After an amazing run of shows in early 2011, Outer Ear returns for a series of seven concerts in the intimate confines of Studio A, featuring performances by renowned experimental musicians from Chicago and beyond.
Performances begin at 8pm.
$10/8 Students/ESS members
Experimental trio Haptic will perform Concentric Rings in Magnetic Levitation, composed by Michael Pisaro specifically for the group. The piece, inspired by recent hypotheses regarding the electromagnetic character of Saturn's Rings, features an 88-note piano "melody" that is fractured by a series of 13 concentric "rings"—sine tones, radio static, percussion and other elements—that cycle around this central source.
Haptic comprises Steven Hess, Joseph Clayton Mills, and Adam Sonderberg. Initially conceived as a vehicle for live collaboration, the group has evolved to include partnerships with a diverse group of musicians, composers, designers, and artists, including Olivia Block, Tony Buck, Mark Solotroff, David Daniell, Allon Kaye, and Lisa Slodki. Formed in the spring of 2005, Haptic has since performed throughout the United States, including at the Sonic Circuits festival in Washington DC, the Wire Magazine Adventures in Modern Music festival in Chicago, and as part of the University of Wisconsin's Action at a Distance series. In the fall of 2009, Haptic and video artist Lisa Slodki presented a month-long installation and series of performances at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. The group's latest recording is the forthcoming full-length Scilens (released simultaneously on CD by the UK-based label Entr'acte and on cassette by Chicago label FSS).
Michael Pisaro was born in Buffalo in 1961. He is a composer and guitarist, a member of the Wandelweiser Composers Ensemble, founder and director of the Experimental Music Workshop and the Dog Star Orchestra, and curator of the record label, Gravity Wave. He is Roy E. Disney Family Chair in Music Composition of Music Composition at the California Institute of the Arts near Los Angeles.
10.29.11: JOHN BUTCHER
& LOU MALLOZZI
Renowned English saxophone player and sound artist John Butcher will duet with ESS Director Lou Mallozzi (turntables, CD players, feedback).
Butcher will lead an Improvisation Workshop on Sunday, October 30.
John Butcher's work ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked saxophone pieces and explorations with feedback and extreme acoustics. Originally a physicist, he left academia in 1982, and has since collaborated with hundreds of musicians - including Derek Bailey, John Stevens, Gerry Hemingway, The EX, Polwechsel, Gino Robair, Rhodri Davies, John Edwards, Toshimaru Nakamura, Paul Lovens, Eddie Prevost, John Russell, John Tilbury, Christian Marclay, Phil Minton, and Steve Beresford. He is well known as a soloist, sometimes exploring unusual site-specific acoustics, and has released seven CDs of solo saxophone music. His compositions include pieces for the Austrian group Polwechsel, the Australian Elision Ensemble, the American Rova Saxophone Quartet and Penny Wands and Native String for eight reconstructed Futurist Intonarumori. Butcher values playing in occasional encounters - ranging from large groups such as Butch Morris' London Skyscraper and the EX Orkestra, to duo concerts with Otomo Yoshihide, Kevin Drumm, Fred Frith, Okkyung Lee, Duck Baker, Matthew Shipp and Akio Suzuki.
Lou Mallozzi is a sound artist who makes sound installations, performances, works for CD and broadcast, improvised music, sound design for cinema and media installations, drawings, visual installations, and other projects. He regularly collaborates with other artists and musicians – past (and present and hopefully future) collaborators have included Michael Zerang, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Hal Rammel, Gustavo Matamoros, Charlotte Hug, Michael Vorfeld, Antonia Contro, Maurizio Pellegrin, Sandra Binion, Isa Wiss, Carlos Zingaro Alves, Guillermo Gregorio, Birgit Uhler, Mark Dresser, Frances-Marie Uitti, George Lewis, 48 Nord, and many others. He has received grants and residencies to pursue his work, including four Illinois Arts Council fellowships, a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center in Italy, Artist-in-Residence positions at Harvestworks New York and Spritzenhaus Hamburg, and several faculty grants and residencies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Mallozzi is co-founder and executive director of Experimental Sound Studio www.experimentalsoundstudio.org, a nonprofit sonic arts organization in Chicago, and he is on the faculty of The Sound Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Featuring three of ESS's own, ambient keyboard quartet Dhalgren will perform improvisations and material from their forthcoming debut studio album.
