In "Adagio for Strings", I simply took the Adagio section from Mozart’s Streichquartett Nr. 19 in C-Dur (KV 465) "Dissonanzenquartett" and subjected it to the recycling process I developed in my work "I am sitting in a room".
The quartet plays the introduction once live. Its recording is then recycled through eight rooms of the ZKM | Karlsruhe individually which are then layered on top of each other. The idea is a further extension of the first digital multi-room solo performance I did of "I am sitting in a room" in 2000 at ZKM | Karlsruhe adapted from a concept by Johannes Goebel. However, how this piece differs from the solo version is that I have created an architectural delay system: the original room that the string quartet recorded in, the ZKM_Cube, is the first to be heard, the second room heard is the next closest to that room in distance, continuing likewise until the final room heard is the furthest away from the original, recorded space.
"Adagio for Strings" was written expressly for members of the Ever Present Orchestra and with gratitude to ZKM | Karlsruhe (and Sebastian Schottke, sound director of the Hertz-Lab at ZKM) for all of their support in celebrating my 90th birthday.
Words: Alvin Lucier