Jason Kahn, Mike Shiflet, TV Pow | Enemy | Experimental | Chicago Reader

Jason Kahn, Mike Shiflet, TV Pow All Ages Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., Sept. 16, 9 p.m. 2011

Improvised music happens at a nexus between control and surrender. The former is pretty handy for getting the sounds you want from your instrument and/or lining up other musicians to make them. But the elements outside a player's control—the sound of a room, the demeanor of an audience, the humidity that messes with an instrument's tuning, the startling decisions of other musicians—are often what make an improvisation a one-time, in-the-moment event, impossible to re-create. Thirty-odd years ago American-born, Swiss-based multi-instrumentalist Jason Kahn was an assertive drummer for punk and jazz bands, but nowadays he focuses on sound art and installations that give the outside forces that shape his music their due. Sometimes he plays continuous synthesized tones and shortwave radio signals through a snare drum and cymbal in order to focus the listener's attention on the acoustic qualities of the room in which he performs; at other times, he cedes control even more completely to his instrument. For tonight's show Kahn will set up a feedback circuit that plays the output of his synthesizer back into the instrument, then work with whatever sounds the system throws his way. This is his first Chicago concert in more than four years, and it's part of a 21-date tour supported by Swiss public arts foundation Pro Helvetia. —Bill Meyer Kahn headlines, playing solo and in a duo with Mike Shiflet; Shiflet and TV Pow open.

Price: donation requested

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