Author Archives: Consortium

Sound of Silent Film at the Music Box Theater


Sound of Silent Film

Sound of Silent Film this weekend is to include scores by Elizabeth Start, Brian Baxter and other Chicago composers. Produced by Access Contemporary Music, the Sound of Silent Film is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Sunday, April 19 7:30 PM
Music Box Theater
3733 N. Southport Ave.
$20, $12 online, $8 students and seniors
(at the door with ID)

Into the Cave of Wonders (2011), Spain

Director: Manuel Benito de Valle
Composer: Elizabeth Start
Synopsis: A silent short documentary shot in 4k resolution and HDR that strives to show -definitely not tell- a glimpse into one of the most beautiful creations on earth… from its unfathomable beginning millions of years ago to what it has become today.

Hitclown (2001) U.S.A.

Director: Chris Mancini
Composer: Brian Baxter
A Hitman and a Clown accidentally switch bags and find they like the other’s job better. Starring Jay Johnston (HBO’s Mr. Show, Anchorman, Moral Orel) and Jennifer Elise Cox (The Brady Bunch Movie, A Very Brady Sequel)

Shot in black and white with no dialogue, Hitclown is a comedy noir that explores the thing inside all of us that runs opposite to our outward natures.

Pillow Girl (2007) U.S.A.
Director: Ronnie Cramer
Composer: Andrew Tham

Marquee (2014) U.S.A.
Director: Brian Zahm
Composer: Oren Boneh

Junk Girl (2014) Iran
Director: Mohammad Zare
Composer: Rob Steel

The West Begins at Fifth Avenue
Director: Max Sherwood
Composer: Joseph Buchheit\\

Into the Cave of Wonders (2011) Spain
Director: Manuel Benito de Valle
Composer: Elizabeth Start

CCC meets the CCO – our 25th Anniversary Celebration, April 26


Help celebrate the Consortium’s 25th anniversary season!

CCO, Matthew Kasper, conductor
Special guests Mary Stolper, flute and
Julia Bentley, mezzo-soprano

Sunday, April 26 at 3:00
Ebeneezer Lutheran Church,
1650 W. Foster Ave., Chicago

The Chicago Composers’ Consortium is teaming up with the Chicago Composers Orchestra on Sunday April 26 to present a concert of Chicago and world premieres!
Five outstanding new works
Come and join us for the celebration. Hear these outstanding and memorable new works, then afterward enjoy some refreshments, and talk with the composers.


Works by Horst, Schwendinger, Edwards, Start, and Ginther

Tickets $15 general / $5 students & seniors

Tickets will also be available at the door


baritone Brad Jungwirth, soprano Henriët Fourie and instrumental works

Chicago Composers’ Consortium
Thursday, February 26 7:30 PM
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1218 W Addison St., Chicago
Neighborhood Parking permit available with the purchase of a ticket

$15/$5 students and seniors
Featuring baritone Brad Jungwirth singing four world premiere works by Lawrence Axelrod, Kyong Mee Choi, Timothy Ernest Johnson and Elizabeth Start and soprano Henriët Fournie singing a work by Kathleen Ginther, plus instrumental works by Martha Horst and Julia Miller.

The Chicago Composers’ Consortium presents an intimate evening of vocal and instrumental works. The concert features baritone Brad Jungwirth singing premieres by Lawrence Axelrod, Kyong Mee Choi, Timothy Ernest Johnson and Elizabeth Start in French, English and Portuguese! Soprano Henriët Fourie will sing a work based on poems of Apollinaire by Kathleen Ginther. The concert will also feature instrumental works by Martha Horst and Julia Miller.

Tickets are $15, $5 for students and seniors and may be purchased at the door or online at Brown Paper Tickets.

Please join us for a fun evening of new music in a lovely, acoustically kind space!

function:object concert • feature: Hospício É Deus: Valsa

function:object • October 24 • 8:00 PM • Sherman Theater • 1702 Sherman Avenue, Evanston • $15/$5

Music with electronic roots by Nic Collins, Kyong Mee Choi, Christopher Biggs, Timothy Ernest Johnson, Elizabeth Start, Francisco Castillo Trigueros, Timothy Dwight Edwards and Ben Sutherland

Program VI in our series Live Digital Performances

Buy tickets for function:object online or at the door. $15 or $5 for students and seniors.

