POSTPONED: Maryanne Amacher: Living Sound

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
Free with RSVP

In response to mounting concerns about the coronavirus, and out of an abundance of caution, The New York Public Library has suspended all public events in its research libraries for the month of March. A rescheduled date will be announced as soon as possible.

Throughout her life, Maryanne Amacher exercised an exemplary sensitivity and care for the ways in which her work was presented. This care is both that which exceptionally distinguishes her practice, and that which has kept it from circulating through many conventional distribution channels. Now, 10 years after Amacher’s passing, her materials have found a permanent home where traces of the complex, elusive “whole” of her oeuvre will, over the next few years, finally become accessible to researchers and to the public. Join us in celebrating this momentous occasion at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on March 12th. For this special occasion, Bill Dietz & Amy Cimini will present a selection of original archival documents (writings, scores), objects (artworks, audio gear), and sounds (newly digitized audio) — just a small sampling of the collection’s soon to be accessible breadth.  

Maryanne Amacher (1938 – 2009) was a composer of large-scale fixed-duration sound installations and a highly original thinker in the areas of perception, sound spatialization, creative intelligence, and aural architecture. She is frequently cited as a pioneer of what has come to be called “sound art,” although her thought and creative practice consistently challenges key assumptions about the capacities and limitations of this nascent genre. Often considered to be a part of a post-Cagean lineage, her work anticipates some of the most important developments in network culture, media arts, acoustic ecology, and sound studies.

The Maryanne Amacher Foundation was established in 2020 by a group of Amacher’s key friends, peers, and collaborators brought together by Blank Forms in order to promote and preserve Amacher’s work and legacy. Through the creation of exploratory seminars, research opportunities, public programs, and publications, the mission of The Maryanne Amacher Foundation is to broaden the greater public’s understanding of Amacher and her work.

Bill Dietz was born in Bisbee, Arizona in 1983, and has been based in Berlin since 2003. He is a composer, writer, and co-chair of Music/ Sound in Bard College’s MFA program. He was a friend and collaborator of Amacher’s and has led all previous Blank Forms seminars.

Amy Cimini is a violist and musicologist based in San Diego, CA. Her research, teaching and performance engage 20th century philosophy and political thought with an emphasis embodiment and ethics in experimental practice. Her musicological writing appears in GAMUT, Contemporary Music Review, Sound Studies, boundary2, Twentieth Century Music and The Opera Quarterly. She is currently Assistant Professor of Music at UC San Diego and is happy to be finishing her first book, titled Wild Sound, about the musical thought of U.S. composer Maryanne Amacher.

Image: Detail from Living Sound (Patent Pending) installed in the home of Dennis Russel Davies, presented by New Music America, Minneapolis 1980.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is located 7 blocks away from the 59 St – Columbus Circle ABCD subway station. The building is fully wheelchair accessible, but it’s best to use the entrance to the Library for the Performing Arts at 111 Amsterdam Avenue. FM assistive listening devices are available upon request with one-week minimum advance notice. Call 212-340-0918 or 212-340-0951 to request these devices.