Two Fiftieth Anniversaries

In Pauline Oliveros’ Link (later published as Bonn Feier), “the whole city or campus becomes a theater, and all of its inhabitants, players.” Online Vocal Constructivists engaged with Wesleyan students on May 2, 2021 via video meeting software activated by QR codes at locations around the Wesleyan campus to perform “Two Fiftieth Anniversaries, Pauline Oliveros’s Link (1971) performed with Alvin Lucier’s Gentle Fire (1971).” Students followed 12 original soundwalks to encounter “costumed guardians,” musicians, dancers, mummers, jesters, actors, singers, talking drums, natural sound makers, picketers, and “Fantastic Sights.” In Alvin Lucier’s Gentle Fire, a ritualistic ceremony transforms and questions “unpleasant sounds” as they gradually become “pleasant sounds.”A documentary film about the Wesleyan students involved in this performance of Link was made by Isabel Hoffman, entitled Sound Walk.