and made the sonification of alpha waves audible via various percussion instruments. A language based primarily on acoustic phenomena.

In 1969, he wrote music history with »I Am Sitting in a Room« and had a lasting influence on both experimental music and sound art – the work is representative for Alvin Lucier's musical thinking down to the present day. Sitting in his living room in Middletown, Connecticut, he recorded himself saying: »I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice [...].« With the help of two portable Nagra tape recorders, he played the text over and over again and simultaneously recorded it again. He repeated this process until the sound of his voice completely dissolves and at the end only the inherent resonances of his living room are audible.

Alvin Lucier has received numerous international awards for his artistic work, including the »Lifetime Achievement Award« from the U.S. Society for Electroacoustic Music and an honorary doctorate from the University of Plymouth in 2007. The ZKM | Karlsruhe awarded him the Giga-Hertz Main Award for his lifetime achievement in 2020 and participated in the celebrations of his 90th birthday with the world premiere of his work »Adagio for Strings« (2021) as recently as May of this year.

Category: Obituaries