A performance tonight at the Darkroom kicks off the week-long Harold Arts Festival, a musical celebration of the various musicians—based mostly in Chicago and New York—that are involved with the local non-profit Harold Arts , an arts residency in Chesterhill, Ohio on part of a tree farm . This summer will mark the organization’s third stint at the rural spot, previously owned by Harold Jeffers–the grandfather of Joe Jeffers, one of the organization’s founders.

The July residencies run for one and two weeks, allowing musicians, visual artists, and video makers to work in collaboration within fully equipped facilities, including a recording studio. Food is prepared by a couple of cooks from the Humboldt Park restaurant Treat. According to trumpeter Jaimie Branch, another founder, participants have thus far had to pay a nominal fee to cover various costs—this summer it’s $300 for one week, $500 for two–but they’re in the process of obtaining grants so that future residencies are free. Branch say she expects the ten-member volunteer staff to be there, facilitating the residency for between 20 and 25 participants as well as collaborating with them. The event tonight also doubles as a release part for a new compilation of music recorded at the farm last summer: among the featured musicians are Frank Rosaly, Jason Ajemian, and Jacob Kart (of Crush, Kill, Destroy). The Harold Arts website includes information about the residency (all applications for this summer are due by March 30) and it has the full line-up for this week’s concerts.

Today’s playlist:

Erik M & Fennesz, Complementary Contrasts: Donaueschingen 2003 (Hatology)
Soft Machine, The Soft Machine (Water)
Gladiators, The Studio 1 Singles (Heartbeat)
Barbara Buchholz, Lydia Kavina & Kameerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Touch! Don’t Touch: Music for Theremin (Wergo)
Alicia Keys, As I Am (J)