Ear Taxi: Chicago Festival of New Music

  • Harris Theater 205 East Randolph Street Chicago, IL

Dal Niente’s musicians are thrilled to join their colleagues and friends in the Chicago new music community as part of the inaugural Ear Taxi Festival, an ambitious six-day celebration of Chicago’s thriving contemporary music scene. For this opportunity, Dal Niente has commissioned new compositions from Jeff Parker, Pierce Gradone, and Christopher Fischer-Lochhead, each of whom will make a unique contribution to the ensemble’s repertoire, engaging with and challenging existing notions of performance practice and style.

Dal Niente’s set opens with Pierce Gradone’s virtuosic contemporary overture To Paint Their Madness, a piece that takes inspiration from Denis Diderot’s Paradoxe sur le Comédien (“The Paradox of Acting”). Fisher-Lochhead’s large-scale work stutter-step the concept explores intersections between seemingly disparate styles of music present in the fabric of Chicago, each “broken at its joints” and “reassembled as grammar” to perhaps “finally become human.” Post-rock guitarist, improviser, and composer Jeff Parker will join the ensemble on synthesizer for his concluding Water On Glass, which revisits concepts that he developed for the score of Decades Passed, a 2003 experimental film by Tatsu Aoki.

Co-curated by August Read Thomas and Stephen Burns, and managed by former Dal Niente Executive Director Reba Cafarelli, the Ear Taxi Festival “is a celebration of Chicago’s thriving contemporary music scene with concerts, lectures, webcasts and artist receptions.” On Friday, October 7, performances at Harris Theater begin at 5:30pm with the Avalon String Quartet followed by Spektral Quartet and Dal Niente.

Pierce Gradone - To Paint Their Madness (2016) for flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, horn, percussion, piano, harp, violin, viola, cello, bass (World Premiere)

Christopher Fisher-Lochhead - stutter-step the concept (2016) for flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, horn, percussion, piano, harp, violin, viola, cello, bass (World Premiere)

Jeff Parker - Water on Glass (2016) for synthesizer, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, horn, percussion, piano, harp, violin, viola, cello, bass (World Premiere)