Pop Culture
May 17, 2022, 06:27AM

To Me, That's Magic

A 2020 The Comics Journal interview with cartoonist Roz Chast vs. a 1983 Thomas Moore interview with the late musician Alvin Lucier.

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Roz Chast: I think of it like there’s the treble clef and the bass clef. The two play together but they can be the same thing or totally different.

Alvin Lucier: In other words, what pops out of the ionosphere is different from point to point on earth, so I’ve made a composite tape.

Chast: Yes, yes. It’s very exciting, and again, it’s not grown-up money.

Lucier: That’s happened all throughout time, you know.

Chast: Yeah, I know. I know. I know. 


Lucier: But I’ve read that book, that wonderful book that someone wrote about him, and I’m just fascinated with his ideas.

Chast: He’s very aware that he is a mega superstar, and walking down the street with him is just wild.

Lucier: Yeah. And another person would electronically alter the voice, layer upon layer upon layer, to create a different composite vocal image.

Chast: I feel like I should be open to it, but I read three panels and then I just want to go to sleep.

Lucier: I would have to think of a way to do it.


Chast: It’s not just generic. Some of it is intrinsic. I love that it’s not always smooth, in a certain way. You put it into your little style pile or whatever.

Lucier: I thought that was just a lovely idea. You know, when I was in Italy, I had an assignment, a composition assignment, to write a piece on a theme of Monteverdi.

Chast: I like La Boheme, and I like Carmen. I like Puccini, I like Verdi.

Lucier: I don’t know, I have a good situation. So I feel at ease there.

Chast: To me, that’s magic.


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