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RIP. Maryanne Amacher


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Maryanne Amacher (February 25, 1943 --October 22, 2009) was an American composer of sound installations.

 

Amacher studied composition with George Rochberg and Karlheinz Stockhausen at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a B.F.A. in 1964. Subsequently, she did graduate work in acoustics and computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1967, she created City Links: Buffalo, a 28-hour piece using 5 microphones in different parts of the city, broadcast live by radio station WBFO. Her pieces are almost exclusively site specific, the psychoacoustic illusions she created being determined by the acoustics of the architecture. She collaborated with David Behrman, Scott Fisher, Mark Trayle, and Alvin Curran.

 

Amacher released an album, Sound Characters (Making the Third Ear), on Tzadik, the title of which refers to the illusion created that the sounds are coming from within one's own head.

 

"When played at the right sound level, which is quite high and exciting, the tones in this music will cause your ears to act as neurophonic instruments that emit sounds that will seem to be issuing directly from your head ... (my audiences) discover they are producing a tonal dimension of the music which interacts melodically, rhythmically, and spatially with the tones in the room. Tones 'dance' in the immediate space of their body, around them like a sonic wrap, cascade inside ears, and out to space in front of their eyes ... Do not be alarmed! Your ears are not behaving strange or being damaged! ... these virtual tones are a natural and very real physical aspect of auditory perception, similar to the fusing of two images resulting in a third three dimensional image in binocular perception ... I want to release this music which is produced by the listener ..."

 

In 1998 she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. In 2005, she was awarded the Prix Ars Electronica in the "Digital Musics" category for her project "TEO! A sonic sculpture". She taught at Bard College.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maryanne_Amacher

 

RIP.

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Guest Wall Bird

I've been meaning to listen to her music ever since I read her essay in John Zorn's 'Arcana III'. The concept seems like it has a lot of potential, even though it first struck me as unbelievable. I would love to be proved wrong. What does anyone who has heard it think about the experience?

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I've been meaning to listen to her music ever since I read her essay in John Zorn's 'Arcana III'. The concept seems like it has a lot of potential, even though it first struck me as unbelievable. I would love to be proved wrong. What does anyone who has heard it think about the experience?

 

The experience is really phenomenal, it really feels like your ears are producing sounds. If you turn your head slowly you can pick up different beat patterning. It seems like the effect is pretty much lost with headphones though.

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"Tones 'dance' in the immediate space of their body, around them like a sonic wrap, cascade inside ears, and out to space in front of their eyes ... Do not be alarmed! Your ears are not behaving strange or being damaged! ... these virtual tones are a natural and very real physical aspect of auditory perception, similar to the fusing of two images resulting in a third three dimensional image in binocular perception ..."

Am I reading this right? Is she insinuating that the sounds can affect vision?

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