Category Archives: News

C3 presents an evening of works for electronics: Live Digital Performances VII: Lands of Ice and Water

The Chicago Composers’ Consortium continues its 2015-16 season with our annual program devoted to works using various electronic media. We are proud to be the only new music group in Chicago that presents such a program every year, exploring the possibilities of acoustic plus electronic media.

Sunday, April 3rd 7:30 PM
Experimental Sound Studio
5925 N. Ravenswood
Tickets, $15 or $5 students and seniors, can be purchased online or at the door

The concert will hold a variety of works for solo instrument or small ensemble and electronics.Alejandro Acierto is our guest clarinettist. He will also present one of his own works.

The program spans many moods and composition techniques and will include Ceaseless Cease by Kyong Mee Choi, Aurora inscrutabile by Timothy Ernest Johnson, Melt by Beth Bradfish, Water Study #2 by Timothy Dwight Edwards, Skallagrimsson by David Heuser and a new work for Theremini by Betsy Start.

Other performers will include Lawrence Axelrod, piano, Craig Hultgren, cello, Timothy Ernest Johnson, guitar and Betsy Start, theremini and cello.

The Experimental Sound Studio provides the perfect environment for this music with quality equipment and comfortable intimate seating. Join us for this unique and challenging program!

Live Digital Performances VII: Lands of Ice and Water

From the epic Icelandic figure of Skallagrímsson to melting landscapes and water, images abound in this year’s c3 electronic music event at the Experimental Sound Studio, Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 pm.

Featured on the program are chamber performances with traditional and modern instruments, sound processing and electronics. Performers include clarinetist Alejandro Acierto, pianist Lawrence Axelrod, cellists Elizabeth Start and Craig Hultgren, guitarist Timothy Johnson, and computer-based performers Beth Bradfish, Kyong Mee Choi, and Tim Edwards.

Ceaseless Cease for clarinet and electronics by Kyong Mee Choi
Skallagrímsson for piano and electronics by David Heuser
all that remains for voice and electronics by Alejandro Acierto
Aurora Inscrutabile for cello and electronics by Timothy Ernest Johnson
Getting By for Moog theremini and live processing by Elizabeth Start
Melt for laptop ensemble, guitar, piano, cello, ebows and smart phones by Beth Bradfish
Water Study #2 for clarinet and processing by

From the epic Icelandic figure of Skallagrímsson to melting landscapes and water, images abound in this year's c3 electronic music event at the Experimental Sound Studio, Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 pm.

Live Digital Performances VII: Lands of Ice and Water

Tickets are $15 for general public / $5 for students and seniors

Experimental Sound Studio
5925 N Ravenswood

c3 presents Fonema Consort with guest composer Orlando Garcia

Chicago Composers’ Consortium 2015-16 Season Opener
Featuring the music of guest composer Orlando Jacinto Garcia and participation by members of the Fonema Consort

Friday, October 9th 7:30 PM
North Shore Baptist Church
5244 N. Lakewood Ave.
Tickets, $15 or $5 for students and seniors, can be purchased online or at the door

Fonema Consort

Fonema Consort

We will feature guest composer Orlando Jacinto Garcia. Orlando is on the faculty of Florida International University and is director of the New Music Miami ISCM Festival. His music – spare, quiet and spicy – has been too little heard in Chicago.

Orlando Garcia

Orlando Garcia


The program includes
Core Interludes for piano, cello and percussion by Orlando Garcia
oscurecimiento gradual for solo piano by Orlando Garcia
el silencio despues de la lluvia flute and guitar by Orlando Garcia
entre michigan y jefferson for soprano, flute and percussion by Orlando Garcia
Heterophonies for alto flute, guitar and cello by Lawrence Axelrod
Exchanges for soprano, flute and percussion by Martha Horst
Kay Ryan Songs for cello and piano by Laura Schwendinger
More Talking Object Songs for soprano, flute, cello, percussion and piano by Elizabeth Start

Performed in the beautifully warm acoustics of the North Shore Baptist Church, a real gem in the Andersonville neighborhood. (There’s a very beautiful Loredo Taft altarpiece as well!)

We do hope you can join us for this very special opening of our 2015-16 season. Tickets can be purchased online by following this link, and will also be available at the door.

New Music Chicago 10 Year Birthday Bash

nmc.10Featuring “Fantasy in 3G” for guitar trio by C3 composer Timothy Ernest Johnson.

C3 merchandise will be raffled from Elizabeth Start and Kyong Mee Choi. Also being raffled: a free subscription to C3′s upcoming 2015-2016 season!

New Music Chicago 10 Year Birthday Bash
Friday, September 11, 2015
PianoForte, 1335 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Doors open at 7pm, concert at 7:30pm
Tickets : $20 in advance, $25 at the door

Featuring Chicago’s hottest performers and composers:
Seth Boustead • Chicago Composers Consortium • Kyong Mee Choi • Ensemble Dal Niente • Fulcrum Point New Music Project • Gaudete Brass Quintet • Amos Gillespie • Shanna Gutierrez • Tim Johnson • Herine Koschak • WJ Raynovich • Augusta Read Thomas • Andrew Williams • Amy Wurtz

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


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.