I Am Sitting in A Room (1970)

I Am Sitting in A Room is a psycho - acoustic classic by Alvin Lucier for voice and tape. It features Lucier recording himself narrating a text which describes this process in action, and then playing the recording back into the room, re-recording it. The new recording is then played back and re - recorded, and this process is repeated. Since all rooms have characteristic resonance or formant frequencies, Lucier had also specified that a performance need not use his text and the performance may be recorded in any room. However, Lucier himself has recorded the piece in at least one room he did not find aesthetically acceptable.
In fact, certain frequencies are emphasized as they resonate in the room, until eventually the words become unintelligible, replaced by the pure resonant harmonies and tones of the room itself.

The process continues until all we can hear is white noise. Different rooms affect the decay of sound in different ways, so this performance is different to the original recorded version. It is not easy to understand and it is not necessarily the most enjoyable listen you will come in contact with. There is no beat and thus no driving force. But what you hear throughout the extent of this album transforms beautifully. By the end of the recording, you are no longer hearing Alvin Lucier’s voice, although it is still there. You are hearing a room. You are hearing the room Alvin Lucier is sitting in.
You can buy I Am Sitting in a Room.

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