maryanne amacher

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I was listening to 'sound characters' earlier in the week and its really good, some lovely textures, and one track had some sort of junkyard percussion that really shook me up (which is the first time that happened since I played a movement off this Webern disc i have) but apparently it doesn't capture some of her sound, what she calls the 'third ear': so in a sense its kind of like metal machine music sounding better on vinyl because of the CD compression but here vinyl wouldn't work at all, CD only to a certain extent.

anyway talk abt her.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 5 December 2003 21:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I might write a bit more after I've given it another listen sometime.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 5 December 2003 21:37 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

she was reluctant to release anything on CD for many years because the format (or any format, really) wasn't able to capture her sound. Having seen a live performance (which isn't really her thing, either), I'd have to agree, although I do like Sound Characters for what it is. She also has a track on an old Asphodel comp., maybe it's called Swarm of Drones or something like that?

hstencil, Friday, 5 December 2003 21:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The Whitney Biennial had a sound installation section featuring her stuff among other works, and it was enormous: skwees and roars racing past your face and around and around the room.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Saturday, 6 December 2003 01:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

there are four compilation tracks I know of: one on each volume of the asphodel 'drone' trilogy (the third one, 'storm of drones', particularly great), containing variations on the material that ended up on 'Sound Characters', and she has an excerpt from a 1979 performance on the 'OHM early gurus of electronic music' box.

home stereos usually distort and color the sound too much, and it really does need to be LOUD, but high quality reference monitors playing her album at maybe 60-80 dB can deliver the 'third ear' effect. it's a series of high frequency arpeggios loosely tuned to the frequency of the bones in human ears that cause them to vibrate audibly in sympathy, resulting in a counterpoint to the arpeggio; essentially, your ears turn into a ring modulator and begin feeding you sounds from the inside of your own head. and much like young's dream house, the sound of the music drastically changes as you walk around the room (because what you're hearing is largely a subjective, physical response by your hearing mechanism).

the same is true of the album, to a degree; you'll be listening to the immersive drone, then move your head a centimeter to the right, and the entire quality of the music will change in an instant.

straight sine waves are only dangerous when they're held. when arpeggiated, your ears don't burn out on them. at a san francisco performance 2-3 years ago, the initial response of the crowd when the 'third ear' effect crept in was terror; it sounds like your ears are clipping, in a way they usually only would at incredibly high volumes. but it's actually not even that loud; I remember turning to my friend to say the word 'wow' thinking it'd be inaudible, only to hear the word come out quite clearly. once people realized that they were safe, total euphoria kicks in, you've never heard anything like it, people were walking around with shocked smiles on their faces. she's doing incredible, unique work.

I recently received an outstanding tape of a 1982 live performance (thanks sundar), using the same basic materials as the OHM excerpt. same aesthetic, but analog technology. In some ways I like this tape more than her CD, which was compiled under duress, it feels more like an archive than a listenable sequence, but this 1982 tape is extremely listenable, it's been on almost every night. I know the recordings can't compare to the installations, but I hope she's been hanging on to recordings of these shows, they need to come out.

(Jon L), Saturday, 6 December 2003 01:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

With Maryanne's works I think it's their sheer spatial and environmental aspects that prevent them being captured to the artist's satisfaction in a two-channel format you listen to in your living room.

What did you think of the 'ear dances', Julio? That was a jaw-dropping moment for me.

The track on Storm of Drones is "Karyon - Sound Character", taken from the Entering Ancient Rooms installation and is difficult to distinguish from "A Step Into It, Imagining 1001 Years" from the Tzadik release.

I think we've had an MA thread before...

(x-post)

Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Saturday, 6 December 2003 01:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

micael-- by ''ear dances'' you mean the shorter, really frenetic tracks in between the longer pieces?

I love 'em.

Just gave it another listen and this is growing on me. The track with the junkyard percussion is 'synaptic island' but of course it starts that way and then she varies it, throws other textures in, then re- introduces those initial abrasive sounds later.

I also have a copy of Sundar's CDR and that fade is a wonderful moment. one of many.

milton-- thanks for explaining 'third ear' to me. hopefully I can see one of her installations someday. sounds like a great experience.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Saturday, 6 December 2003 20:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

my god, sometimes you post from work and just write too much. sorry about the lecture, I also didn't mean to bag on 'Sound Characters' which is also amazing, I'm just drunk on the '82 bootleg this week...

