I Am Sitting in a Room

Alvin Lucier performing I Am Sitting in a Room
Courtesy the artist

I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves…

Alvin Lucier spoke this passage and recorded it; he then played the recording back and recorded it again, then played the second recording back and recorded it as well, etc. This recycling process was carried out altogether 32 times in the same room so that the acoustic properties of the room changed the sound of the words. Many frequencies were reinforced, others were weakened, until only the rhythm of the words was recognizable, partly owing to Lucier’s speech defect—his stutter. With this work, Lucier became one of the first composers to see the architectonic space not just as a storage space for musical instruments, but as an instrument in its own right.


  • original Title: I Am Sitting in a Room
  • Date: 1970
  • Genre: Music