The Barton Workshop: John Anderson, clarinet; Frank Denyer, piano; James Fulkerson, trombone; Marieke Keser, violin; Judith van Swaay, cello; Jos Tieman, double bass
The music on these CDs takes us into a new realm of music making, one that Alvin Lucier has defined for us and one that demands that we start to listen anew. His work has been more often described in terms of science than of art as if it were a series of quasi-scientific experiments, but to put the emphasis here is to miss the point, for its purpose is never "explanatory" (the goal of science) but, like all art, "revelatory."
This is not to suggest that the composer has some spiritual agenda in the usual sense of this term. On the contrary, it is the physical behavior of sound itself that he so elegantly reveals, each work unveiling an otherwise hidden or ephemeral aspect of aural phenomena and allowing us time to witness its beauty. He achieves this by ruthlessly excluding any trace of self-expression, or indeed anything extraneous to the phenomenon itself.
The Barton Workshop has been the only group to really work closely with Lucier in terms of doing "portraits" of his work (the first in 1995), commissioning new works (40 Rooms, Bar Lazy J, and Q) and performing older/extant pieces. This 2-CD set is the fruit of this long collaborative process.
Alvin Lucier: Wind Shadows