Alvin Lucier, Dark Matter - album review

Download: Still And Moving Lines Of Silence In Families Of Hyperbolas; 13 Degrees Of Darkness; Double Himalaya

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Alvin Lucier’s music explores the physical presence of sound, and is thus doubtless best experienced in a live context, or through a surround-sound system - rather than, as here, on stereo vinyl.

It’s a subtle form of music, entailing changes which, he acknowledges, may be too subtle for some listeners to hear. Dark Matter’s three tracks are flute pieces, the earliest being “Still And Moving Lines Of Silence In Families Of Hyperbolas”, in which flautist Manuel Zurria plays infinitesimal pitch-shifts against an oscillator tone, to produce what Lucier calls “beating” rhythms as the waves shift in and out of sync.

It’s at once engrossing and relaxing, albeit bereft of the kind of narrative structure one usually expects from music. “13 Degrees Of Darkness” extends the principle to two flutes, while the side-long “Double Himalaya”, performed by Erik Drescher, is positively animated by comparison

Comments