(Jon L), Sunday, 7 December 2003 08:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

nice site.

(Jon L), Sunday, 7 December 2003 09:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Alan Licht wrote a fantastic article on her in The Wire back in '99 (that was my intro) -- try & track it down if you can.

Mark (MarkR), Sunday, 7 December 2003 15:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yeah I've got that one. I re-read it after this thread and I think he overstates how 'brutal' it seems to be.

its a great -ish. has a primer on ornette and kevin shields jukebox.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Sunday, 7 December 2003 21:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'd forgotten one more amacher track: 'Stain - The Music Rooms' on the 'Imaginary Landscapes' compilation, assembled by Nicolas Collins from live performances at the Kitchen, on Elektra/Nonsuch, from 1989.

excellent comp actually. also features live performances by David Tudor, Ron Kuivila, Gordon Monohan, Laetitia Sonami, Alvin Lucier, Collins, Voice Crack, Christian Marclay, Blue Gene Tyranny.

(Jon L), Monday, 15 December 2003 01:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
just listening to the copy of the cdr that julio did for me. wow. wow.

toby (tsg20), Monday, 26 April 2004 12:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
and she wins it!

http://www.aec.at/en/prix/musics/winners2005.asp

I think this is the piece she's releasing on Asphodel next year.

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 30 May 2005 22:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
The Her Noise exhibition at the South London Gallery is neither very big nor very great, but it does include (free) video screenings of the Maryanne Amacher/Thurston Moore docu:

http://ecstaticpeace.com/daytrip/

unfortunately you have to watch w/ headphones - a few minutes after i whacked the volume up on the tv a technician rather pointedly came and turned it back down! - but even at low vol on a mediocre monitor there's just something funny and amazing abt seeing MA in her lair making beautiful noize w/ TM

http://www.southlondongallery.org/docs/exh/exhibition.jsp?id=119&view=future

Ward Fowler (Ward Fowler), Sunday, 13 November 2005 15:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Wow, I didn't realise this was part of the exhibition! Will try and make it down there soon, does it get crowded?

Matt #2 (Matt #2), Sunday, 13 November 2005 16:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

thx ward - gotta see this sometime.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Sunday, 13 November 2005 19:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...
when arpeggiated, your ears don't burn out on them. at a san francisco performance 2-3 years ago, the initial response of the crowd when the 'third ear' effect crept in was terror;

saw her perform live at instal in glasgow this last weekend, quite an amazing experience, quite psychedelic and unsettling at times, absolutely euphoric at others.

at one point during a fairly "dancey" piece (people did dance, in fact, which was wonderful)comprised of high and low tones and buzzes and IMMENSELY LOUD drones. i swiftly turned round because i thought someone was whispering in my ear. what i saw when i turned round threw me for six - i was actually hearing 2 guys talking to each other about 15 metres away (in a space around 30 metres long): my brain instantly linked these two guys visually with the speech i was hearing quite clearly (although it sounded somewhat like they were speaking through a vocoder). i actually, ahem, had this very swift rush of panic and decided to sit down but when i moved to sit down my balance was awry. after i sat for a few minutes (still in the arch) i got the wave of euphoria milton mentioned and so, clearly did the rest of the crowd - many of whom were dancing by this point, others were lying on the ground. at the beginning of the performance around 50% of the audience were wearing earplugs by the end almost no one was. it was an incredible experience although my hearing is still a bit fucked up 2 days later.

