Founded in 2019 by Gray Center Director and UChicago Associate Professor of Music and the Humanities, Seth Brodsky, Gray Sound is a new performance series focusing on experimental music and sound.
The Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry is thrilled to kick off the inaugural week of Gray Sound with Peter Ablinger’s first visit to Chicago. For decades, Ablinger’s work has been forcing open fault lines in the topography of the audible. His vast output of scores, electronic pieces, installations, and conceptual works consistently finds ways—funny, pointed, disturbing—to put the ear’s organization of reality in doubt. Is that a voice, and what is a voice? When is something newly or no longer music? Noise? Information? In Ablinger’s cunning scramble of sonic categories, listening loses its lay of the land. Concepts come unmoored from sounds, and the land changes shape.
In partnership with Goethe-Institut Chicago, Gray Sound will host a nine-day residency from Sunday, January 19 — Monday, January 27, 2020. The residency will thread 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. Running throughout the week at the Gray Center Lab will be the world premiere of MUSIC’S OVER, one of the most ambitious of Ablinger’s Quadraturen (“Squarings”) series: a computer-controlled piano performs a clangorous, spectrally derived “phonorealist” transcription of a raucous live Doors performance from 1970. Come by the Lab, press the red button on the piano, and prepare to lose and refind your way.
Performances by Fonema Consort, Wet Ink Ensemble, and a•pe•ri•od•ic, featuring two world premieres by Ablinger as well as works by Chiyoko Szlavnics, Fernanda Aoki Navarro, Sam Pluta, and others. Brief schedule below - please see event listings for complete details:
MUSIC’S OVER: Listening with Peter Ablinger | Sunday, January 19–Monday January 27, 2020
Presenters: Richard & Mary L. Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry, Goethe-Institut Chicago, Logan Center for the Arts
Tuesday, January 21 – Saturday, January 25, 10am–5pm daily
INSTALLATION: Premiere of MUSIC’S OVER for computer-controlled piano, running all week
Location: Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, University of Chicago, 929 E 60th St | Free admission
Sunday, January 19, 8:30pm
PERFORMANCE: Wet Ink Ensemble performs Peter Ablinger and Sam Pluta
Location: Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave | $15 general / $10 for students
Tuesday, January 21, 5pm
SEMINAR: Peter Ablinger leads the University of Chicago Composition Seminar (open to public)
Location: Performance Penthouse, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, 915 E 60th St | Free admission
Wednesday, January 22, 6:00pm
Peter Ablinger and Winfried Ritsch in conversation with UChicago professors Alan C.L. Yu & Itamar Francez (Linguistics) and Jennifer Iverson (Music). Moderated by Gray Center Director Seth Brodsky (Music).
Location: Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, 929 E 60th St | Free admission
Thursday, January 23, 5:00pm
SEMINAR: Peter Ablinger leads the Northwestern University Composition Seminar
Location: Regenstein Hall of Music, Master Classroom, 60 Arts Cirle Dr, Evanston | Free admission, open to the public
Thursday, January 23, 8:00pm
PERFORMANCE: Eric Wubbels (piano) performs Peter Ablinger’s Voices and Piano (includes world premiere)
Location: Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood Ave | $10 general admission, $8 students/ members
Friday, January 24, 8:00pm
PERFORMANCE: Fonema Consort performs Peter Ablinger (includes world premiere), Chiyoko Slavnics, and Fernanda Aoki Navarro
Location: Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Performance Penthouse, University of Chicago, 915 E 60th St | Free admission
Saturday, January 25, 7:30pm
PERFORMANCE: a•pe•ri•od•ic performs Peter Ablinger’s 3 Orte/3 Places Chicago
Location: Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, 929 E 60th St
(the concert will begin here and then move to two other locations within the Logan Center) | Free admission
Monday, January 27, 4pm
ARTIST TALK: Peter Ablinger, “Complementary Art”
Location: Columbia College, 623 S Wabash Ave, Room 109 (Hokin Lecture Hall) | Free admission
Wet Ink Ensemble performs two works by Peter Ablinger—IEAOV "8 Vitrines, Pigment Dust" for percussion and 4-channel electronics, featuring percussionist Ian Antonio, and Black Series, a collection of rigorously organized open-instrumentation works scored "for Rock Band" which must be performed from memory—alongside a world premiere by Sam Pluta written for a sextet of Wet Ink...
Tuesday, January 21 – Saturday, January 25, daily 10am-5pm
Running throughout the week at the Gray Center Lab will be the world premiere of MUSIC’S OVER, one of the most ambitious of Ablinger’s Quadraturen (“Squarings”) series: a computer-controlled piano performs a clangorous, spectrally derived “phonorealist” transcription of a raucous live Doors performance from 1970. Come by and press the red button on the piano, and prepare to lose and refind your way...
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...
Eric Wubbels will perform selections from Peter Ablinger's ground-breaking "Voices and Piano" series, with the composer at the mixing desk. The highlight of the evening is the world premiere performance of one of the newest additions to the series, a work using the voice of French radical intellectual and artist Georges Bataille...
Composer Peter Ablinger and Chicago-based new music group Fonema Consort will delve together into an array of meanings of the human voice that preoccupy both parties—a clash of artistic worlds having in common the challenge of performative and perceptual notions in music. The septagenarian composer—one whose creative output intersects the modernist and conceptual, performative and technological—will create a new piece for the ensemble, drawing from previous reflections on the meaning of song...
a•pe•ri•od•ic presents 3 Places Chicago, an hour-length work from the ever-evolving Places series by Peter Ablinger. This site specific piece explores the acoustic characteristics of three unique spaces. Prior to the concert, each space is acoustically “measured” in order for the composer to identify the space’s prominent frequencies so that he may prepare scores specific to those rooms. With each performance, a new score is made and titled with its location...
“From the different modes of operation of art I prefer the one of setting a frame—not to fill it, but only to set it, as a suggestion, as an invitation to perception. Within the frame, something appears that is not art itself, but is made visible by it. The simplest example of this is the rectangle I shape with my fingers to enclose a frame...