"This is sensuous, immersive ambient music and a stunning example of how a good composer can distil the bombast and drama of the pipe organ into a thing of simple grace and beauty." Four stars The Guardian

Review of Exit Ceremonies at Sydney Festival January 22nd 2016




Melbourne Town Hall
Alvin Lucier commission (World Premiere)
6 February, 2016


Swing Bridge by Alvin Lucier, commissioned by AAO and premiered as part of Exit Ceremonies was recorded at Melbourne Town Hall by Myles Mumford and will be released in 2019 on Mode Records


Artistic Director
Peter Knight (AAO)
Alvin Lucier
Peter Knight
Sonya Holowell
Organ ‘wavers’
Martin Ng, Claire Edwardes, Joe Talia, Simon Phillips

Erkki Veltheim and Anna McMichael
Mary Rapp
Sam Pankhurst
Tristram Williams

Production Manager/Lighting (MELB)
Paul Lim
Myles Mumford and Jem Savage

Swing Bridge composed by Alvin Lucier and commissioned by AAO

Alvin Lucier - SWING BRIDGE (2015) for pipe organ and ensemble (WP)

Alvin Lucier, now in his 85th year, is one of the towering figures of twentieth century music and is famous for works that explore phenomena and auditory perception. Still highly active, Lucier lectures and performs extensively in Asia, Europe and the United States and has recently collaborated with John Ashbury (Theme)  and Robert Wilson (Skin, Meat, Bone). His recent sound installation, 6 Resonant Points Along a Curved Wall, accompanied Sol LeWitt's enormous sculpture Curved Wall, in Graz, Austria, and in the Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University.

Many of Lucier's works explore the difference tones produced by two notes played very closely together and generate sonically hallucinatory effects both conceptually fascinating and sensually engaging. The organ is a wonderful vehicle for Lucier's ideas and the prospect of a brand new work composed specifically for the wonderful Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ.

Swing Bridge will be released on limited edition vinyl and will also feature another (as yet unreleased) Lucier work. Sizzles was composed in 1997 for organ and resonating percussion. It was recorded in 2017 by Austin Buckett on the Melbourne Town Hall organ by Jem Savage and produced by Peter Knight and the Australian Art Orchestra.

The premiere of Swing Bridge was performed as part of a larger program of works called Exit Ceremonies, which was a collaboration between the Australian Art Orchestra and Ensemble Offspring.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its funding and advisory body. This event is also supported by Creative Victoria, the City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program, and Ensemble Offspring.   

The AAO would also like to thank our official drink sponsors, Barrow Boys Brewing Co and Katnook Estate, who provided beer and wine tastings for our Melbourne show.