Our special Peter Ablinger Sidebar will revolve around a fabulous elephant in the room: a large quasi-living/ghost-in-the-machine/computer-controlled “Automatenklavier” or automaton-piano. We’ll all take a listen to Ablinger’s latest work in his third Quadraturen or “Squarings” series, an installation in collaboration with artist and instrument builder Winfried Ritsch: MUSIC’S OVER. The work is related to Ablinger’s other “speaking piano” pieces (like the famous “Letter from Schoenberg”), but is an order of magnitude larger than, given that its source material is instead a 15-minute very live Doors performance from 1970; you can hear an excerpt of the Ablinger-Ritsch here). We’ll then get into a wide-ranging, audience-involving conversation about language, music, noise, and thought with two University of Chicago linguists, phonologist Alan C.L. Yu and semanticist Itamar Francez, as well as music theorist and historian Jennifer Iverson, moderated by Gray Center director Seth Brodsky. It should be a special evening, and as always with Gray Center sidebars—it begins with free food and drink.
This event is part of MUSIC’S OVER: Listening with Peter Ablinger, a 9-day residency threading a series of talks, composition seminars, and experimental discussions in between multiple performance events featuring world premieres and internationally renowned ensembles, who will render Ablinger’s work alone and alongside other artists who enjoy his influence. The Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, in partnership with Goethe-Institut Chicago, is thrilled to kick off the inaugural week of the new Gray Sound series with Peter Ablinger’s first visit to Chicago.