I am Recoding the Sound of My Speaking Voice. Enunciation in Alvin Lucier's I'm Sitting in a Room


  • Anette Vandsoe Aarhus University, Department of Aesthetics




Sound art, theory of enunciation, Alvin Lucier


‘I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in’, states the American sound artist and composer Alvin Lucier (1931-) in his canonical piece I am Sitting in a Room (1970), thereby emphasising the very act of enunciation in which someone is addressing someone else in an individual speech act. Though the question of enunciation has been touched upon in several analyses of this piece, none of them have connected it to the strong and vast theoretical field established by the French linguist Émile Benveniste (1902-1976) and further developed by numerous phenomenologically-oriented analytical approaches, particularly in relation to literary and film studies.
By shifting our attention from the statement to the very act in which it is produced, the article aims not only to shed light on an essential part of Lucier’s artwork, but also to show how the theory of enunciation can prove fruitful in relation to sound studies as such. In conclusion, the article suggests that in addition to the text, the vocal performance and the recording can also be seen as communicative acts.

Author Biography

Anette Vandsoe, Aarhus University, Department of Aesthetics


Assistent Professor,

Department of Aesthetics and Culture, 

Aarhus University






How to Cite

Vandsoe, A. (2012). I am Recoding the Sound of My Speaking Voice. Enunciation in Alvin Lucier’s I’m Sitting in a Room. SoundEffects - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Sound and Sound Experience, 2(1), 96–112. https://doi.org/10.7146/se.v2i1.5175