Lampo’s Fall Schedule: Murphy / Rowe / Lee & Behrman / Yeh

Lampo supporters
Lampo supporters (Photo credit: cattoo)

From Chicago’s Lampo, a really hot set of shows for this Fall.

P.O. Box 4615
Chicago, IL 60680


THU SEPT 27 6pm
Conversations at the Edge
The Gene Siskel Film Center
164 North State Street

Mixing raw footage with sophisticated 3D graphics, Portland-based Brenna Murphy creates videos, soundscapes and computer-simulated environments in an ongoing study of psychedelia across physical and virtual realities. In her Chicago debut, she presents a collection of videos “structured to function as a temporal mandala” and a live performance entitled “SkyFace~TextureMappr.” Built specifically for Lampo and Conversations at the Edge, Murphy’s performance explores a brand new virtual space, accompanied by her voice and sound from a homemade analog synthesizer.

Brenna Murphy (b. 1986, Edmonds, Wash.) knits together video, interactive games, sound, performance, installation, and a complex network of web pages, in what she describes as something like a digital labyrinth. Her work has been featured at Arratia, Beer (Berlin), Philadelphia Art Museum (Philadelphia), Bitforms Gallery (New York) and Green Gallery at MDW Fair in Chicago. Solo exhibitions in 2012 include Future Gallery (Berlin) and Gloria Maria Gallery (Milan). Murphy also creates sculptural analog synthesizers, interactive sound installations and ritualistic performances with art collectives MSHR (see interview by Maurizio Cattelan) and Oregon Painting Society, with whom she performed at the Tate Modern in 2010. Additional work includes videos for musicians Pete Swanson, Matt Carlson, Tomutonttu and others. Recently she was named a 2012 Rhizome Commission grantee for her project, “Expanding Labyrinth.” Murphy lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

Presented in partnership with Conversations at the Edge (CATE).

SAT OCT 13 8pm
The Renaissance Society
5811 South Ellis Avenue, Cobb Hall 418
Admission FREE; No RSVP required.

Solo Rowe! The famed British improviser performs “City Music,” written for him in 1988 by Chicago composer Frank Abbinanti. The piece, which is scored in two sections: “known” and “unknown,” prompts Rowe to reflect on familiar and unfamiliar cities and instrumental techniques. By coincidence (or not?), his decision to perform the work here is apt, beyond the local connection to Abbinanti. It’s been seven years since Keith last visited Chicago. We’re thrilled to right that wrong and hope he considers our city “known” forevermore.

Keith Rowe (b. 1940, Plymouth, England) is a free improvisation tabletop guitarist and painter. In the mid 1960s, after years of playing jazz, he began to develop his own idiosyncratic techniques, setting the instrument flat on a table and preparing it with various tools: transistor radio, contact microphones, pedals, bows, springs, electronic fans and various metal scraps. Deeply affected by artists Rothko and Pollock and the music of John Cage, he is co-founder (and former member) of the groundbreaking collective AMM, and current all-star in MIMEO, the 12-piece Music in Movement Electronic Orchestra. His legendary work has influenced a rising generation of electroacoustic improvisers. He lives in Nantes.

Keith Rowe appeared at Lampo in October 2005, when he performed solo work from his “Room” series, and in April 2001 with AMM, in three days of concerts.

Presented in partnership with the Renaissance Society.

SAT OCT 27 8pm
Graham Foundation
Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Admission FREE; RSVP info soon.

Okkyung Lee and David Berhman share this special concert, an evening featuring solo work and collaborations. Gush or fawn, you decide.

Tonight Okkyung performs an extended cello improvisation, and David offers his “View Finder” (guitar and electronics) and “Freeze Dip” (violin and electronics). And together they present “Open Space with Cello / Open Space with Guitar,” pieces related to Behrman’s “Open Space with Brass” music commissioned for the final performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Armory in New York in December 2011. The music, which Lee premiered with the TILT brass ensemble, mixes and alternates the sounds of one or several acoustic instruments with computer-enhanced and computer-generated ones, in an unfolding sequence of situations, some very free, some lightly-notated.

Several elements in these pieces go back 40 years, when the work Behrman and his friends were doing consisted sometimes of building homemade analog and hybrid analog / digital synthesizers and of playing them in live performances. The homemade equipment of those days had characteristics resulting from odd limitations and Behrman has made an effort to preserve some of them.

Okkyung Lee (b. 1975) is a composer and cellist whose music fuses her classical training with improvisation, jazz, traditional Korean music, and noise. Lee was born and raised in Daejeon, South Korea, and attended arts schools in Seoul. In 1993 she moved to Boston, where she studied at Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music. Since relocating to New York City in 2000, Lee has been very active in the downtown music scene, performing and recording with artists such as Laurie Anderson, Derek Bailey, Nels Cline, Shelley Hirsch, Eyvind Kang, Christian Marclay, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Jim O’Rourke, Zeena Parkins, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, C. Spencer Yeh, and John Zorn.

David Behrman (b. 1937, Salzburg, Austria) has been active as a composer and artist since the 1960s and has created many works for performance as well as sound installations. Most of his music has involved homemade electronics and computer-controlled music systems that operate interactively with collaborating performers.

In 1966 he founded the Sonic Arts Union with Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma. Working at Columbia Records in the late 60s, he produced the “Music of Our Time” series of new music recordings, which presented works by Cage, Oliveros, Lucier, Reich, Riley, Pousseur and other influential composers. He has had a long association with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as composer and performer and has created music for several of the Company’s repertory pieces. He received a D.A.A.D. fellowship in 1988-89 and an Individuals Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in 1994. Behrman lives in New York.

David Behrman performed at Lampo in November 2006 with Mark Trayle, and in September 2003 with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm. In the ’03 concert, which was his first Chicago appearance in more than 30 years, he presented “Homemade Synthesizer Music with Sliding Pitches” and a new version of “QS/RL” made for Lonberg-Holm.

Presented in partnership with the Graham Foundation; organized in cooperation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Sound.

Note: Lee and Behrman will offer a free public workshop on October 26, and lead a discussion following the October 27 performance. Details to come. Funded in part through New Music USA’s MetLife Creative Connections program.

SAT NOV 10 8pm
Graham Foundation
Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Admission FREE; RSVP info soon.

We are very pleased to welcome C. Spencer Yeh back to Chicago — for what is sure to be epic and in fact experimental, as he works out some fresh ideas. The Brooklyn-based artist performs live with new video work created for Lampo, and with other recent videos, “Baby Birds,” “Eclipse,” “Scrub Study,” and a single-channel composite of a previous multi-channel installation, “IMVIS,” comprised of randomly-playing clips of extended vocals, essentially simulating an infinitely-intoning vocal trio.

About his approach-in-progress, he writes, “The main meat of what I’m presenting is basically live performances with video acting as not just a supplement, but as a rudimentary AI-type presence in live improvisation… In generating both pre-determined as well as indeterminate gestures, the videos act as both a ‘score’ as well as a sparring partner. The audio feed is placed on level aural ground with the musician’s signal.”