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Annual ESS Benefit Concert

  • Sleeping Village 3734 West Belmont Avenue Chicago, IL, 60618 United States (map)
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VIP $75 | Early Bird (available through 9/25) $35 | Advance $45 | Door $50

Featuring performance by:

Dan the Automator with DJ Hard Rich

Hal Rammel & Lou Mallozzi

Anteloper featuring Jaimie Branch & Jason Nazary

Ben LaMar Gay Quartet

Join us for Experimental Sound Studio‘s annual fundraising concert honoring an under-recognized staple of the Midwestern arts scene, Hal Rammel.

Founded in 1986, Experimental Sound Studio (ESS) is a Chicago-based organization dedicated to artistic evolution and the creative exploration of sound. ESS facilitates the creation, presentation, and documentation of innovative work related to the sonic arts, supporting nearly 400 artists each year in our recording studio, through artist residencies, as fiscal sponsors, and in nearly 100 public performances, installations, and workshops. All proceeds go directly back into our programs, supporting the artists we work with and helping ESS continue to make space for creative experimentation in Chicago.

The VIP ticket holders receive reserved front row seating at Michael Zerang’s May Chapel Concert October 6, a limited edition artist-designed t-shirt by Melina Ausikaitis, two drink tickets each, and the joy of knowing that you have provided significant support for artists experimenting in Chicago.



Visual artist and musician Hal Rammel has been involved in the creative arts for many decades. As a composer and improviser he utilizes musical instruments and sound sources of his own design and construction, releasing many recordings on his own label Penumbra Music. Many of these recordings feature his work with the amplified palette, first constructed in 1990. During the 1980s he was an active member of Chicago’s experimental and improvised music scene performing frequently with Gene Coleman, Michael Zerang, John Corbett, Terri Kapsalis, Lou Mallozzi, Jim Baker, Don Meckley and others. Now residing in southeastern Wisconsin, Hal Rammel improvises regularly with Linda Binder in the duo PaVda and with cellist Matt Turner in the duo Fractures & Phantoms. In 2014, fourteen instruments designed and built by Hal Rammel were added to the permanent collection of the National Music Museum in Vermillion, SD. These acquisitions include many acoustic instruments built in the 1980s and early 1990s that figured prominently in his work with Chicago improvisers and in his early recordings on Penumbra Music label.

Dan the Automator has had a hand as a key collaborator in a wide range of projects including working with Kool Keith on his album Dr. Octagonecologyst, partnering with Prince Paul to form the Handsome Boy Modeling School, working with Del tha Funky Homosapien to form Deltron 3030, and his project Got a Girl with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, among many others.

DJ Hard Rich is lead developer at The Glue Factory and Thud Rumble. 

Lou Mallozzi is an interdisciplinary artist whose work examines relationships between presentation, representation, knowledge, and site, taking the form of installations, performances, fixed media works, improvised music, and drawings. During his more than three decades of interdisciplinary arts practice, he has performed, exhibited, and broadcast in a number of venues in the US and Europe, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Renaissance Society, Randolph Street Gallery Chicago, Ausland Berlin, TUBE Audio Art Series Munich, Bayersicher Rundfunk Munich, New American Radio, Experimental Intermedia New York, Radiorevolten Festival Halle, Constellation Chicago, and many others. In his role as director of Experimental Sound Studio from 1986-2016, Mallozzi coordinated, co-organized, and curated scores of performances, exhibitions, broadcasts, festivals and commissions, presenting the work of over 400 artists to audiences throughout Chicago. Mallozzi is Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator in the Sound Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

One of the most prolific collaborators in our city’s creative music community, Ben LaMar Gay makes active contributions to Theaster Gates’s Black Monks of Mississippi, Nicole Mitchell’s EarthSeed, Mike Reed’s Flesh & Bone, Matthew Lux’s Communication Arts Quartet, Joshua Abrams’s Natural Information Society, Bitchin Bajas & many more. He’s a default descendent and a long-time participant in the AACM (i.e. the legendary Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians). Beyond being the brains behind Bottle Tree – the future funk suite International Anthem released in April of 2017 that was named “#1 Best Album of the Year” by London’s EZH Magazine (c/o founder Tina Edwards) and on NPR’s Sound Opinions (c/o producer Ayana Contreras) – he was a core component of Makaya McCraven’s Highly Rare and a cornet cameo on Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die (both of which were included in the New York Times’s “Best Albums of 2017”). Ben LaMar Gay is nearly omnipresent in the current zeitgeist of progressive jazz sounds sprouting from Chicago.

Anteloper is the electric brain child of Jaimie Branch (Fly or Die, High Life) and Jason Nazary (little women, helado negro, bear in heaven). Branch and Nazary have been playing together as trumpeter and drummer for years, since meeting at the New England Conservatory of Music in 2002, but in this duo both musicians include synthesizers to push further into the spectral space ship ether. With deep rhythmic passages, telepathic improvisations and effortless melodic negotiations, Anteloper pushes forward, swinging its horns all the while.

Earlier Event: October 1
OPTION: LaDonna Smith Solo & Discussion
Later Event: October 6
Michael Zerang: 'FOLLOW THE LIGHT'