Gray Sound Sessions

A weekly music-and-sound streaming series featuring virtual concerts, happenings, experiments, a playing-around with form and platform during quarantine. 

**scroll down for archived videos of past performances**

April, 2020: Like you, we at the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry find ourselves working to navigate this difficult, surreal, and wholly unfamiliar new context. We too are thinking about what we can do to make our shared experience not just more tolerable, but actually more shareable, more common, more real. As the experience of community is being tested, sound attains new force as a medium, and art. It exists at the juncture of location and dislocation. It requires bodies, but at the same time can never really be placed, only sourced. It is enveloping, a kind of shared fabric, and at the same time internalizing and intimate, a vibrating core. It is the livest, most electric form of enjoying space together, of being physically collectively there. And it is also an ideal path to the most private and immersive fantasies.

Life under quarantine does not change these qualities, but intensifies them almost to the point of paradox. The audible is now a primary mode of being near and far, opened up and enclosed, at the same time. Likewise, listening is becoming at once a way of grasping our predicament and overcoming it—being somewhere, everywhere, and anywhere while we each struggle with the strange nowhere of this time.

In response, the Gray Center has launched Gray Sound Sessions, a free, streaming weekly music-and-sound series featuring concerts but also happenings and experiments with form and platform. The series showcases searching performances from some of our favorite musicians and sound-makers including Opera Povera, Seth Parker Woods, a•pe•ri•od•ic, Viola Yip and Nicola Hein, and many more. In each case, we ask these artists not only to present work of their choice, but also—often through the performance itself—to reflect on the peculiar place of music and sound in this moment, and on the special power of those who labor them into being.

Gray Sound Sessions will take place on Tuesday evenings at 8pm Central Daylight Time on the Gray Center’s Gray Sound Sessions page and the Gray Center's Facebook page. All events are sponsored by the Gray Center and free and open to the public, but we ask listener-watchers to consider making their own donations to the featured performers. The series is the initiative of Seth Brodsky (Gray Center Director), Zachary Cahill (Gray Center Director of Programs and Projects), and Seth Parker Woods (Artist-in-Residence at the University of Chicago). Others will surely be brought into the mix. We look forward to tuning in with you, near and far!

Gray Sound Sessions Archive
Gray Sound Sessions Volume 1: Opera Povera
Gray Sound Sessions Volume 2: Seth Parker Woods
Gray Sound Sessions Volume 3: Daniel Wyche
Gray Sound Sessions Volume 4, Part 1: Viola Yip and Nicola L. Hein
Gray Sound Sessions Volume 4, Part 2: Cooper Crain and Haley Fohr
Gray Sound Sessions Volume 5, Part 1: Jenna Lyle
Gray Sound Sessions Volume 5, Part 2: Seth Kim-Cohen presents
Gray Sound Sessions Volume 6, Part 1: Angélica Negron (postponed to July 21 - original date June 9)
Gray Sound Sessions Volume 6, Part 2: Theaster Gates with special guests (postponed to July 31 - original date June 9)
Gray Sound Sessions Volume 7, Part 1: Nomi Epstein
Gray Sound Sessions Volume 7, Part 2: Pamela Z

Image Credit: Sean Griffin, "Full Pink Moon: Dramaturgical sketch for Act 1—Wax”