Solo exhibition at the Casino Luxembourg – forum d'art contemporain
25.01.2020 - 09.02.2020, Vernissage 24.01.2020
Artist: Patrick Muller
Curator: Kevin Muhlen
3 sound and multimedia installations
Sitting for Decades
Two Balanced Lines of Music
3 day symposium with international guests
programme see below
Radio 100,7 –
radio broadcast 19.1.2020 (in luxembourgish)
RTL – television broadcast 24.01.2020 (in luxembourgish)
Wort – press article 30.01.2020 (in german)
Land – press article 31.01.2020 (in french)
Paperjam – press article 24.01.2020 (in french)
Excerpt from the exhibition program
Alvin Lucier, a pioneer and one of the most influential composers in the field of sound art and experimental music, developed the
piece I Am Sitting in a Room in 1969 in Middeltown, Connecticut, USA. The composition is considered as one of his most famous and most referred to works. Furthermore, it is
representative for Lucier’s fascination for natural phenomena related to sound in their purest possible form: free of any distraction, using only what is absolutely necessary, and in this respect
in a minimalist way. It is this pure exposition of natural sound phenomena where the strength and poetry of Lucier’s works can be found. Pauline Oliveros, American composer and pioneer of
electronic sound art, therefore called Alvin Lucier ‘the poet of electronic music’.
In I Am Sitting in a Room, a voice recording is played back into the room by a loudspeaker and simultaneously recorded by a microphone; this new recording is in turn played back into the room and recorded again. This process is repeated until, instead of the voice, only the room acoustics multiplied several times over are audible. Alvin Lucier recorded himself reading out a text; the recordings were then chronologically merged into a composition.
The resulting piece of music thus documents the gradual transformation of a human voice into a tonal structure. Each new recording of
the recording causes the resonant frequencies of the room to gradually emerge, while progressively eliminating the intelligibility of the language. The fascinating fact is that it is exclusively
the natural sound of the room itself, the room-specific acoustics, which determine this transformation.
Luxembourg sound artist Patrick Muller is devoting his exhibition Sitting for Decades to Alvin Lucier on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the latter’s composition I Am Sitting in a Room. Muller views the show as a way of approaching the poetry of Lucier’s work experimentally: as if in a search for clues, he quotes principles, plays variations on ideas, and uses the existing to create something new.
As part of this process of discovery, the three newly conceived sound installations stand as central pieces of the exhibition: Two
Balanced Lines of Music is a study of compositional minimalism in its most excessive form, while Progression focuses on the change of media – as Mary Lucier demonstrated with her
Polaroid series created in 1969 as a visual analogy to Alvin Lucier’s tape piece – in the context of a daily development. Meanwhile, the installation Sitting for Decades refers to the
influence of Lucier’s original composition on sound creators and listeners over decades up until today.
Patrick Muller conjoins his own working methods, which often build on interactivity and feedback systems, with the goal of emulating Lucier’s consistent focus. This focus, along with the recursive process that plays such a prominent part in I Am Sitting in a Room, guide visitors through the exhibition as connecting threads, turning up in the themes of sound installations, soundwalks, lectures, workshops and performances. In addition to Patrick Muller’s own installations, international guest artists have been invited to provide insights into their working worlds, to perform Lucier’s compositions, and to join visitors in opening up the city of Luxembourg as a sounding board and the Casino Luxembourg as an acoustic blackbox.
Interview with Alvin Lucier by Patrick Muller, Middletown, Connecticut, USA, December 14, 2019. Photo by Max Kullmann
On the occasion of the exhibition Sitting for Decades, Casino Luxembourg invites to a symposium that revolves around the practice of the legendary American composer Alvin Lucier, and also more generally around sound
practices in the arts. For three days, a panel of international guests will lead through conferences, concerts, performances and workshops. Highlight: Performance of two new compositions of Alvin
Lucier as world premiere by the Ever Present Orchestra.
18:30 – 19:30 Progression – performance by plastic artist Olivier Pestiaux (BE) and musician Guy Frisch (United Instruments of Lucilin, LU)
19:30 – 21:00 Re-re-re-recording: The Lucier method in contemporary art – conference with Linnea Semmerling (DE)
21:30 – 22:30 Talk with the Ever Present Orchestra (CH)
22:30 – 23:30 The archive of loops: Open recording session – performance by Teresa Cos (IT, UK)
15:00 – 17:00 Schallfuerschung – workshop with Patrick Muller more
16:30 – 17:30 Progression – performance by plastic artist Olivier Pestiaux (BE) and musician Guy Frisch (United Instruments of Lucilin, LU)
17:00 – 18:30 Path of awareness_CasinoLuxembourg – soundwalk performance by katrinem (DE)
18:30 – 20:00 Talk with Teresa Cos (IT, UK)
20:30 – 22:00 concert by the Ever Present Orchestra (CH)
11:30 – 12:30 Progression – performance by plastic artist Olivier Pestiaux (BE) and musician Guy Frisch (United Instruments of Lucilin, LU)
12:00 – 13:30 Path of awareness_CasinoLuxembourg – soundwalk performance by katrinem (DE)
14:00 – 18:00 Haptic sound – workshop with Patrick Muller (LU) and Robert Heel (DE) more
19:00 – 20:00 Drone – performance by Patrick Muller & Robert Heel
15:00 - 17:00 Ad Infinitum: De Kopéieratelier – workshop by the Casino Luxembourg more
15:00 - 17:00 Schallfuerschung – workshop with Patrick Muller more
09:00 - 16:30 Fantasieklangwesen – workshop with Patrick Muller & Robert Heel more
Sound installation Sitting for Decades. Photo by Emil Hengen
Audiovisual installation Progression. Photo by Emil Hengen
Sound installation Two Balanced Lines of Music. Photo by Emil Hengen
Photo by Emil Hengen