Alvin Lucier

Clocker

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The illusion attempted to be produced by this composition is that of time speeding up and slowing down controlled by thought. To realize this, the composer uses a galvanic skin response sensor which sends a small current through the body (through electrodes taped to the fingers), measures its resistance, and produces an output voltage which can be used to control various devices, in this case, a voltage-controlled delay routing the ticks from a Westclox Silver Bell Monogram clock. The delay will then cause the ticks to speed up and slow down. The audience hears this sound through a matrix of loudspeakers. Another version of the piece was made in 1988 using the responses of a philodendron leaf (recalling Tom Zahuranec's "Plant Music" of 1972 performed on Pacifica Radio and at the Center for Contemporary Music, Oakland, CA, employing the so-called Backster Effect with plants controlling synthesizers). This is another fascinating phenomenological experiment by the composer as well as an aesthetically mysterious and psychologically probing musical composition.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 44:11
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