Endangered Species

9 March 2024, 7 pm
#Chamber Music

On Saturday 9 March 2024 at 7 pm, Alvin Curran (Providence, Rhode Island, 1938), the musician and composer featured in the exhibition Hear Alvin Here (20 September 2023 – 17 March 2024) will present Endangered Species, a live-electronic performance played with the Disklavier piano, in the glass gallery of the MACRO. 


Endangered Species is a solo project in a continuous state of becoming: after starting in 1988 under the title Electric Rags, over time it has evolved, responding to the places and contexts where it is performed, and to the expressive possibilities gradually offered by new musical technologies. Drawing on an immense repertoire of sounds—some 3000 audio-files—recorded over sixty years, then processed by a midi sampler and played on a grand piano, Curran generates a spontaneous and always novel musical experience: “a magic act where the whole world becomes audible directly from my fingertips,” the composer says.


“The Endangered Species are sonic stories told in a language I have invented with the sounds of people, places, songs, things, events, machines, musics, animals, rooms, skies, airs, and dreams…, at times without thinking about anything. Each performance is a new story told with the same basic sounds, thrown like an al fresco wall painting newly configured each time and in each moment with the unknowable duration of one’s own creative energy.”



ALVIN CURRAN (Providence, Rhode Island, 1938) has lived and worked in Rome since 1965. He studied with Ron Nelson, Elliott Carter, and Mel Powell. In 1966 with Frederic Rzewski and Richard Teitelbaum he co-founded the collective Musica Elettronica Viva. Curran has taught at Rome’s National Academy of Theater Arts (1975–1980), Mills College (1991–2006), and the Mainz Hochschule für Musik (2011), among others. He has published extensively on music, his own music, and that of other artists; he has staged thousands of live performances, and his discography includes more than thirty solo and sixty collaborative recordings; his sound art works have been exhibited in various international institutions. A book about his work,  Alvin Curran: Live in Roma, was edited by Daniela Tortora (Die Schachtel, 2010), and The Alvin Curran Fakebook, an illustrated compendium of notated pieces was published in 2015.