The Book Cooks
Excerpt from
Selected Writings and Interviews

Maryanne Amacher
(Blank Forms Editions; Brooklyn, New York)

Maryanne Amacher                                                                                         Courtesy of Blank Forms


After completing her 1967 In City projects
in Buffalo, Amacher reflected on listening
in shared time over distance in a manifestolike
essay titled “Long Distance Music”
and related text pieces during the early
1970s. These writings precede her return
to telelink-based connections in City-Links
in 1973 and theorize ways of listening that
traverse multiple social locations with and
without what she called “remote circuitry.”
The text pieces contained within “Long
Distance Music” function simultaneously
as event scores and as concepts. They
explore distance through articulations
of synchronous social time and bodily
awareness and employ an elemental poetics
that resonates with Amacher’s treatment of
“the wind in the garden” in her earlier text
“In City, Buffalo, 1967” (53).



Right now we do not make music
unless we are in the same room together.
Music is made ONLY between men and women
in ONE room, ONE field, or in ONE build-
ing between rooms through loudspeaker and
microphone transmission.

To experience music in spaces
other than the room we are in, in loca-
tions sufficiently distant from each other,
we must physically go to them – separately
at different times.

We have no occasions for
interacting with any world (sound or conti-
nent) other than our own.

Having to be in such situations
all the time just does not correspond
to our receptivity – to Life Time and Its

The music we make is confining
us to boundaries of ONE-PLACE situations
ALL THE TIME. Receptive to our own struc-
tures ONLY as we are making them.

Long distance music is developing occasions
where boundaries of ONE-PLACE situations can begin to
vanish. Some involve electronic links; some do not.

All involve the interaction between men and
sound at distant locations. Focused together in the same
instant of time. Making music together. 

Listening and transmitting out of the place
we are in.

Communicating outside our own structures.

New awareness is developed for the place
we are in. With links, because of actual acoustic change
affecting us. And with occasions like Green Weather
requiring a completely new attitude of mind.

Having to extend our listening in this
manner extends our receptivity to each other – to the
music we are making in the very room we are in.

Becoming more alive to each
other – open to receiving and sharing outside
our immediate structure – we no longer sit
down to play with the same listening habits.
We must STOP. Extend our listening out of
customary circumstances. OUTSIDE OUR OWN
STRUCTURES. Producing change in us and in
the Music we are making.


Letting remote circuitry extend our CONTACTS
with men and sound – the ear stretching over many zones
– bringing into focus at the SAME INSTANT OF TIME – is
one way.

Green Weather is another.

Hearing and seeing from 10 blocks away –
a 3rd way.

Knowing that what we are sounding is travel-
ing through a river. To be picked up – part of Life Time
and Its Music.

The boundary of having to experience in the
place where the action is. We do not see or hear there.
Museum courtyard, large space. Activity and technology
OR IN STILLNESS. Occasions for 10 blocks away – home –
street. The place you are in. Conscious occurences – to be
viewed from a distance. This becomes place of experience
rather than museum courtyard. IT IS YOU. We carry this
place with us.

Helps what is magical in technology to reveal
itself. Seen from blocks away, lights were moving towards
the sky. Reports continued to come from those looking out
their windows. Seen in the courtyard where the event was
taking place, not nearly as interesting. Need space.

Low-frequency traveling around the corner.
Floating 38/76Hz wave — very quiet in-air sound. Needs
space. Much more beautiful than when close to source.
Becomes Gift wave.

The experience of being in
more than 1 place at 1 time. Ear is the
channel. It activates.

We travel. The ear is activat-
ing this AWARENESS. This is what we commu-
nicate. We are in more than one place at the
same moment of time. Ordinary experience
does not provide this. Mind can. Music can.
We are also traveling TOGETHER. WE BECOME

Being in one spot. Yet in
more than 1 place at the same moment of
time. Becoming aware of this through ear.
Glue of one place conditioning vanishing.
Discovering that we are “standing completely
sound. still as though in a center of a leap ...
carrying our homes within us which enable
us to fly.”

WEATHER, and other works do not involve customary per-
formance situations. But will be music for communities
of people beginning to share ways as much as possible
throughout the country.

Very aware of making their own dwellings,
food, clothes, videos, etc., but still buying records and
playing them most of the day.

The music is still canned – prepared in some
way – food is not.

Eventually making music together will become
like food and dwellings are now. Many gardens will begin.

Becoming simple. Another way of sharing.
Another way of being alive to each other. Aware of each
other’s sounding waves. Communicating energy. Communicating
stillness for each other. Awareness of presence.

We begin listening to each other.

Music actually beginning from this basis
TOTALLY. Rather than from another structure. Maybe first
culture with this basis. All others seem to have begun
with figures, harmony, or some established tradition to
orient their listening and music making “improvising” by.

© 2021 Blank Forms Editions; used with permission


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