A live online performance of American avant-garde composer Alvin Lucier’s groundbreaking early work Bird and Person Dyning performed by Elaine Mitchener and presented as part of an online LUX exhibition Jenny Brady: Receiver which considers how we both speak and listen, and the question of who has the right and capacity to be heard.
‘Bird and Person Dyning stands as an essential work demonstrating the composer turning inward to the fundamental sparks of aural phenomena. “Dyning” is Lucier’s abbreviated version of “heterodyning,” a term introduced in the early days of radio transmission to describe the phenomenon of two waves mixing in a non-linear medium to produce two extra signals (created with the sum and difference in frequency). Known as “difference tones” in music, the piece tasks the performer to create the tones with an electronic bird call (originally a Christmas ornament producing a chirping sound), and the feedback created by a binaural microphone and stereo system. The emergence of the difference tones, or “phantoms,” depend on the position of the performer in the space and is, uniquely, music where we actually “listen to a composer listening.”’ Issue Project Room
Born and raised in East London of Jamaican heritage Elaine Mitchener is a contemporary vocalist, movement artist and composer, whose work encompasses improvisation, contemporary/experimental music theatre and dance. She has performed and collaborated with numerous leading artists including Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother), Mark Padmore, George E. Lewis, The Otolith Group, Sonia Boyce, Tansy Davies, Hamid Drake, Van Huynh Company, Apartment House, David Toop, London Sinfonietta, Christian Marclay, Ensemble Manufaktur für aktuelle Musik, William Parker. She is founder of collective electroacoustic trio The Rolling Calf with saxophonist Jason Yarde and bassist Neil Charles. Her sound works are held in a curated collection by George E Lewis at Darmstadt Festival. If there isn’t a second wave of Covid-19 Elaine will present a new work by five composers for SWR Donaueschingen Musiktage in October.
The performance will broadcast on 24 September at 8.30pm here.
Presented in collaboration with Cafe OTO to accompany the LUX exhibition Jenny Brady: Receiver, 10 September – 30 October