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 17 October 2006 23:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I've seen her twice at the Asphodel Compound, a small room with 16 ceiling mounted speakers and sound dampening to prevent reflection, and had no ear fatigue whatsoever the next day. Then I saw her in a huge, echoey gymnasium in San Diego, and it took about two days to recover -- the natural reverb smeared the arpeggios out into a 4k drone that scorched my ears pretty badly. you have to be very careful. unfortunately, with earplugs in, the resonating effect barely even works.

that euphoria is the strangest thing, though, it's like a chemical reaction that hits the entire crowd at once. I've seen instantaneous depressive reactions to noise music (I remember being at the back of the loft at a KK Null show where at the sound of his first subsonic bass chord, five people simultaneously slumped over backwards against the cement wall in one fluid motion), but you rarely see spontaneous, seemingly chemical euphora in response to sound, everyone walking around with shocked smiles and staring at their fingers

going through old airchecks of Barbara Golden's KPFA radio show I found a cassette of an early 80's interview with Amacher, including a ten minute excerpt from her 12 hour marathon collaboration with John Cage -- a version of 'Empty Words', where Cage mumbles his Thoreau-sourced mesostics over a drone Amacher constructed from close-mic'd recordings of stroked leaves, branches and plants gathered from Walden. Very immersive, I hope the original tape is somewhere safe waiting to be found.

There's also a great 1973 videotape directed by Nam June Paik, a tribute to john cage that has a brief scene with Amacher playing a grand piano with her forearms in the center square of Cambridge, surrounded by traffic. She looks great, like a maniacal librarian, the whole tape is worth seeing.

milton parker (Jon L), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 00:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

man, that 'day trip maryanne' video linked upthread has to come out on dvd, hopefully expanded back to full length, take out those edits. the site has the whole film in quicktime but it's not enough...

her trio with o'rourke and moore sounds great

milton parker (Jon L), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 01:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

okay, i'm a bit worried about my hearing now. it's still muffled in my left ear and there's a high pitched ringing.

jed_ (jed), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 17:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh man, that's too bad, I hope your hearing returns to normal.

mcd (mcd), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 17:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

reduce all coffee & stimulants to a minimum, attack doses of antioxidants, quiet environments, hang in there. there was one noise show where I forgot earplugs & it stayed with me an entire week -- one ear muffled -- but my high end came back. my tinnitus levels are always in flux, though.

'hearing loss' is badly named, it almost sounds relaxing -- people don't understand that it's not that the rest of the world grows quieter, it's that the high pitched whine inside your head gets so loud, you can't hear anything else over it. avoid earbuds, bring earplugs to shows and vote yes on stem-cell research, etc.

milton parker (Jon L), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 18:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

jed, fwiw my ears are much better today - the ringing, while still there, is a lot less than before and the muffled feeling is fading away. Mind you, my hearing was not that fantastic before the Amacher gig, yours may have been less dodgy.

I feel like I've had a bit of a lucky escape w. this one, and while I'm really pleased that I experienced the performance I don't think I wld 'risk' seeing her again - certainly not through the whomping Arches sound system, at any rate.

Ward Fowler (Ward Fowler), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 19:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i think what milton said about reverb in the venue itself may be the source of the problem - the arches is eally bad for sound distortion. i am going to take milton's advice and avoid music for a few days.

jed_ (jed), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 19:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
New York City

Wednesday, November 29 - Friday, December 1, 8:00 p.m., $10

http://www.issueprojectroom.org/events.html

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 00:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

whoa thanks for the heads up milton. will go to this (tho i've seen maryanne before). she's awesome.

hstencil (hstencil), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 01:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yay, something I want to see that's actually nearby! And right before my b-day! Thanks milton!

dlp9001 (dlp9001), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 01:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

without any warning whatsoever, a new album by maryanne amacher

Milton Parker, Thursday, 11 September 2008 00:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

Damn! Must get!

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 11 September 2008 10:58 (ten years ago) Permalink

Great news!

Still love to get a chance of seeing her tho'..

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 11 September 2008 20:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

finally listened to the new album on a good pair on monitors at a decent playback volume. It's great, even though my reaction is mixed. All she needs to do is release one of her full length 40 to 80 minute concert mixes on a CD -- I'm sure she's got a shelf full of reel to reels and DATs from 1970-present and that almost any one of them, pressed to CD, would be acclaimed as an out of the gates masterpiece

but that's not what she does -- since she knows that the stereo recordings can't compare to getting to hear the music mixed live through a multi-speaker system in an architectural installation, she doesn't try to replicate the concerts, she just gives you the separate ingredients, broken up over several tracks. the first CD has examples of all of her sound palette from her 90's concerts, but it's almost sequenced like a library disc, you don't get the leviathan extended narrative flow that she builds over one to two hours when she mixes live. so you don't even get that sense of wagnerian symphonic immersion. the new disc does a little better at being sequenced like a symphony, but the first half is still just the board recording of sounds that were designed to coexist with downtown traffic noises, so it's pretty spare.

