Filtering by: Outer Ear

OUTER EAR: Katinka Kleijn & Bill MacKay
Jun
10
8:00 PM20:00

OUTER EAR: Katinka Kleijn & Bill MacKay

Hermann Hesse’s groundbreaking novel Steppenwolf treats the figure of Harry Haller, a man torn between the confining parameters of civilized life and his submerged instinctual self, as a symbol of the struggle between one's own often opposed aspects: those of both the exterior and culturally-predetermined human, and the obscured yet never-sleeping wolf. For their performance, Bill MacKay and Katinka Kleijn will draw on musical motifs from various experimental traditions to illustrate these polarities, their inevitable conflict, and the redeeming power of their eventual convergence. (Photo by Paul Crisanti)

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OUTER EAR: Grykes
May
20
8:00 PM20:00

OUTER EAR: Grykes

Grykes is Shawn Decker and Mark Booth. Grykes utilizes analog modular synthesis, raw and processed field recordings, electronics, pre-­composed ambient textures, violin, guitar, and audio collage in their live performances. Their open form works have a fixed progression and structure, and a closed set of materials, but are variable in the details of live performance. Grykes is named for the unusual fissures in the limestone pavements of the Burren, Ireland that support arctic, Mediterranean, and tropical flora in the same ecosystem.

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OUTER EAR: Spektral Quartet
May
6
8:00 PM20:00

OUTER EAR: Spektral Quartet

Since its inception, the Spektral Quartet has sought out the discourse between the great works of the traditional repertoire and those written this decade, this year, or this week. Creating connections across centuries, the group further invites its listeners in with charismatic deliveries, interactive concert formats, an up-close atmosphere, and bold, inquisitive programming.

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OUTER EAR: Sam Scranton
May
9
8:00 PM20:00

OUTER EAR: Sam Scranton

Composer Sam Scranton's Detritivore is an evening length work in five movements for four performers. Central to the work's genesis is the idea developed by Ernest Becker in The Denial of Death that culture exists to protect and shield human beings from their own insignificance, contingency, and animal brutality. The sound world that makes up Detritivore is wholly derived from text: solar data tables, astrological charts, personal observation, lifecycle/business-cycle timetables, and meditations on (im)mortality. Though the work is text based, words are coded, performed, and mediated beyond intelligibility. One may catch glimpses of the speech-based network undergirding the whole, but mostly Detritivore is experienced as a ritualized performance at turns chaotic, atmospheric, expansive and claustrophiliac, that exists beyond the total comprehension of composer, performer or audience. The work will be performed by the composer with Bill Frisch, Diedre Huckabay, and Andrew Tham.

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OUTER EAR: Laurie Amat
Apr
27
8:00 PM20:00

OUTER EAR: Laurie Amat

For her Chicago premiere, Laurie Amat will perform AmatWorks—site-specific compositions and improvisations for solo and accompanied voice, featuring acoustic and altered vocals, electronic looping, and signal processing with computer music pioneer Max Mathews' tunable Phaser Filter system. She will be joined by Ed Herrmann on piano and electronics.

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OUTER EAR: Ed Herrmann
Apr
20
8:00 PM20:00

OUTER EAR: Ed Herrmann

Ed Herrmann will perform Beneath the River, a ritual sonic immersion inspired by and created from the sounds of the Rockefeller Chapel carillon—one of the largest musical instruments in the world, comprising 72 bronze bells spanning six octaves with a total weight of over 100 tons —along with gongs, tam-tams, and scrap metal; presented through a four-channel sound system with live electronics, and vocals by Laurie Amat.

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OUTER EAR: Volcano Radar
Mar
23
8:00 PM20:00

OUTER EAR: Volcano Radar

Volcano Radar is a fusion of ecstatic improvisational energy and Apollonian intellect. A power quartet with dual free jazz/noise/avant guitarists Elbio Barilari and Julia A. Miller, legendary bassist Harrison Bankhead and incendiary drummer Avreeayl Ra, Volcano Radar moves fluently through a stylistic range from noise-funk improvisation to structured sonic forms. This special concert will feature drummer Avreeayl Ra, and highlight his work with sonic cosmonaut Sun Ra.

 

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OUTER EAR: NbN Trio
Mar
16
8:00 PM20:00

OUTER EAR: NbN Trio

NbN Trio (Nora Barton, Billie Howard, and Nomi Epstein) explores sonic textures through manipulation of acoustic instruments. While the three instruments of the ensemble—cello, violin, and inside of the piano—monopolize the sound space, there is extensive involvement of found sound, and/or percussive instruments by all three members of the trio. Their performance at ESS wil include four improvised sets, with some featuring film projection and lighting.

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OUTER EAR: Renée Baker Artet
Feb
23
8:00 PM20:00

OUTER EAR: Renée Baker Artet

Violinist/composer Renée Baker will be leading her quintet Renée Baker Artet, which she has culled from her groundbreaking Chicago Modern Orchestra Project. Baker’s stated mission with this ensemble is to “do original creative music without the advantage of instruments that usually give a jazzy flavor.” To this end, she has intentionally recruited gifted improvisers whose training and experience are not primarily in jazz to avoid the temptation of falling into the trap of what she calls “regurgitated riffs” and hot-licks jazz clichés. With her own electric violin blazing the trail, and her personalized hands-free conducting style keeping everyone on keel and alert, Baker’s group summons a daunting palette of tones, colors, and textures, managing to sound both exploratory and meditative. For the Outer Ear performance, the Artet will perform the world premiere of a semi-suite entitled Ord Street Horizon, composed by Baker.

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OUTER EAR: HEAR in NOW
Dec
1
8:00 PM20:00

OUTER EAR: HEAR in NOW

HEAR in NOW is a collaborative trio performing primarily original jazz-tinged avant-classical compositions. Originally brought together in the winter of 2009 by an Italian concert promoter for the WomaJazz festival in Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy, the trio, feeling a great sense of musical chemistry, have since kept the momentum going. Residing in three separate locales, the women of Hear in Now bring together elements from their indivIdual regions for a unique sound experience by exploring free improvisation along with through-composed pieces.

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OUTER EAR: Joseph Clayton Mills: 'The Patient'
Oct
20
8:00 PM20:00

OUTER EAR: Joseph Clayton Mills: 'The Patient'

In conjunction with The Patient, Joseph Clayton Mills' exhibit in Audible Gallery, Mills will present the performance of an original composition based on fragmentary texts by Franz Kafka, composed as mundane communications from his deathbed, rendered mute by tuberculosis of the larynx. He will be joined by ESS regulars Olivia Block, Noé Cuéllar, Steven Hess, and Jason Stein.

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