Self-Destructing Audio Experiment from 1969

Click here to view video: Alvin Lucier’s 1969 sound experiment

Tech gadget website Gizmodo has unearthed a very interesting (and creepy) recording from 1969 by composer Alvin Lucier. In the video, Lucier records and then re-records his voice numerous times until in turns into nothing but eerie noise.

As the folks at Gizmodo explain, “Lucier’s recording—’I Am Sitting in a Room’—banks on the fact that for any given room (the one you’re in now, your bedroom, the mayor’s office), there are certain frequencies of sound that’ll resonate above all others. Every time a recording is made inside this room, these frequencies slowly creep in over everything else—namely, Lucier’s voice. With each successive version, Lucier sounds more like a robot trapped in a tin box, until he sounds like nothing at all. It’s the audio equivalent of a xerox made of a xerox ad infinitum, and unlike anything you’ve heard.

Author image
Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
You've successfully subscribed to Professional Sound - Short Takes
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.