so it's still that 1982 Music Gallery bootleg that I copy for friends who want to know why I think she's one of the most important composers working, though if I had copies of the two Compound shows I saw five or six years ago, they'd work too. they'd need to be board recordings -- I know friends who tried to make binaural recordings of her installations, and once she mixes in the Ear Dances, most microphones simply start malfunctioning, they're for human ears alone

Milton Parker, Saturday, 13 September 2008 00:26 (ten years ago) Permalink

I take that back, my cat loves her music

Milton Parker, Saturday, 13 September 2008 00:27 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

RIP -- seeing it in various FB posts and tweets. Root Strata has a small tribute up.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 22 October 2009 18:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/Sprad/MA_Sept_1953.jpg

Milton Parker, Thursday, 22 October 2009 18:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

RIP, shame I never got to see / hear one of her installations. Sound Characters pretty much rules though.

The people of Ork are marching upon us (Matt #2), Thursday, 22 October 2009 18:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

Very sad to hear this: I hope her archival recordings are properly preserved and shared.

Would never have recognised her from that photo!

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 22 October 2009 18:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

RIP :( :( :(

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 October 2009 21:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

awwwww, man. :-/

original bgm, Friday, 23 October 2009 14:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

RIP

original bgm, Friday, 23 October 2009 14:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

indeed...a sad loss. hearing her work live was a totally amazing, unique experience.

m the g, Friday, 23 October 2009 14:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

man, I still really regret not going to an installation of hers a few years ago. what was I thinking??

original bgm, Friday, 23 October 2009 14:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

shit, RIP.

I saw her in glasgow a few years ago, a unique experience

coz (webinar), Friday, 23 October 2009 14:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

oh, didn't read m the g's post before, yup, totally agree, nothing else quite like it

coz (webinar), Friday, 23 October 2009 14:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

when arpeggiated, your ears don't burn out on them. at a san francisco performance 2-3 years ago, the initial response of the crowd when the 'third ear' effect crept in was terror;
saw her perform live at instal in glasgow this last weekend, quite an amazing experience, quite psychedelic and unsettling at times, absolutely euphoric at others.

at one point during a fairly "dancey" piece (people did dance, in fact, which was wonderful)comprised of high and low tones and buzzes and IMMENSELY LOUD drones. i swiftly turned round because i thought someone was whispering in my ear. what i saw when i turned round threw me for six - i was actually hearing 2 guys talking to each other about 15 metres away (in a space around 30 metres long): my brain instantly linked these two guys visually with the speech i was hearing quite clearly (although it sounded somewhat like they were speaking through a vocoder). i actually, ahem, had this very swift rush of panic and decided to sit down but when i moved to sit down my balance was awry. after i sat for a few minutes (still in the arch) i got the wave of euphoria milton mentioned and so, clearly did the rest of the crowd - many of whom were dancing by this point, others were lying on the ground. at the beginning of the performance around 50% of the audience were wearing earplugs by the end almost no one was. it was an incredible experience although my hearing is still a bit fucked up 2 days later.

― jed_ (jed), Wednesday, October 18, 2006 12:58 AM (3 years ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

^this one

coz (webinar), Friday, 23 October 2009 14:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

Fuck, I can't believe this. Rest In Vast Echoing Spaces.

Michael Jones, Friday, 23 October 2009 14:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

This is so sad and unexpected.

