Go to program

La Monte Young 12-Hour Sound Installation


Soundwalk Collective





Saturday, October 14, 2023


Sound Installation

Presented by Soundwalk Collective and spatialized by MONOM, the Reethaus hosts a rare staging of an early composition by La Monte Young, one of the first American minimalist composers, a drone music pioneer and a central figure in Fluxus and postwar avant-garde music. The sound installation takes place during Young’s 88th birthday and will include the full-length rendition of “The Well-Tuned Piano in the Magenta Lights: 87 V 10 6:43:00 PM — 87 V 11 1:07:45 AM NYC,” a solo improvised work that he performed live in public over 65 times between 1974 and 1987 in the Marian Zazeela light environment.

Conceived in 1964, this work continued absorbing, evolving and expanding for over two decades until it flourished to its full structure in the 1980s. Each performance was improvised by memory over an interwoven architectural form, which often inspired new material while performing. During the second decade, the scale of the work expanded exponentially with a wealth of musical materials built from the organic confluence of both Western and Hindustani classical traditions.

The keyboard of Young’s Bösendorfer was sometimes stained with blood from his wounded fingers after a long performance. The 45-minute recorded version (1964) gradually developed into a continuous 6-hour 25-minute virtuoso live performance in 1987. “The Well-Tuned Piano” is certainly the epitome of a justly tuned piano in the modern context that transcends the character and limitations of the instrument. While deeply rooted in the ancient traditions of aural primacy, tonal structure and modality, “The Well-Tuned Piano” delineated an unprecedented sustained harmonic resonance and a complex sonic epic that we had never before experienced. 



Soundwalk Collective invites key influences and frequent collaborators featured across their extended body of work to participate in a series that samples from the past 60 years of sonic arts. Reflecting a personal view on collaboration as an essential aspect of the creative process, the series presents a broad summary of the sonic landscapes that they have developed over the past two decades. Seminal masterworks and newer pieces blend into a cohesive yet varied ensemble that spans musique concrète, performance art, contemporary and mystical music. All of these genres have in common a meditative dimension, a transitional nature that has been at the core of Soundwalk Collective’s work.

Previous dates of the series:


Soundwalk Collective

Soundwalk Collective is the contemporary sonic arts platform of founder and artist Stephan Crasneanscki and producer Simone Merli. Working with a rotating constellation of artists and musicians, they develop site- and context-specific sound projects through which to examine conceptual, literary or artistic themes.

Evolving along multidisciplinary lines, Soundwalk Collective has cultivated long-term creative collaborations with musician Patti Smith, late director Jean-Luc Goddard, photographer Nan Goldin, choreographer Sasha Waltz and actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, among others. In doing so, their practice engages in the narrative potential of sound across mediums such as art installations, dance, music and film.

Their latest original score for “All The Beauty and the Bloodshed” (dir. Laura Poitras) won the Golden Lion at the 2022 Venice Film Festival. In October 2022, they opened “Evidence,” a new exhibition with Patti Smith at Centre Pompidou in Paris. Soundwalk Collective have performed and exhibited at a diverse range of arts and music institutions, such as Berghain, Centre Pompidou, CTM Festival, documenta, KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manifesta, Mobile Art Pavillion by Zaha Hadid and New Museum.