Frank Abbinanti, Caroline Pittman, Gene Coleman, Jim O'Rourke, and George Blanchet | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Frank Abbinanti, Caroline Pittman, Gene Coleman, Jim O'Rourke, and George Blanchet

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One dilemma confronting the contemporary composer is how to fashion coherent, meaningful, and relevant music from the bewildering wealth of techniques and materials at his disposal. Local new-music maven Frank Abbinanti believes that one way is to create works that are free, more or less, from the rigidities of a predetermined structure--sort of a compromise between Cagean indeterminate process and quasi-improvisation. All this may sound heady, but the recital/lecture he's organized to elucidate his theory includes some pretty interesting music, mostly by German composers. In Tempus Loquendi (1963) by Bernd Zimmermann, one flutist performs three preselected blocks of materials as well as three different "readings" of the same materials in a teasing critique of the nature of improviation. For Plus-Minus, Karlheinz Stockhausen created a loose notation system that allows the performer to build his own sound blocks in some places. In Twilight/Windows by Gerhard Stabler, taped speeches by Ronald Reagan on Central America and by Nicaragua's cultural minister Ernesto Cardenal provide the backdrop to sharply rhythms whose structure may change depending on the performers. Red Hills by Chicago's own Douglas Ewart will also help Abbinanti build his case, as will fellow performers Caroline Pittman, Gene Coleman, Jim O'Rourke, and George Blanchet. Admission is free. Thursday at 6 PM; second floor, Goethe-Institut, 401 N. Michigan; 329-0917.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Amy Rothblatt.

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