Wind Shadows

Space may be the place for Sun Ra, but the room that you happen to be sitting in at any given moment is the realm of Alvin Lucier. Time to ditch those headphones and turn up the volume, otherwise you’ll be missing the full impact of Lucier’s work. If you’ve never experienced the engulfing sweep of sound and dizzying effect of two closely tuned pure tone oscillators—the sound literally seems to swirl around the room—it’s a bit intoxicating. And you thought tequila gives you the spins. Add a trombone into the mix and listen as the whirling sound waves gently deliver the performers breath directly into your ears like a whisper. I was floored when I heard James Fulkerson perform the piece live a few years back, and now the experience is (almost) captured on this new two-CD set. Just don’t drink and listen.


—RN