Hospício É Deus: Valsa for guitar and electronics

johnson.composerPerformed by the composer.

This work is from a series of works inspired by the writing of Brazilian author Maura Lopes Cançado, specifically her book Hospício É Deus (Diário I). The title of this book translates to “The Asylum is God.” It relates her experiences while interned at the Gustavo Riedel psychiatric hospital in Rio de Janeiro in the years 1959 to 1960. The book is written in the form of a diary and explores themes of human tragedy, poetry and eternity. “Valsa” refers to a scene in which Cançado asks one of the patients, a former opera singer, to sing the “Valsa da Museta” aria from La Bohème.

function:object concert • feature: Simulacra Lingua

function:object • October 24 • 8:00 PM • Sherman Theater • 1702 Sherman Avenue, Evanston • $15/$5

In Ben Sutherland’s Simulacra Lingua the computer sonically and musically interprets the performer’s posture and position onstage by means of the Xbox Kinect interface, synchronizing and juxtaposing recorded instructional language excerpts with live and live-processed flute performance by using C flute and alto flute.

Here, in part, is what electronic pioneer Howard Sandroff said about Ben Sutherland’s musical event “The Machine is Neither” in which Simulacra Lingua was premiered in August:

Those of us who focus our lives on making art using the most current technology are plagued by the conundrum inherent in the balance of technological mastery and artistic sensibility. Yesterday evening was one of those seminal events that demonstrates that mastering the technology AND artistic sensibility are within grasp… Ben Sutherland’s performance at Constellation, was that event.

Ben spent the year mastering the ‘quirkiness’ of the Xbox Kinect driving real-time, interactive programs in Max/MSP instead of its designed application to control Xbox games. Having dabbled in gesture control of Max/MSP I am more than familiar with the programming challenges of just making these devices work with Max let alone reaching a level of programming complexity that forces the ‘machine’ to deliver subtlety, thereby achieving reliable artistic control of audio processing and synthesis. Ben did it. His collaborations with flutist Emma Hospelhorn and dancers from The Space?Movement Project achieved a level of musical and movement meaning that touched and moved this curmudgeonly old composer as well an audience, which included many critical fellow artists.

To my mind, Ben reached the pinnacle of artistic expression through the eight individual pieces, which flowed one to another explicating an organic and seamless transition. Ben’s programming skills, audio practice and compositional excellence perfectly embodies our goal of integrating and mastering audio and music technology to the service of artistic expression…

— Howard Sandroff

In the composer’s words

This piece explores the spatial, embodied, and inter-permeable dimensions of language and music. To begin the movement, the performer selects loops of spoken language which the Machine provides at random. She then manipulates the length and pitch of the loops, before replacing them with musical imitations of each phrase. The performer then blurs the line between dance and instrumental performance by using her body to mold, reshape, and decimate the musical simulacra to create new sonic textures. The piece closes with a return to its linguistic roots.


function:object • feature: Bracken and Sur le débris

Music with electronic roots by Nic Collins, Kyong Mee Choi, Christopher Biggs, Timothy Ernest Johnson, Elizabeth Start, Francisco Castillo Trigueros, Timothy Dwight Edwards

Program VI in our series Live Digital Performances

Buy tickets for function:object online or at the door. $15 or $5 for students and seniors.

Nicolas Collins
Bracken (after Christian Wolff) (2014) For five or more people with computer direction

with members of Articular Facet

Bracken adapts the language of circuits and software for interpretation by any instrument. A computer generates and projects a live streaming score that directs the players to interact with one another following rules derived from binary logic and various methods of analog and digital signal processing. These instructions are represented by 17 shorthand symbols:

