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Watch: Savages - “I Am Here” Video

Using Alvin Lucier's "I Am Sitting in a Room" Technique

Sep 04, 2013 Savages
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Filming the music video for their Silence Yourself track “I Am Here,” female punk ensemble Savages decided to get a bit experimental, looking to composer Alvin Lucier for inspiration. In 1969 the experimental artist recorded himself reading a series of sentences titled “I Am Sitting in a Room,” which he then played back and recorded, repeating the process until the overall resonance left the original audio became completely unintelligible.

Mimicking Lucier’s technique with their song, the band says in a statement that “We had no idea what to expect. We divided the process in two days: one for recording the band, one for recording the room the next day. [Co-producers] Gemma Thompson and Johnny Hostile sat in the basement all afternoon while the song was being played and recorded in the room 10 times in total, witnessing the slow disintegration of the song until it became really abstract, each instruments merging into the cacophony of this new orchestral autonomous ensemble.”

Director Joshua Zucker-Pluda adds, “There’s a real emotional intensity to Savages’ live presence. I was interested in the idea that the band’s performance could be so powerful that it would leave a kind of psychic scar or echo within the performance space. That the sound could become interwoven into the physical structure and sort of “haunt” the building. The process behind Lucier’s ‘I Am Sitting in a Room’ seemed to be an appropriate way to illustrate this concept. We used the band’s performance to reveal the hidden resonant frequencies of the performance space. The process itself is a direct interaction with the environment, and it felt almost like an invocation or ritual - like we were summoning the sound from deep within the walls.”

Click below to watch the video, as well as listen to the full audio of “I Am Here”‘s resonant frequency recording. (via Pitchfork)



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