I'll re-read the interview in the Wire later...from what I recall she was hoping that there could be a kind of permanent installation. Whether that's accurate or not I think her work would be easily strong enough for that: a permanent home for the 'Third Ear' dance off.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 23 October 2009 15:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

I was at the glasgow one too... it was incredible, indescribable. the way the music seems to take place in/be generated within your head is unsettling and disorienting and beautiful. people were wandering around, adjusting their personal acoustics and grinning like buffoons.

m the g, Friday, 23 October 2009 15:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

history maynne amacher

k3vin k., Friday, 23 October 2009 15:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

so sad. RIP.

jed_, Friday, 23 October 2009 15:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

Interview in the Wire from 1999

Ned Raggett, Friday, 23 October 2009 15:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

Reposted from [Removed Illegal Link] :

About a week ago I was up late into the night, reading the liner notes to Maryanne Amacher's two CDs, Sound Characters and Sound Characters 2 (Teo!). I was filled with conflicted emotions, hearing her sounds and voice. I was reminded of her brilliance as a composer and thinker. Her crystalline intelligence shines through these works, but so does a kind of cracked, other-wordly perception. The most recent CD struck me as especially bizarre, her writing littered with unlikely exclamation! points!! and a passionate, eccentric, expanded awareness of cosmological events. At the same time, the music sounds heavily processed and smeared with digital artifacts - the warbled interpolation of extreme pitch shifting and other software-driven manipulations. I was (and am) filled with both deep admiration and sadness encountering this work. I remembered how instrumental she was in my acceptance into the Bard MFA program and her visible excitement in listening to the grinding, piercing noise of my CD Uva, which was included in my application. Maryanne remained a teacher and mentor during my time at Bard and, for a year or so after, I could expect occasional late night phone calls... This summer, I heard about her poor health, and I couldn't help but wonder about her well-being, and those shelves of decaying reel-to-reel tapes on the second floor of her falling-apart house in Kingston, NY.
That night, I had a dream about Maryanne - we were engaged in a collaboration, sharing ideas and sounds, deep conversations. In the morning, it passed through my thoughts "Maybe she's dying..." Yesterday, I learned that Maryanne Amacher has passed away at the age of 71.

Maryanne didn't compromise on anything. She never had money. She rarely paid attention to her body, forgetting to eat or sleep while composing. Her overgrown, decrepit house was the subject of vandalism, seen by neighborhood kids as a "witches house". And no wonder! Strange, spooky sounds drifted from the windows at 4am, deer wandered through the yard eating foliage, squirrels invaded and finally overtook the entire 3rd floor of her gothic house.
Most especially, Maryanne didn't compromise on her music. For many years, she refused to release her music on LP or CD, claiming that the sounds coming out of those "wretched boxes" could only be a faint approximation of her work. While working on an installation, she would spend months in an exhibition space, moving speakers one inch to the left or right - literally playing the architecture.
Maryanne always thought at the edges of the possible. She imaginined a use of DVDs to release 6 hour compositions, with long silences between sounds - allowing the listener an entirely different relationship with the music, one that she considered more organic, more alive. She was waiting for the next step in audio fidelity to master her many unreleased compositions. She theorized that a 196k sampling rate actually begins to mirror the speed of neurons, producing a huge leap in clarity and vividness of the sounds.
Reading the liner notes for Teo!, you can feel her struggle with the decision to release this work. The sounds may be created and contained in recorded media, but they are NOT recorded works. They are produced for specific sites and situations, designed to respond to living spaces, breathing acoustics, dynamic surroundings. She asks the listener to imagine these sounds streaming out of 48 speakers, in geometric configurations, surrounded by the traffic and noise of a busy Mexico City plaza. This, of course, is an impossibility, and we are left with a flattened, contained representation of the work, not the work itself.

During my last year at Bard, after the vandalism of Maryanne's home, I had a fantasy of archiving all those endangered reel-to-reel tapes. These are artifacts which deserve to be stored in a temperature-controlled room at MIT, or in the basement of the NY Public Library. Maryanne was an absolute pioneer in the field of sound installation, a "guru" of electronic music, and a composer of astounding skill and vision. This work must not be lost to the squirrels and rain! But I soon realized what a task it would be. It would require living in Kingston for at least a year, carefully baking each tape (to keep the magnetic coating from separating from the plastic and falling in a pile of dust on the floor) before digital transfer. It would require grant writing, and the support of some major institution. Most especially, it would have required the help and support of Maryanne herself - something which could not be counted on, as I learned when publishing her 1977 paper on "Perceptual Geography" in the pages of FO A RM 3. I'm not sure what has happened or will happen to the Amacher archives.
In the end, perhaps this all makes sense. Maryanne Amacher insisted on treating her sound as a living thing. The experience is the art, not some mass-produced product. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to experience one of her brilliant, beautiful installations. Like all living things, those too have passed away.