Taking their name from Samuel R. Delaney's apocalyptic sci-fi classic, Sam Wagster (Fruit Bats, The Singleman Affair) and Dan Mohr (Dan Mohr Trio, DRMWPN, et. al.) formed Dhalgren in 2010 as an outlet to explore ambient improvisation. In 2011, they expanded their personnel, adding Adam Vida (Singer, US Maple) and Alex Inglizian (El is a Sound of Joy). The new four-piece's sound is rich and textured, with all four members contributing to a complex base of synth drone and processed vocals, under which a driving rhythm section occasionally appears to propel the music from dense ambience to ecstatic motorik synth rock.
11.18.11: PILLARS & TONGUES
Fresh off a fall tour with Dark Dark Dark and A Hawk and a Handsaw, Pillars & Tongues will celebrate their homecoming with an intimate performance at ESS.
Fresh off a fall tour with Dark Dark Dark and A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Pillars and Tongues will celebrate their homecoming with an intimate performance at ESS.
Once based entirely in Chicago, and now in near-constant motion, Pillars and Tongues is a formidable force, large and looming. Over the past four years, the group has released a handful of limited recordings on several American boutique labels, as well as two proper releases with San Francisco's Empty Cellar Records. Additionally, their unique style has been tapped via: prominent participation in two recent records by Joan of Arc; tours as supporting act for Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Joan of Arc, Dark Dark Dark, A Hawk and a Hacksaw; and a variety of performances with the likes of Bill Callahan, Omar Souleyman, Daniel Higgs, Red Red Meat, Sir Richard Bishop, etc.
Pillars and Tongues has performed hundreds of concerts in the past few years, touring extensively throughout the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Their most recent album, The Pass and Crossings, was released by Empty Cellar records in June of this year. Even more recently, the band self-released a free digital single that is an alternate version of the song 'Oaky (doting)' from that album. It can be downloaded via their bandcamp site.
12.2-4.11: SPIRES THAT IN THE SUNSET RISE & MICHAEL ZERANG
As recipients of one of ESS's 2011-12 Artist Residencies, Madison psych-folk duo Spires That in the Sunset Rise and acclaimed percussionist Michael Zerang will culminate the Outer Ear series with three consecutive nights of performances. Before each performance, the musicians will spend 6-8 hours at ESS to intensively explore various compositional frameworks and electronic enhancements for the 25 instruments the they plan to employ. Each concert will be professionally recorded by ESS staff; the artists will edit and mix the resulting recordings into an album to be completed in early 2012.
photos by Kerry Anne Kronke
Spires That In The Sunset Rise (Kathleen Baird and Taralie Peterson) have been performing together for the past 10 years. The four original members of the band (Kathleen Baird, Georgia Vallas, Taralie Peterson, and Tracy Peterson) grew up together in Decatur, Illinois, eventually moving to Chicago, Illinois, where they began to experiment with creating songs. Drawing from experimental music and multi-cultural music, they created a unique sound that they debuted on their first self-titled album Spires That in the Sunset Rise. The first album was created without Taralie's sister Tracy Peterson, but she soon joined the group before the making of their second album Four Winds the Walker. A year later they created their third album This Is Fire, which is considered one of their most accessible releases to date. Tracy Peterson left the band before the making of their fourth album, Curse the Traced Bird. Since their first release, they have contributed a new slant to the New Folk movement by incorporating a darker sound and extended vocal techniques into their music. Their music has drawn comparisons to The Raincoats, Current 93, Comus, and The Ex, and they have toured throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Michael Zerang was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is a first-generation American of Assyrian decent. He has been a professional musician, composer, and producer since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms. He has collaborated extensively with contemporary theater, dance, and other multidisciplinary forms and has received three Joseph Jefferson Awards for Original Music Composition in Theater, in 1996, 1998, and 2000. He has over eighty titles in his discography and has toured nationally and internationally since 1981 with and ever-widening pool of collaborators. He was the artistic director of the Link's Hall Performance Series from 1985-1989 where he produced over 300 concerts of jazz, traditional ethnic folk music, electronic music, and other forms of forward thinking music. He continued to produce concerts at Cafe Urbus Orbis from 1994-1996, and at his own space, The Candlestick Maker in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood, from 2001 - 2005. He has taught as a guest artist at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in performance technique, sound design, and sound/music as it relates to puppetry; rhythmic analysis for dancers at The Dance Center of Columbia College, Northwestern University, and MoMing Dance and Arts Center; courses in Composer - Choreographer Collaborations at Northwestern University; music to children at The Jane Adams Hull House. He has held workshops in improvisational music and percussion technique and teaches private lessons in rhythmic analysis, music composition, and percussion technique.