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Alvin Lucier & Maze | (Amsterdam) Memory Space

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Avant Garde: Structured Improvisation Avant Garde: Sound Art Moods: Instrumental
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(Amsterdam) Memory Space

by Alvin Lucier & Maze

MAZE re-interprets Alvin Lucier's 1970 composition (Hartford) Memory Space
Genre: Avant Garde: Structured Improvisation
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  Song Share Time Download
1. (Amsterdam) Memory Space
Alvin Lucier & Maze
60:00 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
(Amsterdam) Memory Space
Alvin Lucier

performed by MAZE

Anne La Berge - flute and electronics
Dario Calderone - contrabass
Gareth Davis - bass clarinet
Reinier van Houdt - piano and electronics
Wiek Hijmans – electric guitar
Yannis Kyriakides - computer and electronics

Recorded by Micha de Kanter at Studio Eleven, Hilversum, The Netherlands on the 30th October 2012. Mixed and mastered by Yannis Kyriakides. Design by Isabelle Vigier.
Unsounds 37U (2013).

The idea of representing one set of sounds with another is central to Alvin Lucier’s Memory Space. Written in 1970, the score instructs:

“Go to an outside environment (urban, rural, hostile, benign) and record by any means (memory, written notations, tape recordings) the sound situations of those environments. Returning to an inside performance space at any time later, re-create, soley by means of your voices and instruments and with the aid of your memory devices (without additions, deletions, improvisation, interpretation) those outside sound situations.”

The openness of these instrucitons belie the difficulty in dealing with the idea of how one can translate a sound from one medium into another, and what kind of alteration of information takes place in that exchange. Interpreting this work, one becomes very much aware of the processes by which one listens, both consciously and subconsciously; how one is constantly decoding sounds in one’s environement, filtering out essential and non-essential information, discerning patterns and imposing an emotional reading on them.
The work also brings up performative issues; since the musicians are interpreting their individual ‘memory spaces’ collectively in the same concert space, how do these overlapping space relate to eachother? What is being communicated?
Certainly the musicians and audience have a different perspective on the outcome of the performance; the musicians have half an ear to the source material being played on the headphones and half an ear on the shared sonic result.
This was one of the reasons we chose to present the piece in this form on CD, where as a listener you are guided through both the collective musical space and into individual memory space of the musician’s recordings in a constantly shifting perspective. Eventually, because of the nature of the material, one becomes aware of one’s own listening space, whether it is in a concert hall, a public space or whether one is listening to a recording of it at home, where the unique set of environmental sounds outside the window are finding their way into one’s consciousness.

The recordings made by the musicians of MAZE for this version of (Amsterdam) Memory Space were made on the 100th year anniversary of John Cage’s birthday: September 5th 2012.


MAZE is a new electroacoustic ensemble dedicated to performing music that challenges the idea of fixed form and a fixed listening perspective. The aim of the ensemble is to offer the listener different forms of navigating their own path in the music. This idea is at the core of the ensemble's repertoire and performance practice.




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