• Carl Socolow
  • Alarm Will Sound

Today the city began announcing the lineups for its summer music programming in Millennium Park, releasing information about Loops & Variations, their series of somewhat awkwardly paired double bills of electronic music artists and contemporary classical groups. Lineups for Downtown Sound and Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz are reportedly coming later this week. The series, which runs at Pritzker Pavilion on Thursdays at 6:30 PM between May 29 and July 3, presents some of the city’s finest and most interesting new music ensembles and a motley array of touring acts, some of which sound more like indie-rock bands (Ghost Beach, Yacht) than cutting-edge electronica. In any case, there are some definite highlights.

Chicago Q Ensemble will perform with the German pianist and composer Hauschka on May 29 and Eighth Blackbird will perform a program on June 19 that includes Murder Ballads, a work by National guitarist Bryce Dessner, a musician who’s equally conversant in notated art music as rock. The season ends with the long overdue Chicago debut of New York’s ambitious Alarm Will Sound. The group will offer a typically diverse program featuring work by Aphex Twin, Steve Reich, Tyondai Braxton, and John Orfe. The schedule for the whole series is below.

May 29: Yacht, Hauschka & Chicago Q Ensemble

June 5: Arca & Jesse Kanda, Civitas Ensemble

June 12: Third Coast Percussion, Ghost Beach

June 19: Eighth Blackbird*

June 26: Oneohtrix Point Never with Nate Boyce, Spektral Quartet

July 3: Alarm Will Sound, Dream Koala

*UPDATE: I neglected to mention that the Eighth Blackbird concert on June 19 is a collaboration with New Orleans accordionist and composer Michael Ward-Bergeman.

Today’s playlist:

Zoot Sims, Down Home (Bethlehem)
Guano Padano, 2 (Ipecac)
Alexander von Schlippenbach, Friulian Sketches (psi)
Kouhei Matsunaga, Self Va (Important)
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock & Jack DeJohnette, Always Let Me Go (ECM)