Gray Sound

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
SIDEBAR: Music/Language/Thought/Noise
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 Circle 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