Big Ears Festival Playlist: Saturday, March 28 | 10pm

by Maggie Molloy

Every year new music lovers make the pilgrimage to Knoxville, Tennessee for the annual Big Ears Festival: a celebration of ear-expanding music across genres and geographic borders.

For the past decade this annual festival has brought together artists from all around the globe and all corners of the musical universe, inviting musicians and music lovers to spend a long weekend immersed in unexpected collaborations and explosive live performances. It’s basically like new music Christmas.

This year’s Big Ears Festival was unfortunately cancelled due to community health concerns, so on Second Inversion this weekend we’re bringing you the next best thing: an eclectic mix of recordings from artists who were slated to perform in this year’s fest. Tune in for Haitian folk songs, sci-fi operas, sound collages, and even music from outer space.

To listen, tune in to KING FM on Saturday, March 28 at 10pm PT.

Our Second Inversion in-studio recording of So Percussion performing Jason Treuting’s Life is [ ] is among the featured pieces on this week’s playlist.

The Science of Sound: An Interview with Alvin Lucier

by Maggie Molloy

Alvin Lucier has spent the past six decades exploring sound—its physical properties, how it moves and morphs in space, and the ways in which we can manipulate our own auditory perception.

His music makes you listen differently. Instead of traditional notions of melody and harmony, his music plays with the very wavelengths of sound itself, placing you in the center of the acoustic phenomena and inviting you to hear the sound as it shifts and unfolds within the space.

We caught up with Lucier at the 2019 Big Ears Festival, which featured performances of his music by Joan La Barbara, the Ever Present Orchestra, and the composer himself—including his most iconic work, I Am Sitting in a Room.

In this interview, Lucier talks with us about the science of sound, the hallmarks of experimental composition, and what it takes to play his music.

Audio editing by Nikhil Sarma.

Music in this interview from Alvin Lucier’s Ever Present and I Am Sitting in a Room, both available on Mode Records.