Selected Writings and InterviewsMaryanne Amacher
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 regarded as a pioneer of what has come to be called “sound art,” although her thought and creative practice consistently challenged key assumptions about the capacities and limitations of that genre. Often considered in light of post-Cagean art practices, her work anticipated some of the most important developments in network culture, media arts, acoustic ecology, and sound studies.
The life and work of Maryanne Amacher are as vast as they are little known. In this volume, Amy Cimini and Bill Dietz offer a heterodox and idiosyncratic selection of largely unpublished documents spanning the breadth of the papers included in the Amacher Collection. The chronologically grouped documents, ranging from private writings and letters to program notes, manifestos, and proposals for unrealized projects, are framed by interviews in which Amacher discusses corresponding periods of her life. This structure leads readers carefully into the composer’s musical thought as it develops and transforms over time, while working strenuously against the definitiveness associated with “collected” writings. This study of a still-unfolding body of work approaches its materials as provisional, promissory and open-ended. Here, Cimini and Dietz have compiled a volume full of staggeringly rich primary documents, while probing the issue of what it means to assemble these materials while the question “who was Maryanne Amacher?” remains so open. This collection invites the reader to answer.