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Chicago joins seven other cities on two continents to host the Catalytic Sound Festival

Avant-garde jazz musicians have been uniting to better control their opportunities to perform, record, and engage with their communities at least since the 1960s, when the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) first convened in Chicago and the shorter-lived Jazz Composers Guild (which included Carla Bley, Sun Ra, Bill Dixon, and Archie Shepp) […]

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Catherine Lamb and Rebecca Lane explore liminal musical experiences with precision

A secondary rainbow is a faint visual echo that appears outside a rainbow when light bends twice while passing through raindrops. Composer, violist, and occasional vocalist Catherine Lamb uses careful calculation and subtle dynamics to evoke correspondingly liminal sonic experiences. Born in Olympia, Washington, and based in Berlin, she’s developed a musical approach that combines […]

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Drone Activity Chicago drowns out the noise of the city with an all-encompassing barrage of sound

Passing sirens, squealing brakes, fireworks, the metal-on-metal grind of el trains, the incongruously chirpy commercials preceding your streaming videos, and every damn noise coming out of everyone else’s phone on the bus. For people everywhere—but especially for those of us living in the city—unwelcome sounds assail us like a thousand irritating cuts. Drone Activity Chicago, […]

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Julia Holter joins forces with the Chicago sound artist Olivia Block for a new work exploring sounds of nature

Last year LA singer and composer Julia Holter underlined her stunning development as an art-pop auteur, matching her ethereal melodic sensibility with small-scale orchestrations on her live-in-the-studio album In the Same Room (Domino). The collection featured deft reinventions of songs from her previous two recordings, with new arrangements that completely refresh some of the material. […]