i am sitting in a room

Alvin Lucier's I Am Sitting In A Room

Alvin Lucier's 1969 composition is among the best known minimal tape pieces. This work explores the relationship between sound and space through a process of spoken word and recording, re-recording, and re-re-recording. The acoustical properties of the space transform the speech until natural resonances create a tonal harmony with an additive droning, ambient quality. Alvin Lucier is a pioneer who realized that architectural space is not merely a setting for traditional musical experiences but that it could be used an instrument itself. His sizable body of experimental works and sound installations explore this concept.

Ubu provides the original 1969 tape recording along with a few of his other works. In an interview with Lucier, he explained how he had to record late at night and unplug the refrigerator to minimize unwanted noise. Below is the 1981 recording. More on Lucier at Lovely Music.