Alvin Lucier: Music For Solo Performer

Long before IDM became electronic music for the mind, defined by Aphex Twin and the sound of bald men high fiving themselves, Alvin Lucier exploring how brain waves could compose machine-driven orchestras.

To make Lucier’s brain waves audible two electrodes were first placed on each side of his head. The signals generated from these electrodes were then fed to an amplifier, through a mixing desk and finally activating a selection of snare drums and cymbals that were connected to loudspeakers. The performance came to be Lucier’s masterpiece, the first of its kind at the time and a reminder that to look to the future, sometimes we must consult the past.

  • Jack Needham