Comfort Society is excited to welcome Andy Slater and Aquil Charlton to talk about their work. Slater and Charlton are currently part of the High Concept Labs Sponsored Artist Program, which is a highly selective 4-month residency available to artists from a wide range of disciplines.
Andy Slater is a legally blind musician, audio engineer, author, and disabilities advocate. He describes his sonic work as “art made because of his disability”. Due to his visual impairment, his ears function as navigation, safety, and problem solving tools. Because of this, he listens with great detail and focus making it hard not to listen critically.
Andy began composing experimental music as a teen in the early 90s. He moved to Chicago in 1994 to attend classes in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Sound Department. After a decade away from school he returned in 2010 to complete his education. He graduated from SAIC in 2013 with a BFA focusing in sound composition and music history.
Andy has a large catalog of recorded music dating back 30 years that includes robotic synthesizer music, art-metal, acid-rock, musique-concrete, as well as scoring and sound design for film. He currently heads the experimental funk septet, the Velcro Lewis Group. Andy is an engineer at Chicago’s Frogg Mountain Recording studio where he obsesses over making every sound he hears perfect. It’s the curse of the overactive ear.
Andy has exhibited and performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, Sonophilia Sound Festival (Lincoln, UK), National Employment Lawyers of America conference, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Elastic Arts, Defibrillator, Comfort Station, Enemy, Buddy, Dogmatic, Workman, Bodies of Work, Quimby’s Bookstore, the Empty Bottle, and Hideout. He has been featured in the Chicago Reader, WLS ABC7, Clickhole, WFMU’s Free Music Archive, Ten By Ten, Jane magazine, High Times, Vice. He was the winner of the 2008 Miss Greenpoint Pageant pie-eating contest.
A skilled rapper, DJ, and electronic musician, Aquil Charlton (AyQue) leverages his creative agility to reach a wide range of audiences. He performs electronics with live PA quartet, The Present Elders, and has backed Open Mike Eagle on synthesizers. As a lead vocalist and songwriter with hip-hop and soul band, Animate Objects, AyQue has also opened for Lauryn Hill, Dilated Peoples, The Wailers, Mint Condition, Chingy, Kardinal Official, and others. Even offstage, Aquil maintains the respect of his peers for his continued dedication to teaching and community organizing work. He teaches deejay, music production, and songwriting through organizations like Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, After School Matters, Urban Gateways, and Chicago Public Schools. He also leads public music production and instrument making workshops using recycled materials from his self-designed “Mobile Music Box,” which he moves throughout Chicago by bicycle. Since returning from a residency and four-city tour in Russia, AyQue has written an album with producer Justin Raymond and produced a tribute to radical songwriter Eugene McDaniels which he developed during a residency at the University of Chicago in 2016. Currently, he is preparing to release these projects while raising a three-year-old genius.
Comfort Society is proudly sponsored by Intelligentsia Logan Square.