& only play when one or more other players are playing (AND = ensemble)
xor only play when no-one else is playing (Exclusive OR = solo)
} start immediately after another player ends (triggered)
{ stop as soon as another player starts (ducked)
| play in synch with other player(s) (gated)
= play as similarly as possible to another player (mimic)
? play as differently as possible from the other player(s)
::: sparse, isolated sounds (or progressively thin out an ongoing texture)
? fill the entire time interval with continuous soun
< crescendo over entire time bracket
> decrescendo over entire time bracket
~ a clearly pitched sound
* a noise or a distorted sound
@ change location of sound in space (walk around, pan sound in PA)
± change of pitch, detuning, vibrato
loop repeat a phrase/sample regularly (can reverse direction)
eq change timbre/equalization/filtering one or more times

duckThe computer randomly shuffles through this symbol set, projecting five at a time onto a screen that can be seen by the players (and probably the audience as well). A time bracket is displayed under each symbol, indicating the seconds remaining during which the symbol can be articulated; at the end of this interval a new symbol is chosen. Each player can perform any of the displayed symbols, in any order, at any time within the available time bracket, whenever the necessary conditions are met, i.e.: following immediately after another sound ({); playing in synch with another player (|); playing only when no-one else is playing (xor).
The instrumentation of Bracken is open (a minimum of five players must be present). The score does not specify absolute or relative pitch, so this work can be played by non-traditional instruments, such as electronic circuits or contactmiked household objects, as long as they are “performable” enough to satisfy the requirements of the notated interactions.
This notation owes a great debt to Christian Wolff’s “co-ordination” scores of the early 1960s, whose techniques presaged key traits of subsequent electronic and computer music.

Francisco Castillo Trigueros
Sur le débris for bass flute and electronics


with Shanna Gutierrez, bass flute

Behind the fractured, percussive lines played by the bass flute in Sur les debris, lay the remains of the shattered recording of a reading of a poem by Arthur Rimbaud. The recording is barely perceptible, the source never recognizable. However the shattered recording is essential in the understanding of the piece, as it served the role of a seed from which the rhythmic and timbral materials germinated. The resulting music is brittle and discontinuous: surfaces that lie at the border between rhythm and texture, splintered pedals that are sparked and interrupted by violent gestures, silences and pauses that disrupt the linearity of the piece.
 October 24, 8pm
Sherman Avenue Theater
1702 Sherman Avenue, Evanston

Chicago Composers Orchestra to feature Larry Axelrod, November 6

The Chicago Composers Orchestra’s program CCO +Baroque Pop will feature Hecuba Project,  Phyllis Chen and Larry Axelrod

Thursday, November 6, 2014
8:00 PM
Constellation – 3111 N Western Ave

The concert will include Axelrod’s Brandenburg Fantasias #1 and #4.

For tickets and more info, see the CCO website.


Kathleen Ginther is awarded the Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship

Kathleen Ginther was named a 2014 Artist Fellow by the Illinois Arts Council Agency Artist Fellowship Program!


function:object • October 24

The Chicago Composers’ Consortium presents

function:object • digital chamber music

an evening of works for reactive and passive digital technologies paired with acoustic instruments such as flute, piano, toy piano and guitar

Friday October 24. 8 PM

Sherman Avenue Theater
1702 Sherman Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201
google map

Tickets online or at the door $15/$5 students and seniors

including works by Kyong Mee Choi, Tim Edwards, Julia Miller, Elizabeth Start, Nic Collins, Christopher Biggs, Francisco Castillo Triguerros, Ben Sutherland and Timothy Ernest Johnson.
Performers will include Lawrence Axelrod, piano and toy piano and others.

Join us for a varied and fun evening using cutting-edge technology and new sounds.

Due East performance at ISU rescheduled for March 19, 2015

Our concert, originally scheduled for Thursday, March 20, 2014 has been rescheduled.

Due East at Illinois State University

Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 7:30 PM (Free Admission)
Kemp Recital Hall, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

DUE EAST are Erin Lesser, flutes; Greg Beyer, percussion


Kyong Mee Choi’s Reform
Timothy Dwight Edwards’s Xcymbalum for flutes, percussion and automated processing
Martha Callison Horst’s Broken Chains
Timothy Ernest Johnson’s Fortune Smiles for flutes, percussion and electronics
Elizabeth Start’s Moving Toward Evening
as well as a piece by Alexander Lunsqui