Based on Clocker by Alvin Lucier, performed for Bang the Bore X: Zone of Alienation at the Hansard Gallery in Southampton, 06.08.11.
From the programme:
Clocker is a characteristically idiosyncratic entry in experimental composer Alvin Lucier’s catalog. Like many of Lucier’s pieces it explores phenomenology and experience - in this case our psychoneurological relationship with time. The original takes as its sound source the ticking of a clock, and treats that sound source with audio delays controlled by galvanic skin response sensors – often used in measuring stress - which causes the time frame of the clock’s ticks to expand and contract according to the varying emotional state of the performer.
For this version we exchange the clock for a Geiger counter and low level radiation source, replacing time with radiation in the composition’s conceptual framework and thus providing a musical metaphor for the World Health Organisation’s conclusion that some of the worst long-term effects of the Chernobyl disaster were due to the perception of the threat of leaked radiation and the effect of that perception on the mental health of the evacuated residents.
Richard Thomas is a musician and sound-recordist based in London. He performs as Magnus Spectrum and as part of The A Band.
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