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Traveling Inside: Chicago Composers' Consortium at ESS

  • Experimental Sound Studio [nid:132836] 5925 N RAVENSWOOD (map)
Pictured composers: Cassandra Kaczor, Keith Kusterer, Jeff Schaller

Pictured composers: Cassandra Kaczor, Keith Kusterer, Jeff Schaller

The Chicago Composers’ Consortium has once again brought together a fascinating group of pieces exploring both electronic and acoustic media including works by three guest composers to keep your eye on, as well as several established Chicago composers. On April 5, Experimental Sound Studio will be the setting for the event including works featuring a variety of instrumentalists performing on bass clarinet, viola, piano, violin, spoken word and French horn, and with an emphasis on electronic interaction.


secondhand smoke (2017) for solo amplified viola by Cassandra Kaczor - Seth Pae, viola

for measure (2019): a theatrical work for two actors, a piano and tape by Keith Kusterer - Keith Kusterer (voice, piano) & Shi An Costello (voice, piano)

Train of Thoughts for fixed media by Kyong Mee Choi

Tremble for solo violin (2019) by Jeff Schaller* - Anthony Krempa, violin

Water Study #3 for bass clarinet and live processing by Timothy Dwight Edwards* - David Wetzel, bass clarinet & Tim Edwards, processing

Respiro by Kathleen Ginther - Jennifer Presar, horn

Journey/Dream for piano and fixed media by Lawrence Axelrod** - Lawrence Axelrod, piano

Themes of travel, motion, dreams, surrealism and introspection pervade these highly individual and personal musical expressions. Guggenheim-winning composer Kyong Mee Choi will include her acousmatic piece Trains of Thought, “based on the experience of sitting on a train and having various thoughts evoked by the sounds of the environment.” Based on a short story, Cassandra Kaczor’s piece secondhand smoke for amplified viola is also a technical study. The theme of introspection continues with the sonically rich electro-acoustic autobiographical piece about a trip to Japan, Journey/Dream by Lawrence Axelrod. Keith Kusterer’s newest premiere will exhibit the most masterful fusion of dramatic and compositional elements in a duet performance for pianist Shi An Costello and electronics. The composer writes “for measure is a surrealist work performed by two very close friends. The live performance is layered with pre-recorded sonic events that are designed to pair with real-time elements of theater, interactive movement and musical gesture.” Jeff Schaller’s piece for solo violin is inspired by soundscape work and virtuosic performance experienced in Italy.

Sound installation: The Sound Art Chair sculpture by Celia Grainer; sound by Beth Bradfish. This collaboration was made possible in part by a DCASE grant.

The Sound Art Chair is Bradfish’s synesthetic response to paintings by Anna Kunz. It is the third sound sculpture object in the series “Home Sounds,” and was inspired by Beth’s synesthetic response to paintings by Anna Kunz.

Tickets $20/$5 at the door

*world premiere

**US premiere

Earlier Event: April 1
OPTION: Matt Mehlan & Cyrus Pireh