Plus news from the comments box :

It seems my worries were somewhat unfounded. This from Micah Silver on Kyle Gann's blog:
"When Maryanne became ill, she had no structure in place to take care of her or her work. Early on she named her friend Robert The and I as her "power of attorney", neither of us fully understood what this even meant. She gave us some marching orders. Since late July, Robert and I have been working together closely to make sure that an archive is amassed and created to make public detailed information about her work. We'll be making a public announcement in a month or two detailing what will transpire over the next two years, but for those concerned, please know that we have, already, stabilized her materials and plan to make everything available online, for free. We're hoping to launch this comprehensive archive along with several other initiatives in the fall of 2011 to make sure that Maryanne?s work is placed not as a footnote, but as a milestone."

More info can be found at maryanneamacher.org

The people of Ork are marching upon us (Matt #2), Sunday, 25 October 2009 14:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

Sorry, that's from Seth Nehil's blog here : http://sethnehil.blogspot.com/2009/10/maryanne-amacher-viva.html

The people of Ork are marching upon us (Matt #2), Sunday, 25 October 2009 14:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

Good news. thx for posting that.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 26 October 2009 17:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

http://www.artsjournal.com/postclassic/2009/10/maryanne_amacher_1943-2009.html

kyle's post is respectful enough (though seriously, she wasn't a challenging person to talk to if you asked her the right questions), but the comments are incredible, especially micah silver's

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 27 October 2009 03:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

history maynne amacher

― k3vin k., Friday, October 23, 2009 11:53 AM (3 days ago)

um, i wanna apologize if this came off as insensitive - didnt read the thread and it was just a lame attempt at a pun

k3vin k., Tuesday, 27 October 2009 03:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

oddly fitting, though, jeesh

k3vin k., Tuesday, 27 October 2009 03:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

I knew we were going to have to basically wait for someone else to go through her tapes for her, I just feared that such a person wasn't going to be there at the right moment, and when I asked her once about her archives she referred to them with total contempt. but is seems like the archives are in the right hands, he gets it, lucky for history

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 27 October 2009 03:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

oh shitttttttttttttt. Head Rhythm 1 is still my favorite; maryanne truly had a grasp like few others on the primary colors of music and sound. RIP.

harriet tubgirl (Curt1s Stephens), Tuesday, 27 October 2009 03:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

That Wire piece and Sound Characters both had a big impact on me in 1999, saw many new possibilities in sound. R.I.P.

Mark, Tuesday, 27 October 2009 05:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

and when I asked her once about her archives she referred to them with total contempt. but is seems like the archives are in the right hands, he gets it, lucky for history

Now I'm wondering whether in a Kafka-Max Brod vein as to whether she wanted them destroyed or what, and if so, whether to release the archives at all...

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 27 October 2009 13:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

For all the terrible artists that released binaural recordings, lets hope that Amacher played around with a dummy head microphone pair to document some installations. I've only have the two Tzadik albums, but even from my mid-range stereo setup I sense that her music would benefit from binaural headphone recordings more than any other.

Deliquescing (Derelict), Tuesday, 27 October 2009 15:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

Now I'm wondering whether in a Kafka-Max Brod vein as to whether she wanted them destroyed or what, and if so, whether to release the archives at all...

Matt #2's repost of micah silver's "marching instructions" from maryanne makes it seem like she wanted them released, even if she didn't feel comfortable doing it herself.

The archive blog's been busy: http://maryanneamacher.org/

Nice to see reposts of some of her articles like 'Composing Perceptual Geographies', I think we do need a book compiling her writing and interviews. Several friends who are averse to high-decibel concert situations have said they're looking forward to the book more than the tapes.

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 27 October 2009 20:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

great article & my favorite recent picture of her, much closer to capturing what she really looked like than most

http://www.newmusicbox.org/article.nmbx?id=6169

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 27 October 2009 21:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

I sure hope there are some recordings of Amacher playing with MEV out there somewhere.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/27/in-memory-of-maryanne-amacher/?emc=eta1

Also liked this recommendation written by Marvin Minsky posted to the archive.

http://www.maryanneamacher.org/Amacher_Archive_Project/Entries/2009/10/24_Marvin_minsky_on_maryanne.html

Milton Parker, Monday, 28 December 2009 07:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

nice to see nytimes put Curran's 'Maryanne Amacher' opinion blog at the very top of their website roll!

