Still and Moving Lines of Silence In Families of Hyperbolas

by Alvin Lucier

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Alvin Lucier's Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas is a collection of pieces for instrumentalists and fixed sine waves and is one of the earliest and most influential examples of Lucier's research into the nature of the basic building blocks of sound.

The percussion pieces are unique from the pieces for strings and winds/voice in that, because percussion instruments are not capable of performing microtonal pitches, the performer is asked to make precise adjustments in rate of attack rather than changing the pitch of the instrument. The interaction between the varying playing speeds and the sine waves creates a sonic environment where the sound is seemingly moving around the room. Presented here by percussionist Sarah Hennies in the original program order specified by Lucier, the four pieces comprise a continued listening experience that is both fascinating and deeply hypnotic.

This recording is mixed in such a way that it attempts to recreate the experience of hearing the pieces live as Lucier intended. The sine wave and musician begin at opposite ends of the stage and criss cross over the course of the four pieces, ending with the performer and sine wave having traded locations from left to right (and vice versa).

Recommended listening: speakers, no headphones


released January 30, 2010

Music composed by Alvin Lucier
Performed and recorded by Sarah Hennies

Originally released as a limited edition CD on Quiet Design Records in 2010 (sold out)



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Sarah Hennies Ithaca, New York

Sarah Hennies (b. 1979, Louisville, KY) is a percussionist and composer in Ithaca, NY.

Her work is primarily concerned with an immersive, psychoacoustic presentation of sound brought about by an often grueling, endurance-based performance practice that Nathan Thomas of Fluid Radio described as "a highly sophisticated and refined performance technique...that starts and ends with listening."
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