Sonic Arts Union

Lightbox Film Center at International House Philadelphia


International House Philadelphia presented a series of concerts featuring the creative work of the Sonic Arts Union, a collective founded in 1966 by composer-performers Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier, David Behrman, and Gordon Mumma. The Sonic Arts Union pioneered many practices in the United States that have since become commonplace, including the use of live electronics, homemade instruments, and multimedia presentations. International House's program featured both new and historic music by each of the four artists, and additional concerts with local composer-performers Dave Smolen, Davey Harms, and Chris Madak, all active in experimental electronic music, underscoring the Sonic Arts Union's continued influence. Ancillary programs included screenings of Robert Ashley's Music with Roots in the Aether, a series of video "composer portraits," and his innovative "opera for television," Perfect Lives, which provided context for the performances.