Milton Parker, Monday, 28 December 2009 23:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

That my "ears were emitting sounds" as well as receiving them, that is hearing other acoustically produced tones at the same time, was incredible to me, a totally unique amazing experience at the time

http://ubumexico.centro.org.mx/text/emr/articles/amacher.pdf

Milton Parker, Thursday, 11 August 2011 19:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

Thanks, MP! (hope you're well)

Elderflower Gimcrax Flores (admrl), Thursday, 11 August 2011 19:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'm in horrible shape

Even more shocking is that thirty years had gone by since the very first proposal, that the ear contained an advanced amplifier mecahnism which makes it an active amplifier of its own sounds, was introduced by the extraordinary Thomas Gold in 1948

and of course the first thing that comes to mind is the connection with David Tudor's 'Rainforest' which uses transducer speakers to transform hundreds of ordinary objects into feedback mechanisms; but it turns out that in fact they are not just feedback mechanisms, attaching the transducers is actually producing behavior which has precedent in the human body, he is transforming those objects into hundreds of models of the human ear

Milton Parker, Thursday, 11 August 2011 19:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

=(

Elderflower Gimcrax Flores (admrl), Thursday, 11 August 2011 19:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

The medical profession still has not got a clue as to why 15 kilocycles should be coming out of somebody's ears

Milton Parker, Thursday, 11 August 2011 19:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

Labyrinth Gives Way To Skin

Milton Parker, Thursday, 11 August 2011 20:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

Humans seem to need music. It is around us much of the time, and is happening to us. My work involves developing a music which lets us know experientially that given acoustic intervals are indeed affecting responses in our ears and brain, and lets us hear some of these responses vividly.

Milton Parker, Thursday, 11 August 2011 20:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

oh, milton.

geeta, Thursday, 11 August 2011 20:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

The piano made harmony easily accessible to composers; the computer now allows us to become familiar with response tones. (Perhaps it is because the complexities are more equally matched here -- why we can begin to compose with complex human processing, previously considered subjective.)

Milton Parker, Thursday, 11 August 2011 20:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

oh my fucking god the last five paragraphs

that's it; I have to leave work

she was a true and complete genius

Milton Parker, Thursday, 11 August 2011 20:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

it's interesting to contrast her essays with laurie spiegel's at around the same time

geeta, Thursday, 11 August 2011 20:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

surreptitiously posted 'online', the best archival performance of MA I've heard. much more accurate picture of what she was up to than the two official CDs. this is the room recording of the Music Gallery concert in Toronto mentioned upthread from 1982, transferred from cassette by sund4r

http://soundcloud.com/artpractical/maryanne-amacher-clip-for

Milton Parker, Friday, 20 April 2012 00:16 (six years ago) Permalink

does this need to be at overwhelming volume for me to appreciate it? I finally got speakers that could handle cranking the Tzadik disc and it was a very interesting effect.

Flat Of NAGLs (sleeve), Friday, 20 April 2012 00:31 (six years ago) Permalink

this one is less dependent on volume. but volume does help, and so do headphones.

and also taking the recording seriously helps. I almost feel uncomfortable just seeing this posted online. It's not just another file.

Milton Parker, Friday, 20 April 2012 00:34 (six years ago) Permalink

wow, excited to listen to this.

original bgm, Friday, 20 April 2012 14:40 (six years ago) Permalink

thanks

╭∩╮(︶︿︶)╭∩╮ (am0n), Friday, 20 April 2012 16:26 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
three months pass...

A++

xyzzzz__, Friday, 16 November 2012 21:15 (five years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...
eight months pass...

http://vimeo.com/87401740

Milton Parker, Saturday, 31 May 2014 21:57 (four years ago) Permalink

I wish I spoke German.

