Ben Vida | Graham Foundation | Experimental | Chicago Reader

Ben Vida Free All Ages Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Sat., June 11, 6 p.m. 2016

The ensembles that multi-instrumentalist Ben Vida played in during his sojourn in Chicago varied so drastically in sound and methodology that you had to wonder what he was up to. He played folk-tinged minimalist compositions in Town & Country; quiet, freely improvised music in Pillow; Steely Dan-like pop in Central Falls; and ecstatic, electro-acoustic psychedelia in his mostly solo project Bird Show. In a recent interview published by Blouin Artinfo, he recalls that time as a series of investigations. “I was always interested in sound, in form and content—and concepts, too, frameworks that you would improvise within or compose within.” Since Vida left town in 2008, the sound of his music has changed, but his interests in form and concept persist. His recent works combine analog electronics with wordless voices; Reducing the Tempo to Zero, the one he’ll present today, explores the boundary between performance and installation art. The four-hour-long composition combines fixed electronic sounds with the utterances of Vida, Dan Mohr, Nina Dante, and Melina Ausikaitis, who sometimes join in with the prerecorded elements, and sometimes drop out. Since the audience can wander in and out at will, each member could potentially experience a different beginning and ending. This is the final concert of Lampo’s spring season; note the early start time.

Bill Meyer

Price: free with RSVP at


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