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 sound artist and pioneer of electronic experimental music, who died on December 1, 2021 at the age of 90.


With the performative »Music for Solo Performer« (1965), in which he used brainwave amplification and made the sonification of alpha waves audible via various percussion instruments, he found his very own musical language. 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 still representative of Alvin Lucier's musical thinking today. Sitting in his living room in Middletown, Connecticut, he recorded himself speaking. »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 dissolved and in the end only the resonances of his living room were audible.

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

Category: Obituaries