Magma in Chicago, March 25, 2016

Went to see Magma last night.  If you include tonight’s second show, Magma has played four times in this city since 1999. The set list consisted of Theusz Hamtaahk, Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh, and Kobaïa, totaling close to two hours of music.

Theusz Hamtaahk is a difficult piece to pull off live, even from Magma’s repertoire of challenging pieces. The speed of the driving beat through most of the song created a dense wall of sound. Mëkanïk was the crowd-pleaser, as usual, and Magma gave us an extended version (with a Christian Vander vocal interlude) that came in just under an hour. Kobaïa was an encore of sorts, the only track with English lyrics, and a raw prog-rock / free-improv mix.

We’ll see what tonight brings.  Enjoy the pictures.

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Chicago Scene: March 26 – April 1, 2016

Fred Lonberg-Holm in 2002

This is a weekly overview live avant performances in the Chicago area.  Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Saturday, March 26th 2016

7:00PM at the Rhythm Room, 1715 Maple Ave, Evanston IL, 847.491.9723 (Free)
Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound Trio

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$15)
Ran Blake

Sunday, March 27th 2016

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$15)
The Necks : Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck, Lloyd Swanton

9:30PM at the California Clipper, 1002 N California, 773.384.2547
Bill MacKay, Ryley Walker, with guest Michael Zerang

Monday, March 28th 2016

7:30PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069 ($10)
Fred Lonberg-Holm

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Joe Adamik

Wednesday, March 30th 2016

10:30PM at Honky Tonk BBQ, 1213 W 18th, 312.907.7895
Jim Baker with Avreeayl Ra, Jason Roebke

Thursday, March 31st 2016

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western (Free)
3rd Anniversary : The Wrecking Ball and Gala
Occidental Brothers with special guests

Friday, April 1st 2016

7:00PM at the Rhythm Room, 1715 Maple Ave, Evanston IL, 847.491.9723 (Free)
Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound Trio

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
Larry Gray Trio with Ed Wilkerson, Avreeayl Ra

For more information, such as directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:,,,,,,,,,,,,

Classical Music Listings From The New York Times

English: Karlheinz Stockhausen October 1994 in...

Source: The New York Times.

‘Klang’ (Friday and Saturday) It’s going to take an entire day and all three of the Metropolitan Museum’s buildings to perform Karlheinz Stockhausen’s visionary acoustic and electronic work titled “Klang” (“sound” in German). The composer had hoped to write an enveloping piece in 24 parts, one for each hour of the day. But he died in 2007 having finished only 21. For this American premiere, the Met presents the various pieces over two days, with repetitions, at the main museum on Fifth Avenue, the Cloisters in Washington Heights and the new Met Breuer Building on Madison Avenue. (Check the website for specific times and locations.) Friday at 5 p.m. through Saturday at 8:30 p.m.; 212-535-7710, (Anthony Tommasini)

Roomful of Teeth (Thursday and next Friday) This trailblazing vocal ensemble brings its distinctive blend of vocal traditions from around the world and fresh contemporary art music to an elegant fin-de-siècle interior with a program that includes Elliot Cole’s “Hanuman’s Leap,” based on an old Indian epic. At 7:30 p.m., Board of Officers Room, Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue, at 67th Street, 212-933-5812, (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

John Corbett’s Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation Reviewed

Source: Chicago Reader.

Last fall I wrote about Microgroove, the first book from gallerist and occasional Reader contributor John Corbett in 21 years. Now, just six months later, he’s back with another new book, though it’s much smaller, both in page count and in it physical dimensions. A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation (University of Chicago Press) is designed and organized like a beginner’s field guide, and at a mere four inches across, the 172-page volume can easily fit into the back pocket of your jeans. On the back cover there’s a blurb from Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche that says, “I wish I had this book twenty-five years ago!”

Newsbits: Iyer and Smith / Magma in LA / New Mats Gustafsson / Mabel Kwan / Michael Formanek

The new release from Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith has been garnering reviews, and some are here, here, and here.

Magma in Los Angeles is reviewed.

Utech Records has released a new EP from Mats Gustafsson.

Mabel Kwan’s reworking of the clavichord is profiled.

Michael Formanek‘s Ensemble Colossus in New York is reviewed.

Dal Niente: Party 2016 in Chicago

Source: Ensemble Dal Niente.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
5:00pm 10:00pm
Dal Niente Studio & 3rd Floor Commons
4045 North Rockwell Street Chicago, IL, 60618 United States

Ensemble Dal Niente is throwing a 10th Anniversary Season party celebrating its history amongst the Chicago arts community and the release of a new album! With the collaboration of Chicago’s Parlour Tapes+, Party 2016 will stretch the ensemble to new artistic limits, through the North American premiere of Stefan Prins’ Generation Kill, a multimedia masterwork that critiques a society where digital devices, civilian surveillance, and modern warfare threaten human interconnectivity. Dal Niente’s longstanding history of groundbreaking collaborations will be on display with the Chicago premiere of Greg Saunier’s Deerhoof Chamber Variations. Saunier, drummer of the celebrated indie-noise band Deerhoof, worked with Dal Niente and composer Marcos Balter on a new CD which will be available that evening. Additional highlights include a world premiere for instrumental and electronic performers by Natacha Diels, and a world premiere for ensemble by Dal Niente’s founding Executive Director and composer Kirsten Broberg. Rounding out the program will be works representing the European avant-garde, meditations on the overtone series, performance art exhibitions, and more. Enjoy an evening of celebration with music, conversation, food, and drink as we toast Dal Niente’s extraordinary body of work!


6pm onward
Stefan Prins: Generation Kill (2012) for percussion, electric guitar, violin, 4 game controllers, live-electronics, and live-video (North American Premiere)
Greg Saunier: Deerhoof Chamber Variations (2013) for 2 sopranos, saxophone, horn, harp, piano, violin, cello, and bass (Chicago Premiere)
Natacha Diels: Elpis (2016) for 2 sopranos, clarinet, saxophone, horn, percussion, piano, cello, 3 assistants, and electronics (World Premiere)
Kirsten Broberg: New Work (2016) for soprano, flute, horn, harp, cello, and bass (World Premiere)
James Tenney: Critical Band (1988) for variable instrumentation
Katherine Young: like a halo (2014, rev. 2015) for soprano, saxophone, horn, harp, piano, and violin (Chicago Premiere)
Georges Aperghis: La Nuit en Tete (2000) for soprano, flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, and cello
Parlour Tapes+: New Work (2016) for four performers (World Premiere)
Louis Andriessen: Hout (1991) for tenor saxophone, marimba, guitar, and piano
Magnus Lindberg: Linea d’Ombra (1981) for flute, clarinet, guitar, and percussion
Jessie Marino: Witford Rimley and his Robotic Dog Seize Burger King in a Bloodless Coup (2013) for 2 performers and 2 transducers
Marcos Balter: Pois que nada que dure, ou que durando… (2013) for soprano and guitar
David Felder: Rare Air (2008) for bass clarinet, piano, and electronics