Option Series

OPTION is a weekly music salon on Monday nights at Experimental Sound Studio. Its programming explores contemporary perspectives on improvisation and composition in a 'salon' format, enabling local, national, and international artists to publicly discuss their practice and ideas as well as perform—all in the intimate environment of ESS's Studio A. Organized by Chicago musicians Andrew ClinkmanTim Daisy, and Ken Vandermark, the schedule of concerts represents an insider's view of what is currently most exciting in music and the arts. Shows are professionally recorded by ESS staff, and are nearly always streamed live on youtube. You can view the live stream on this page in the video window below. We are continuing the process of assembling a library of archived streams that subscribers to the series may access at any time.

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527 West 29th Street     |     New York, NY 10001     |     212-925-6190     |     info@davidnolangallery.com

On view May 4-June 23: Jorinde Voigt: Ingegral

Founded in 1987, David Nolan Gallery specializes in modern and contemporary works by an array of international artists working in a variety of media. The gallery’s original mission was to exhibit contemporary works on paper by American and European artists and to produce monographs together with tightly curated historical exhibitions. The first show at the gallery – an exhibition of early drawings by Sigmar Polke – was followed by presentations of now-canonical German artists, including Georg Baselitz, Martin Kippenberger, Dieter Roth, Gerhard Richter, Rosemarie Trockel and Albert Oehlen. In this same period, the gallery began showing works by major American artists including Mel Bochner, William Copley, Carroll Dunham, Fred Sandback, Al Taylor and Barry Le Va.

In 1993, the gallery had its first exhibition with Richard Artschwager, which was succeeded the following year with a show of work by Scottish artist, Ian Hamilton Finlay. In the late 1990s, the gallery introduced two further key American artist to the program, Jim Nutt and Peter Saul. Further growth was marked by the addition of New York-based artists, Mel Kendrick and Steve DiBenedetto in the mid-2000s, a time that the gallery also began working with the George Grosz estate.

In 2007, the gallery mounted an important survey of contemporary Romanian art, which included work by Adrian Ghenie alongside Ciprian Mureşan and Şerban Savu, both of whom continue to work with the gallery. The following year saw the gallery’s expansion and relocation from SoHo to its present location in Chelsea, a move that was inaugurated by a major Artschwager exhibition. The same year, the gallery had its first shows with Sandra Vásquez de la Horra and Alexander Ross.

In the past five years, the gallery has continued to build on its reputation of showing leading international artists working in the medium of drawing, adding Neil Gall, Jorinde Voigt, Julia Fish and most recently, Wardell Milan, while continuing a focus on conceptually-oriented practices of those such as David Hartt and Gavin Turk.

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Video Subscription

$5/month (recurring)
Great for supporters outside of Chicago!

You get:

Access to the Video Library as it is built

Live Subscription

$20/month (recurring)

You get:

Discounted, pre-paid admission to EVERY OPTION SHOW
Preferred Seating
Access to the Video Library
Occasional Artist Meet-&-Greets

Already, there are hours of performances and discussions by William Parker, Chris Corsano, Dave Bryant, Jaimie Branch, and more available to watch on YouTube.


Donate Another Amount

Or, if you'd prefer, make a one-time donation to OPTION in the amount of your choice here:


For access to the growing archive of full-length OPTION performance and interview videos 2015-present, become a Video Subscriber above.

April 30, 2018: Pianist Michael Coleman and clarinetist Ben Goldberg present "Practitioner" A Realization of Steve Lacy's "Hocus Pocus."

Sponsored by Galerie Gisela Capitain.

April 9, 2018: Danish-American saxophonist, vocalist, and composer Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen in duo with Chicago's own Kent Kessler.

Sponsored by Galerie Gisela Capitain.

March 19, 2018: Pianist and composer Kris Davis performed solo on the OPTION stage.

Sponsored by Corbett vs. Dempsey.

April 23, 2018: Excerpt of violinist, pianist and vocalist Macie Stewart performing with Julian Kirshner on percussion.

Sponsored by Galerie Gisela Capitain.

April 2, 2018: Saxophonist Gerrit Hatcher and bassist Anton Hatwich perform solo and duo on the OPTION stage.

Sponsored by Galerie Gisela Capitain.

March 12, 2018: New York-based saxophonist and composer Ingrid Laubrock performing a solo set.

Sponsored by Corbett vs. Dempsey.

April 16, 2018: Saxophonist and composer Aram Shelton in a duo performance with Norwegian drummer Håkon Berre.

Sponsored by Galerie Gisela Capitain.

March 26, 2018: Detroit based composer and performer Molly Jones makes her OPTION debut.

Sponsored by Corbett vs. Dempsey.

March 5, 2018: Chicago based drummer Phillip Sudderberg kicks off the 2018 OPTION season with a solo set followed by an improvised trio with Jason Stein on bass clarinet and Charlie Kirchen on bass.

Sponsored by Corbett vs. Dempsey.

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Keep Your Options Open II Mixtape CD
Add to Cart

In celebration of the 2018 OPTION season, ESS has released a special, limited edition mixtape CD that highlights some of the best improvisers working today from around the world. This compilation showcases the breadth and diversity of improvised and creative music with rising starts like Lea Bertucci, Katinka Kleijn, Ben LaMar Gay, Matchess, The Few and Charmaine Lee as well as veterans of free jazz (Mats Gustafsson, Antonio Borghini, Tim Daisy, Jeremiah Cymerman, Curt Newton, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten). These live sets from the 2017 OPTION season were beautifully mixed and mastered by our head engineer, Alex Inglizian. By purchasing a mixtape, you are supporting Experimental Sound Studio,  the OPTION programming, and keeping creative music alive and thriving in Chicago.

Featuring: Lea Bertucci, Matchess, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Curt Newton, Ben LaMar Gay, Charmaine Lee, The Few, Jeremiah Cymerman, Katinka Kleijn, Mats Gustafsson, Antonio Borghini, Tim Daisy

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About the programmers

Andrew Clinkman (guitarist, improviser and composer, active member of the creative music communities in both Chicago and Boston)

Tim Daisy (percussionist, improviser, composer and teacher, active participant on the international music scene since the late 1990s)

Ken Vandermark (multi-instrumentalist, improviser and composer, MacArthur Fellow, organizer of weekly concerts in Chicago at a diverse range of venues for 15 years starting in the early 1990s)


Support for Option is generously provided by: