PRINT January 2008


David Tudor’s Rainforest IV

Composers Inside Electronics performing David Tudor’s Rainforest IV (1973), The Kitchen, New York, 2007. Photo: Stephen Vitiello.

FOR ITS TWO PERFORMANCES of postwar avant-gardist David Tudor’s Rainforest IV last fall at The Kitchen in New York, the group Composers Inside Electronics suspended a single wire object in the passageway between lobby and theater. Passing under this birdcagelike construction, entrants heard a burst of electronic noise—a jolt announcing entrance into a space where ears, rather than eyes, would better guide one’s path.

Indeed, Rainforest IV is an exercise in audio wandering—navigating a thicket of objects, each of which, on closer examination, reveals itself to be resonating with sound. A sheet of metal, a block of wood, bamboo sticks, PVC pipe, household objects from pans to toilet floats—all resonate to some degree, and in this work, all resonate sufficiently to register with our senses. Some signals require touch as well as hearing, their vibrations perceptible only when in contact

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