OSCILLATIONS 2017: Call for Proposals

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Now in its fifth year, OSCILLATIONS presents concerts by artists selected from submissions received in response to an open call for proposals. ESS will present chosen artists in a series of 3-4 performances between November 4 and November 25th, 2017. (Depending on the nature of the selected projects, we may feature either one or two acts per evening.) Emphasis will not be placed on any particular genre or style; the main criterion for selection is the demonstration of experimentation, exploration, and innovation in the artist’s/group’s chosen idiom. Preference will be given to artists presenting new work, and/or work that falls outside of conventional formats.

Selected artists will receive the following:

• A concert produced, presented, and promoted by Experimental Sound Studio

• A professional multi-tracked recording of the performance, with a mix by our expert staff

• A percentage of donations taken at the door on the night of the performance

• The opportunity to sell recordings/merchandise at the concert

Eligible candidates should reside in the Chicago area or be able to fund their own travel and lodging surrounding the date of their performance. In order to be considered, artists must not have been presented in any of our public performance programming from 2015 to the present.* (*Ensembles featuring artists who have performed at ESS in other groups/configurations may be considered at the discretion of ESS staff.)

Proposed performances must be set up, performed, and broken down within a single evening/afternoon (i.e., durational or installation work will not be considered—if you have a proposal for such work, consider submitting it to Audible Gallery or Special Projects; stay tuned for those RFPs in the near future).

Proposals must be received no later than midnight on October 1st, 2017.

Chosen artists will be notified by October 10th, and provided with a selection of dates from which they may choose to confirm their performance. Performance dates must be confirmed no later than October 20th. The series will occur on 3-4 dates between November 4th and November 25th.

Submission Guidelines
Interested parties should send the following to:


ONE PDF that includes the following components:

• A brief bio/description of the artist/ensemble, including personnel
& instrumentation, artistic mission, notable recordings, other projects by the musicians involved, notable recent performances, press highlights, etc.

• A description of the set/project/piece(s) you propose to perform at ESS, including approximate duration of the proposed performance.

• A discussion of how you might use, publish, release, or otherwise make public the resulting recording.

• A list of Friday & Saturday evenings between 11/4/17 and 11/25/17 on which you/your group would be available to perform. (Shows begin at 8pm; load-in and soundcheck occur in the mid to late afternoon.)

• Your technical requirements, including a rough stage plot/list of inputs, and any other technical needs.

• Links to your website(s) & social media pages.

• If possible, a link to video documentation of you or your ensemble performing, and/or 1-3 .jpg files (attached separately) of performance photography.

~ AND ~

2-3 AUDIO FILES (OR NON-EXPIRING DOWNLOAD LINKS—e.g., not WeTransfer) NO LONGER THAN 15 MINUTES TOTAL documenting work that is relevant to your proposal. Ideally, the recordings will reflect the proposed performance, but we will also accept other recordings by the artists involved. Please include a brief description of what we are hearing so that we may contextualize it within your proposal.

Streaming audio on sites such as Bandcamp or Soundcloud and physical media will not be reviewed. Audio will only be shared amongst the review panel and will not be posted or distributed otherwise.

We realize your work or work samples may not fit exactly into these requirements; we are willing to discuss that and to make adjustments as needed, so if you have questions or need clarification, do not hesitate to e-mail WELL AHEAD of the deadline for submission!