Open Space Festival of New Music Returns to UNC March 28-29

Alvin Lucier

Alvin Lucier

The University of Northern Colorado School of Music's Open Space Festival of New Music returns for its fifth year March 28-29 featuring internationally renowned experimental music pioneer Alvin Lucier.

The festival will include lectures and informal talks by Lucier and performances of his music by UNC students, alumni and faculty. All are free and open to the public.

Lucier, a composer of experimental music and sound installations that use science to explore acoustic phenomena and auditory perception, earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a master's of fine arts from Brandeis University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

He toured internationally as a co-founding member of Sonic Arts Union, the influential collective of experimental musicians that included Robert Ashley, David Behrman and Gordon Mumma.

Lucier taught at Brandeis for eight years before beginning a 40-year career as a professor of music at Wesleyan University, from which he retired in 2011.

His innovative compositions have included using amplified alpha waves detected by electroencephalography electrodes attached to a performer's scalp to vibrate percussion instruments and having performers use hand-held echolocation devices to locate the approximate physical center of a room to deepen their understanding of acoustical perception.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, March 28

  • Lucier will answer questions about music composition during a "Composer's Talk" from 4:40-5:30 p.m. in Kepner Hall's Milne Auditorium.
  • "Music & Sound: A Life of Exploration" will include a pre-concert presentation by Lucier at 7 p.m. and a concert of his music at 7:30 p.m. in Milne Auditorium.

Friday, March 29

  • The School of Music will host a luncheon for Lucier from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in Centennial Hall room in Brown Hall.
  • The winners of the festival's inaugural composition competition will be joined by the By the Numbers Soundpainting Ensemble, made up of UNC students and alumni, for a concert featuring a wide variety of styles from 5-7 p.m. in Milne Auditorium.

Free parking is available in UNC lots after 5 p.m. and on nearby streets all day.

For more information about the festival, including an extended biography of Lucier, visit the festival's website.