When: Thu., May 28, 8:30 p.m. 2015
Berlin-based reedist and composer Boris Hauf has been a regular visitor to Chicago since 1999, developing strong ties with local musicians on his sometimes extended stays. One especially noteworthy product of these collaborations is his sextet, which performs locally tonight for the first time since the 2011 release of its most recent album, Next Delusion (Clean Feed). Hauf leads five local jazz and experimental musicians, combining their aesthetics for a restrained but not minimalist sound that borrows the solo language of free improvisation and the patience of avant-garde drone. Over four extended pieces, he and fellow reedists Keefe Jackson and Jason Stein play braided long tones and multipitched clusters of percussive pops over a mix of thrumming, scraping textures and ferocious polyrhythms from kit drummers Frank Rosaly, Steven Hess, and Michael Hartman. Few ensembles can match this sextet’s decisive motion among pure sound exploration, carefully harnessed chaos, and meticulously ordered drones.
On the recent Matterings (Erstwhile), veteran Arizona sound artist Jeph Jerman and Louisville percussionist Tim Barnes lugged bits of electronic gear outside to create music that melds environmental recordings (rain, wind, a passing airplane) with shifting splashes of feedback, pings, sine waves, telephone dial tones, metallic friction, and the wealth of hard-to-place noises Jerman makes by rubbing, rustling, and otherwise manipulating various objects he finds in nature. The cover of Mattering shows the duo amid snaking cables and piles of twigs in a pristine-looking rocky landscape in Cottonwood, Arizona (where Jerman lives), and its five pieces blur the line between the natural and the man-made to celebrate sound qua sound. The music on the album can’t be duplicated in real time due to the postproduction work that informs it, but for this performance the duo will augment some of the same field recordings with live improvisation. —Peter Margasak