In their nearly 15 years as a band, San Francisco’s Grayceon have reimagined the traditional shapes of metal with challenging song structures, thought-provoking lyrics, and a sound that often feels orchestral despite being largely produced by a trio of cello, guitar, and drums. On their fifth album, Mothers Weavers Vultures, the group make a plea […]
With almost identical moonlit cover images and similarly intimate recordings of her cello, voice, and electronics, Judith Hammann’s two new albums are a matched set. Both releases present dialogues between the peripatetic Australian-born musician’s main instrument and her body. On the LP Shaking Studies, whose program she performed in Chicago two years ago, she activates […]
German reeds player Peter Brötzmann turned 79 in March, so it would be developmentally appropriate for him to take a look back. But memories are a mixed blessing for a devoted practitioner of improvised music. While they can build up a shared understanding between partners, making it easier for them to come up with something […]
When you want to put together an improvising ensemble whose interactions will be unpredictable as well as satisfying, it helps to recruit someone who has your back and someone else who isn’t afraid to push the music somewhere you didn’t think it would go. For one night in December 2018, Chicago alto, tenor, and baritone […]
California-born Chicagoan cellist Alison Chesley, aka Helen Money, studied at Northwestern, played in 90s indie-rock band Verbow, and often collaborates with the likes of Sanford Parker, Bruce Lamont, and Russian Circles. As a solo artist she’s cut her own road through the hills of heavy music, drone, and avant-garde. Her brand-new album, Atomic (Thrill Jockey), […]
Though her work is often characterized as minimalist, composer Éliane Radigue is a category unto herself. During the 1950s and ’60s, the Paris resident worked as an assistant to the originators of musique concrète, Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry. But the music she composed after leaving their orbit employed long tones obtained from microphone feedback, […]
Cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir performs with orchestras and smaller ensembles all around the globe and teaches at the University of Washington in Seattle. But Vernacular, her new CD on Sono Luminus, affirms her Icelandic roots even as it acknowledges her geographic distance from her native land. Thorsteinsdóttir has lived outside Iceland most of her life, and […]
Phil Minton—one of world’s greatest vocal improvisers—performs with duo partner Audrey Chen for the first time in Chicago.
Current musical obsessions of Cave’s Cooper Crain and Scott McGaughey of Chandeliers
Earl Sweatshirt’s humane, heartbreaking Doris and 14 more record reviews
A piercing, visceral improvisation from the South Korean cellist.
Reviews of 16 fresh releases from all over the map: Wire, Aosoth, Julia Kent, DJ Koze, Pedrito Martinez, Sax G, and lots more
The CSO’s Katinka Kleijn premieres a duet for cello and brain waves
Cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm adds digital downloads to his low-key entrepreneurial portfolio.