Chicago’s Ear Taxi Festival Reviewed

Source: Chicago Tribune.

Through panels and a jovially incisive keynote by composer George Lewis, this Ear Taxi also probingly interrogated the meaning of “new music.” To the lay reader, that might seem like an anodyne catch-all; in the circles Ear Taxi looped together, however, it’s become a euphemism for contemporary classical repertoire. These questions aren’t novel, but they’re particularly fraught in a city like Chicago, which, despite being a crucible of American experimentalism through the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), hosts an avant-garde music scene that often reflects rather than transcends the city’s racial segregation. Nor is diagnosing an inequity the same as leveling it: Despite much endeavoring to the contrary, the “contemporary classical” circle in Ear Taxi’s Venn diagram still dwarfed all others.