There's a subset of close-listening free improvisation that has long been referred to as "insect music." The tag makes intuitive sense: always seeking new sonic possibilities, improvising musicians use alternative and extended techniques to produce unorthodox timbres and textures--including what sound suspiciously like buzzes and chirps. North Carolina guitarist and wacko troubador Eugene Chadbourne has decided to take the term literally, composing a suite of ten short pieces based on the "movements, activities, and sounds of insects." Think of an instrumental ensemble consciously emulating whirring, clicking animalcules such as grasshoppers and cicadas or working with the social agenda of bees or ants. Written specifically for the Chicago group that will debut it with the composer, "Insect and Western" will feature percussionists Michael Zerang and Carrie Biolo, bass clarinetist Gene Coleman, pianist Michael Greenberg, and CSO oboist Robbie Hunsinger. The two shows will inevitably be loaded with Chadbourne's trademark zany pranks, political songs, and hot-dawg guitar playing. As usual, he's got a few new records out, most recently Patrizio (Victo), a duet with drummer Paul Lovens, and End to Slavery, the strongest of three solo discs he's made for the Swiss Intakt label. Friday and Saturday, 10 PM, Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Cafe, 2827 N. Lincoln; 773-327-6666. JOHN CORBETT
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.