April 14, John Cage’s “Variations V”


dancer with film, speaker

Choreographer Enid Smith activates sound in Variations V with radio sensors by Gregory O’Drobinak, synthesis by Eric Leonardson, Alex Inglizian, Julia Miller, film by Tatsu Aoki, and loudspeaker by Ian Schneller (Specimen Products)


April 13-15, 2012

Variations V
*Two Showings*

April 14, 7:00pm and 9:00pm
1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, room 300
$15/10 with student ID
purchase tickets at door, or online
limited ticket availability

Sound: Julia Miller, designer

James Connolly

Eric Leonardson

Christopher Preissing

Alex Inglizian, Kyle Evans, Gregory O’Drobinak

Film: Tatsu Aoki

Choreography:  Enid Smith

Dance: Melissa Schleicher-Sanchez, Jaime Juravic

Program booklet download here.

Variations V (1965), a monumental, multimedia work originally a collaborative performance between John Cage, Merce Cunningham and such notables as Robert Moog, David Tudor, James Tenney, Nam June Paik, Stan Vanderbeek, Billy Klüver, Max Mathews, and Carolyn Brown. This 45-minute piece is presented by a team of Chicago sound artists and musicians, with Cunningham dancer Enid Smith.  The evening will include two performances of the work- an early (7pm) and late (9pm) concert.

Variations V deals obliquely with sound; at its premiere, dancers moved across the stage triggering photocells or antennae, which in turn activated radios and tape playback.  Early iterations of this work further toyed with multimedia, allowing the dancer’s motions to additionally trigger lights and background film. As with many of Cage’s projects, Variations V confounds traditional conceptions of performer and curator.  The composer was present at early performances, manipulating the sounds induced by the dancers in real-time.  Cage derived the instructions guiding both physical actors and sonic consequences through chance procedures, flipping coins.  The veiled but detailed score consists of thirty-five remarks, each informing the structure and procedure of the performance including technical elements and rehearsal instructions.

Amplifiers and horn speakers generously donated by Ian Schneller/Specimen Products.

Final Performances of Plasticene’s Graphomania

Catch the final performances of Plasticene’s Graphomania at The Chopin Theatre, this week 7:30 pm Thursday, March 29, Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31. The last show for the run and for Plasticene is 3:00 pm Sunday, April 1.

Make reservations at http://graphomania.eventbrite.com/

Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss wrote, “…be sure to catch ‘Graphomania,’ the riveting hourlong final production of unique, 17-year-old company, Plasticene. Playing through April 1 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 West Division, it is a brainy, wholly mesmerizing exploration of our high-security, surveillance-ridden world, featuring superb performances by Mark Comiskey, Julia Neary, Brian Shaw and Cameron Peart…”

Chicago Theater Beat critic Lauren Whalen wrote, “Eric Leonardson’s sound design is at once naturalistic and apocalyptically creepy, incorporating live voiceover of a mysterious man in charge. The impressively physical cast has fantastic chemistry, working as a three-headed, barely-human unit one moment and distinguishing their characters’ unique personalities – with something as small as a piece of gum – the next….GRAPHOMANIA represents the best possible results of performers at play: an intriguingly ambiguous story that experiments with shadow, light, sound and movement both figurative and literal. If there’s a way to brightly portray a bleak theatre, Plasticene pulls it off. Fare thee well, experimental company. We will miss your imagination.”

Baschet Brothers Musical Sculpture

Baschet’s Aluminum Piano (1962)detail of Baschet’s Aluminum Piano (1962)detail of Baschet’s Aluminum Piano (1962)
detail of Baschet’s Aluminum Piano (1962)detail of Baschet’s Aluminum Piano (1962)detail of Baschet's Aluminum Piano (1962)
Aluminum Piano with Ed Herrmann and Timothy Grundydetail of Baschet's Aluminun PianoEd Herrmann tests Baschet Brothers Aluminum Piano

Baschet Brother’s musical sculpture, a set on Flickr.

Friday, July 1 at 2–3 p.m. 4th floor, in the museum’s gallery experimental musicians Hal Rammel, Eric Leonardson, and Ed Herrmann will play and accompany François and Bernard Baschet’s Aluminum Piano (1962). Free with museum admission.

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago IL 60611

This performance is a part of the exhibition Motor Cocktail: Sound and Movement in Art of the 1960s
July 1 – October 30, 2011
More information

Crystal Baschet Concerts with Hal Rammel and Ed Herrmann

Friday, July 1 at 2–3 p.m. 4th floor gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art. Free with museum admission.

Experimental musicians Hal Rammel, Eric Leonardson, and Ed Herrmann will play and accompany François and Bernard Baschet’s Aluminum Piano (1962) in the museum’s gallery.

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago IL 60611

This performance is a part of the exhibition Motor Cocktail: Sound and Movement in Art of the 1960s
July 1 – October 30, 2011
Curated by Timothy Grundy, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow

Each month a new set of performers take the stage:

July 29:  Dan Mohr and Adam Vida
Aug 26: Coppice (Noe Cuellar and Joseph Kramer)
Sept 30: Gregory O’Drobinak, Eric Leonardson, and Ed Herrmann
Oct 28: Jim Dorling and Sam Wagster

Upcoming performances in January

FRIDAY January 16, 2009

“Visual Music” : reception for exhibition of graphic scores

$10 suggested donation
music by Guillermo Gregorio


Elastic Arts Foundation
2830 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Fl., Chicago
(1 block north-west of Diversey/Kimball)
above Friendship Chinese Restaurant
*close to the Logan Square Blue Line

set one
music for clarinet and electronics, accompanied by a video collage including scenes from the film “The Take” and other diverse materials.
Eric Leonardson, Chris Lange, Brian Labycz, Paul Giallorenzo – electronics
Guillermo Gregorio – clarinets
Silvia Dapia and Daniel Cook – Video Composition

set two
Guillermo Gregorio’s MADI ENSEMBLE
Jeb Bishop, trombone; Keefe Jackson – bass and contrabass clarinets; Guillermo Gregorio – clarinets, alto sax; Fred Lonberg-Holm – cello; Paul Giallorenzo – piano; Elbio Barilari – electric guitar; Eric Leonardson – springboard

ELASTIC in January http://www.elasticarts.org/events.htm

SATURDAY January 17, 2009
Donations Accepted
MUSIC & DANCE IMPROVISATIONS by Asmina Chremos – movement, John Berndt – electronics from Baltimore, Jim Baker – electronics, Eric Leonardson – springboard, Jaime Branch – brass, Carol Genetti – voice, others TBA

1474 N Milwaukee Ave., Wicker Park
Chicago IL, 60622
donations accepted, BYOB
RSVP: silverspacedance@gmail.com

SUNDAY January 18, 2009

Admission: $5  NEW MUSIC at the GREEN MILL (George Flynn, curator)greenmill.gifComposers: Flynn, Malone, Auris, Wolff, Raz, Ritch

Auris performs “Play” by Christian Wolff and a new composition by Auris with Julia Miller – guitar, Christopher Preissing – flute, Guillermo Gregorio – clarinet, and Eric Leonardson – springboard www.myspace.com/auristrio

Auris recording at MICGreen Mill Jazz Club
4802 N. Broadway Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640