C.M. Von Hausswolff | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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C.M. Von Hausswolff




Even electronic-music minimalists like Ryoji Ikeda or Pan Sonic augment their tones with the occasional oscillating pulse or pounding beat, but Swedish sound artist C.M. von Hausswolff is almost always content to work on a single hum. Recordings like the aptly titled Basic (Table of the Elements, 1998) and the forthcoming Strom (Raster) are meant to zero in on what von Hausswolff has referred to as "ghosts living in the currency flows of normal electricity and computer frequencies." There is in fact something very otherworldly about his cool, undulating drones--which sometimes shift subtly in volume and pitch or waver with a crackle of interference--but listeners unwilling to immerse themselves probably won't hear it. For his two-part performance this weekend, his first in Chicago since he toured with the similarly inclined Hafler Trio in 1990, von Hausswolff will spend one night collecting raw material, using sonar and radar to capture the motion of the audience, and the next composing a work from these sounds on the spot. In terms of sheer methodology this promises to be interesting, and if the handful of recordings I've heard are any indication, the high-volume soundscape he creates should be brutally mesmerizing. Friday and Saturday, February 23 and 24, 10 PM, 6Odum, 2116 W. Chicago; 773-227-3617.


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