Maryanne Amacher: An Introduction by Bill Dietz
Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion - Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, 6th Floor
This program is presented with Bowerbird as part of Maryanne Amacher: Perceptual Geographies in Philadelphia between Tuesday, April 9th and Sunday, April 13th.
As renowned and loved as Maryanne Amacher’s work remains, few if any of Amacher’s listeners can claim to have have experienced or even have a sense of her body of work as a whole. Amacher’s prescient use of media coupled with her insistence on perceptually anchored situational specificity made the question of documentation and publication of her artistic work complicated, if not moot. As an introduction to her life and work, Bill Dietz presents a live-annotated audio-outline of moments from Maryanne Amacher’s 50 year career that have been rarely heard since their premieres. Comprised entirely of unpublished audio, the listening session is accompanied by pertinent and likewise unpublished images of scores, notes, and texts selected from the Amacher Archive. In his narration of Amacher’s trajectory through the decades, Dietz also presents the work and vision of the Archive thus far, and plans for its future.
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.
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 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 accessible entrance of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center opens into the Goldstein Undergraduate Study Center. This entrance is on the ground floor of the building facing Blanche P. Levy Park. A wheelchair accessible doorbell is located on the railing leading toward the door.