When: Sat., April 30, 8 p.m. 2011
Vienna-based electronic musician Florian Hecker must not worry about looking like an egghead—his work is often rooted so thoroughly in theoretical discourse that it might evaporate without it. The cover art for his latest album, 2009's Acid in the Style of David Tudor (Editions Mego), is nothing but the beginning of an impenetrable essay by philosopher Robin Mackay, which carries on inside for another 11 pages. The new work that Hecker will give its U.S. debut in Chicago tonight is allegedly a sonic exploration of the concept of "hyperchaos" as posited by French philosopher Quentin Meillassoux, though I can't makes heads or tails of how. (You can take a stab by reading a conversation among Hecker, Meillassoux, and Mackay at here; Meillassoux never gets closer to a quotable definition of hyperchaos than, "It is not more disorder than chaos, it is order or disorder.") Fortunately Hecker's fiercely visceral strain of abstract electronic music is perfectly capable of working you over even if you don't have a firm grip on the academic mumbo jumbo. He deals extensively in psychoacoustics and in the ways sound travels in a given environment, carefully modeling sounds to play tricks on the ears and on the brain's sense of space—the label's description of Acid at one point refers "an intense head related localization blur." He creates most of his pieces using algorithmic computer software with a fair amount of randomness built in, but for Acid he fed sounds generated on an old-fashioned Buchla modular synthesizer through an equally old-school analog computer (a 1968 Comdyna GP-6). The results are of a piece with his usual output: suddenly morphing globs, squeals, and spears of sound that are as vividly physical as they are disorienting. —Peter Margasak
Free with RSVP to hecker.eventbrite.com.
Price: Free with RSVP