Rather than look back on our 30 years in retrospect, I decided the best way to celebrate the series would be to continue doing what we have been doing: presenting a stylistically varied season comprising composers, interpreters, and improvisers, both emerging and established, local and international, each of whom has a unique approach to music making. Thomas Buckner, Producer & Director


September 27, 2018
Reidemeister Move (Robin Hayward & Christopher Williams)
Miya Masaoka: New works for Robert Black, Stephanie Griffin & more

The Berlin-based Reidemeister Move (Robin Hayward – tuba; Christopher Williams – contrabass) perform Arcanum 17: a 45-minute piece composed by Christopher Williams & Charlie Morrow, with texts from André Breton’s book of the same name, set in the 8.1-channel immersive sound environment. Hayward’s self-designed microtonal tuba, and Williams’ previous work with Charles Curtis and LaMonte Young’s legendary Theatre of Eternal Music, provide the backbone for a sound based on purely tuned intervals, noise, corporeal rhythms, and spatial resonance.

Composer Miya Masaoka‘s Four Moons of Pluto—a piece which explores deep and relational resonances—will be performed by all-star cohort of 5 contrabass players Robert Black, Shayna Dulberger, Rebekah Griffin-Greene, James Ilgenfritz, and Zach Rowden. Masaoka also presents a new piece for string quartet, with a quartet featuring Stephanie Griffin (viola), Alex Shiozaki (violin), Michael Haas (cello) and violinist TBA.


October 18, 2018
Thurman Barker & The Cagy Bird Orchestra: South Side Suite
Andrew Lamb: Circadian Spheres of Light Project

Percussionist, composer, and educator Thurman Barker presents the world premiere of South Side Suite, a long-form work for 23 musicians that illustrates the profound influence that Chicago’s musical history played in shaping the minds and lives of the members of the AACM and beyond. Featuring Lena Vidulich, Pala Garcia, Leah Asher, Marina Kifferstein, Carrie Frey, Hannah Livingston, Helen Newby, Meaghan Burke (strings); Ellen Hindson, Alice Jones, Paavo Carey, Marty Ehrlich (woodwinds); Vincent Chancey, James Zollar, Willie Applewhite, Bill Lowe (brass); Warren Smith, Malik Washington, Eli Fountain (percussion); Noah Barker (piano); James Emery(guitar); Dean Torrey (bass); Thurman Barker (drum set, conductor).

Saxophonist and composer Andrew Lamb presents his Circadian Spheres of Light Project, which uses improvisation as stimulation for those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Blending music, theater, and performance art, the group features Larry Roland,bass; Jose Luis Abreu, Warren Smith & Lloyd Haber, vibraphone, drums, & percussion; Newman Baker, washboard; Ngoma Hill, poetry & didjeridoo;Vincent Chancey, french horn; Dick Griffin, trombone; Jimmy James Greene, spontaneous visual art; Roberto Cartagena, magic; and Trashina Conner, dance.

Friday November 16, 2018
Bun Ching Lam Music for String Quartet w. Thomas Buckner
Tana Quartet: Music by Bun Ching Lam, Voro Garcia, Raphael Cendo, Edwin Hillier, & Yann Robin

Chinese/American composer Bun Ching Lam presents music for string quartet: L’air du Temps (1991); and Conversations with My Soul (2015-16), for baritone voice with quartet, featuring baritone Thomas Buckner, to a text by Lebanese-American poet and painter Etel Adnan (New York Premiere). The Paris-based Tana Quartet will also present numerous works from their recent repertoire, including Slapsticks by Spanish composer Voro GarciaSubstanceby Berlin-based French composer Raphael Cendo, Solliloques by British composer Edwin Hillier, and Shadows by French composer Yann Robin.
December 13, 2018
Music by Earl Howard and Anthony Davis featuring J.D. Parran and Mark Dresser

Composers Anthony Davis and Earl Howard reconvene a quartet built on long-standing associations to present two sets of music built on complex rhythms and modulating textures. Featuring bassist Mark Dresser, and multi-reeds virtuoso J.D. Parran, the group presents new works from both Davis and Howard, for quartet, duo, and solo, including Howard’s Curtis, for solo Kurzweill 2600 and saxophone, and Davis’ Maelstrom 1 & 2 for quartet.

