Lucier, Alvin Edit


Agent Type


  • 1931-05-14 (Existence)

Name Forms

  • Lucier, Alvin

External Documents

Related Agents


  • Biography/Historical Note

    Alvin Lucier is an American composer. He was educated at Yale (BA 1954) and Brandeis (MFA 1960) universities, where his teachers included Boatwright, Arthur Berger, Irving Fine, and Shapiro; he also studied under Copland and Foss at the Berkshire Music Center (1958, 1959). After two years in Rome on a Fulbright fellowship, Lucier joined the Brandeis faculty in 1963 as director of the choral union; later he was head of the electronic music studio. In 1970 he moved to Wesleyan University, where he was later appointed John Spencer Camp Professor of Music. He was a co-founder of the Sonic Arts Union, music director of the Viola Farber Dance Company (1972–7) and a fellow of the DAAD Kunstlerprogramm in Berlin (1990). In the mid-1960s Lucier began to explore sonic environments, particularly sounds that ‘would never – in ordinary circumstances – reach our ears’. Using performers, electronics, instruments, architecture and found objects, he devises open-ended processes specifically adapted to the phenomena he chooses to investigate or reveal. Some works exploit unusual sound sources such as brain waves (Music for Solo Performer) or radio frequency emissions in the ionosphere (Sferics), while others focus on the physical characteristics of sound waves.