Jan 25th 2020

* Part of experimental composer Peter Ablinger’s 9-day residency at the Gray Center *

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. For our performance, a•pe•ri•od•ic will use both acoustic and electronic instruments to sound the spaces. The ensemble will play the first space and then walk together with the audience to next space, play the second space, walk together to the third, and so on.

Discussing the piece, Ablinger explains that “3 places (rooms, halls) in walking distance are chosen and measured acoustically. The measurements result in one microtonal scale for each of the 3 rooms indicating their main formants, a kind of a self-portrait of these places. The performance starts at one of these places where—for example—five instruments play these formants as sustained tones in a (more or less) free order. After, say, 20 minutes, both players and audience walk together to the second place. The walk is part of the piece. Here the instrumentalists play the formants of the second place, walk altogether to the third place, play, and end.“

Free admission

Founded in 2010, a•pe•ri•od•ic‘s repertoire explores the indeterminacy of various musical elements including instrumentation, structure, pitch, and/or duration. Drawn to works of sparseness, contemplation, and quietude, this “daring group” (Chicago Reader) has a history of interpreting distinctive pieces using a collaborative rehearsal process, deriving meaning and intention from oblique prose scores with great sensitivity.

Led by Nomi Epstein, the ensemble has commissioned, premiered, and recorded works by composers such as Michael Pisaro, Eva-Maria Houben, Jürg Frey, James Saunders, and Pauline Oliveros. a•pe•ri•od•ic released its debut album, more or less, featuring the music of Jürg Frey in 2014 under New Focus Recordings. The ensemble has received funding from the Swiss Arts Council, the Earle Brown Foundation, the Goethe Institute, and the Foundation of Contemporary Arts. Members of a•pe•ri•od•ic hold graduate degrees in music performance or composition from Chicago-area universities and conservatories, and are featured in other Chicago-based groups including Ensemble Dal Niente and Outer Voices.

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. Complete schedule of events here:

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 hosts 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.

Performances by Fonema Consort, Wet Ink Ensemble, & 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.

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