Michael Jones, Sunday, 1 June 2014 21:45 (four years ago) Permalink

loved the stories about the house.

mattresslessness, Sunday, 1 June 2014 21:55 (four years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/arts/music/reviving-the-ghostly-sounds-of-maryanne-amacher.html?_r=0

that Charles Atlas documentation of the Merce piece from 1977 maybe the earliest composition to prompt otoacoustic emissions? you can hear the same materials appear in 'Living Sound Patent Pending' and the 1982 Music Gallery concert

sadly this piece makes no mention of the recent live concert exhibition of her work last year by Recombinant Media Labs at Gray Area. Reviews were mixed (I was out of town, but I think GA were still trying to tame the natural reverb of their room) but that 12 channel recording of her entire 2000 concert at the Compound has got to be the primary document of what she did in concert that she never even attempted to do on CD. at least I hope so; that night will always be in my top 5 concert experiences list

Milton Parker, Saturday, 20 May 2017 14:50 (one year ago) Permalink

I still don't understand the Tzadik CD, any suggestions for optimizing a listening environment there?

HONOR THE FYRE (sleeve), Saturday, 20 May 2017 19:28 (one year ago) Permalink

never really listen to it either, I usually just play this: https://soundcloud.com/artpractical/maryanne-amacher-clip-for

though programming just track 3 playing it at 100 dB + on a good system in a large room might come close

Milton Parker, Saturday, 20 May 2017 20:12 (one year ago) Permalink

my favorite is the first part of this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MahrtRVhkA

sexualing healing (crüt), Saturday, 20 May 2017 20:14 (one year ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

in case that link goes dead one of these years

An idiosyncratic three-part storyboard drops us into the middle of Maryanne Amacher’s media opera Intelligent Life (1981–1982) (see figure 1). Readied for submission to directors and funders throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, the opera consisted of nine one-hour-long episodes designed for television broadcast with in-home FM simulcast. As of yet, it has not been taped, recorded, or broadcast. Rather, it persists as five short texts, totaling 150 pages in length, with Amacher’s surprising membership in the Professional Screenwriters of America foregrounded on the cover page.1 A “Premise” and “Background to the Story’s Intrigue” introduce the opera’s fictive milieu. The year is 2021—the bicentennial of Hermann von Helmholtz’s birth—and the plot concerns Supreme Connections LLC, a music research and entertainment company, following the workaday lives, research practices, and aspirations of its leading figures. In a “Partial Treatment and Material for Pilot Story,” Amacher’s characters narrate how Supreme Connections came into being. Forged amid the failure of algorithmic music recommendation services and a second-generation artificial intelligence that could compose in nearly any historical idiom,2 the company proposed an alternative world of public media interactivity: “smart” technologies for the car and the home, enchanted architectures of customizable audio, and multisensory designs for a burgeoning “urban informatics” that re-cast the city as a kind of theme park that could respond to passersby with all sorts of original but also highly situated forms of sounding.3 Though its technologies are fictive, Supreme Connections’ story makes a clear reference to concerns that long structured Amacher’s own work.

Milton Parker, Monday, 8 January 2018 22:58 (nine months ago) Permalink

On the heels of a technophilic 1960s U.S. experimentalism eager to claim the sounds of living bodies—eartones, heartbeats, brainwaves, and other close mic’ed oddities—as raw material newly “discovered” and then submitted to composers for aesthetic refinement and technological elaboration, Intelligent Life shows how any “newly sonorous” biomechanical processes come already carved and compacted by technology, capital, and politics.15

can you believe it? and sounds like there's enough there that it could be staged credibly as hers -- the archives contain digital tapes of many of the separate tapes she'd use to mix a concert, and there are a few collaborators familiar enough with her performance techniques. though like Ives' Universe Symphony it's going to require some imaginative intermediaries.

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 00:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

Is it available on spotify?

sarahell, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 01:42 (nine months ago) Permalink

dull sincere response: sounds like someone (person or institution) should apply for funding to produce this. Opera America has special grants for producing/developing work by female composers (along with other grant programs).

sarahell, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 01:49 (nine months ago) Permalink

After having read more thoroughly: producing this sounds like an awesome project. Invariably it will be done in Europe or somewhere with more resources than the Bay Area.

sarahell, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 01:55 (nine months ago) Permalink


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