Extremities: Maryanne Amacher

Extremities: Maryanne Amacher

Friday, April 16, 2004—4-5 p.m.
Kingston, New York

Videotaped Randy Nordschow
Transcribed by Molly Sheridan and Randy Nordschow

Maryanne Amacher
Maryanne Amacher
Photo by Randy Nordschow

As someone whose entry point into the vast world of musical repertoire has mostly been through collecting records and since the most unusual and unique things are usually the hardest ones to hear live, Maryanne Amacher has always been something of an enigma to me.

A composer of vast, space-specific sonic panoramas at crushingly loud volumes, Amacher defies containment and commodification. When Tzadik finally released a CD of her music, I finally thought I was able to experience it. But actually, I hadn’t. Two speakers can’t really convey what she is doing in space and as an apartment dweller the kinds of volumes she demands would inevitably lead to an eviction.

Yet through listening and reading her essays on various subjects, especially her fascinating contribution to a panel on Cage’s influence where she spoke about creating a music that is somehow liberated from time, I felt compelled to talk to her.

We spent only about an hour in conversation—the unfortunate time constraints of a reality based on schedules—but it felt like it could have gone on forever. And, in some ways, it will…


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