March 14, 2019
Randi Pontoppidan: Solo Voice with Electronics
Joan La Barbara: Scenes from Dreams of Water Beyond One's Depth

With nothing but her voice and live electronics, Danish vocalist, composer and improviser Randi Pontoppidan creates vast sonic landscapes full of organic warmth and poetic sensibility. For this concert Randi Pontoppidan will present pieces from her new solo album, Rooms – a highly personal piece of work drawing on inspirations ranging from free jazz and electroacoustic composition to sound poetry.

The perennially influential and innovative vocalist/composer Joan La Barbarapresents new material from her ongoing opera-in-progress, Dreams of Water Beyond One’s Depth inspired by the lives and work of the iconic Virginia Woolf and enigmatic Joseph Cornell, with lyrics by the brilliant, award-winning Vietnamese-American novelist Monique Truong, and featuring an ensemble of voices, instruments, synthesizer and sonic atmosphere.

April 4, 2019
Thomas Buckner: Music By Chinary Ung, Michael Byron, Christian Dachez, Steed Cowart, & James Ilgenfritz
with Joseph Kubera, Mélanie Genin, & William Winant

Baritone Thomas Buckner is joined by pianist Joseph Kubera, percussionistWilliam Winant, and harpist Mélanie Genin, to present newly commissioned music by Cambodian/American composer Chinary Ung and Michael Byronfor voice and piano; as well as newly commissioned works by French composer Christian Dachez, for baritone, vibraphone, and harp; Steed Cowart, for baritone and percussion, and James Ilgenfritz, for baritone, piano and percussion.

May 2, 2019
Annie Gosfield: Real & Imagined Sounds For Instruments & Electronics
Edmund Campion: With Marilyn Nonken, Manuel Laufer, & Others

Annie Gosfield, dubbed “a master of musical feedback” by the New York Times, presents a world of things transformed, where acoustic sounds confront their distorted mirror images, abstractions become reality, and signals drift into outer spaces. Real becomes surreal, as warped records, Jammed radios, and vacuums sing.

Composer Edmund Campion, Director of the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at University of California Berkeley, premieres new music for hybrid saxophones, multiple pianos, virtual dancers, and percussion. The program includes Auditory Fiction III, for computer-driven percussionists with digital artist Claudia Hart's virtual dancers; Late Bloomer, featuring NYC pianists Marilyn Nonken and Manuel Laufer with live electronics; and more.

June 6, 2019
String Noise: New Works By George Lewis, Sam Yulsman, Jessie Cox, Pauline Kim Harris
Sam Ashley: I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good Love Among the Immortals

Ubiquitous violin duo String Noise (Pauline Kim Harris and Conrad Harris)presents the world premiere of Pauline Kim Harris’ Gold/Crack (with baritoneThomas Buckner). Inspired by the Korean word “Geum,” which means both “gold” and “crack,” the work is inspired by sculptor Yeesookyung’s Translated Vase: a moon jar made from discarded fragments of other Moon Jars, held together with 24k gold leaf epoxy. Also featured on the concert are Holding Pattern by Sam YulsmanThe Life of Information by Jessie Cox, and a world premiere by George Lewis – the first in his new series of works for ensembles and computer sound processing.

Sam Ashley presents two new solo works for voice & electronics that explore consciousness, myth, & the human condition: I’d Rather Be Lucky Than Good explores the tragically fated Donner Party of 1846, and how humans often start with high hopes but end up cannibalizing each other. Love Among The Immortals uses the werewolf transformation as a metaphor to convey that the opposite of heaven is not hell, rather its complacency.

Learn more about the Interpretations series  https://www.interpretations.info/