Gossip Wolf always likes to hear about a new solo album from a member of Ensemble dal Niente—the long-running local contemporary-classical corps has built a spotless reputation for adventurous programming and technical excellence, and its members often pop up in far-flung musical contexts around town. Among the most prolific is multi-instrumentalist Emma Hospelhorn, who has […]
I still can’t do anything but guess about the long-term significance of last month’s news that Bandcamp has been acquired by Epic Games. Or maybe I should say “worry,” not “guess.” I cherish Bandcamp because it caters to artists who have little to no interest in the mainstream music business, and I don’t want that […]
Ensemble dal Niente’s Object/Animal follows closely on the heels of the local contemporary classical group’s November release, Confined. Speak., a retrospective of pieces performed sans live audiences in 2020 and 2021. Object/Animal is likewise chronologically narrow: dal Niente premiered all the works on the album in 2017. Aesthetically, however, the three featured compositions are as […]
Friday, March 4, is the 20th installment of what’s become known as Bandcamp Friday, when Bandcamp passes along its usual share of revenue to the independent artists and labels selling music through the site. But that occasion was overshadowed somewhat this morning, when Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond announced that the company is “joining” Epic Games. […]
After a COVID gap year, the Frequency Festival returns on February 22. The six-day event is an outgrowth of the Frequency Series, which is programmed by former Chicago Reader staff music critic Peter Margasak and hosted by Constellation. Founded in 2013, shortly after drummer and promoter Mike Reed opened the north-side venue, the series presents […]
Late last month, local contemporary classical composer and pop musician Elenna Sindler dropped a new collaborative digital EP, Lullaby Baby, with Hasco Duo (aka soprano Amanda DeBoer Bartlett and guitarist Jesse Langen, both of Ensemble dal Niente). Sindler, who sings the lead vocal parts on the EP, describes it as reflecting “different fears and anxieties […]
The 15th Hyde Park Jazz Festival, which took place last Saturday and Sunday, may have been the best ever. That’s a tall statement, given how many great ones there have been—but it’s less about ranking favorites and more about how good it felt to see such a beloved event getting back to its old self. […]
Ensemble dal Niente commissions and selects new music that earns the designation “new” not just because it’s freshly composed; it also challenges both players and audiences to experience performance in new ways. This program, jointly presented by Ear Taxi and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, draws on the resources of Chicago in two ways. First, […]
Update: This show has been canceled to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase. Ensemble dal Niente commissions and selects new music that justifies the word “new” not just because it’s recently composed; it also challenges players and audience alike to experience performances in new ways. The ensemble’s […]
When former Reader staff writer Peter Margasak began programming the Frequency Series in 2013, he envisioned concerts that would expose audiences of different avant-garde musical disciplines to artists from other genres that they had not heard before but might well appreciate. Margasak left the Reader and Chicago in order to move to Rome in 2018, […]
Third Coast Percussion are already one of the best ensembles of their kind in the country—and their upcoming projects with Philip Glass and Devonté Hynes could make them the biggest.
Current musical obsessions of Ensemble dal Niente pianist Mabel Kwan, Kelley Sheehan of Cacophony magazine, and Reader critic Peter Margasak
George Lewis initially made his mark as one of the greatest trombonists in the history of jazz, but as he gravitated toward more compositional work, his use of improvisation grew more abstract and elemental. Now, he brings improvisation to the act of living itself, a notion he’s long espoused in his writings and talks. The […]
The concert series booked by the Reader‘s Peter Margasak throws its second annual six-day festival of boundary-erasing music.
Musicians are especially vulnerable to a repeal of Obamacare, and these Chicagoans went on the record to say how.