Oct 22, 2009

Maryanne Amacher (1943-2009): Making the Third Ear

Maryanne Amacher died yesterday. She was a pioneering sound installation artist whose frequently site-specific works explored the sonic effects of psychoacoustic illusions. Best known for her incorporation of otoacoustic emissions sounds that seem to be emanating from inside one's own head.
Two CD recordings issued by Tzadik made her work more widely available to listeners. In 2004, NewMusicBox published an extensive conversation with Amacher about her work and philosophy of the listening experience. We hope to feature a more extensive memorial to her in the coming days.

"When played at the right sound level, which is quite high and exciting, the tones in this music will cause your ears to act as neurophonic instruments that emit sounds that will seem to be issuing directly from your head ... (my audiences) discover they are producing a tonal dimension of the music which interacts melodically, rhythmically, and spatially with the tones in the room. Tones 'dance' in the immediate space of their body, around them like a sonic wrap, cascade inside ears, and out to space in front of their eyes ... Do not be alarmed! Your ears are not behaving strange or being damaged! ... these virtual tones are a natural and very real physical aspect of auditory perception, similar to the fusing of two images resulting in a third three dimensional image in binocular perception ... I want to release this music which is produced by the listener ..."

If you want more, you can watch "day trip maryanne". It's 30 minute collaborative film/video project between Kim gordon, Thurston Moore and Andrew Kesin, filmed in nov 2003, exploring the work of several important women in experimental music. >>www.ecstaticpeace.com<<

Here is an extract showing Amacher & the experimental guitarist Thurston Moore of sonic youth.

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