Jerome Noetinger & Erik M | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Jerome Noetinger & Erik M


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Samplers and computers have made it easier than ever to integrate found and borrowed sounds into music, but in a recent interview in the Wire French composer Jerome Noetinger angrily pointed out that there was nothing truly novel about this. "I hate this idea that before samplers nobody could record," he said. Noetinger is a modern exponent of musique concrete, a genre pioneered by Pierre Schaeffer, who built a composition out of recorded train sounds in 1948. A purist, Noetinger eschews digital tools in favor of a tape recorder and contact microphones, but on last year's What a Wonderful World (Erstwhile) he teamed up with his countryman Erik M, an abstract turntablist who's not averse to computer technology. While M processes analog and digital sound into live-wire hisses and staticky sputters, Noetinger keeps his sound-making physical, manipulating tape loops, lightly hammering tape heads with a mallet, and rubbing contact mikes on various objects. Identifiable sounds periodically emerge--children's laughter, snatches of classical music--but for the most part Noetinger distorts his sonic sources beyond recognition by playing with tape speed and other means. He's aptly likened the result to experimental film, calling it "images in movement." The recording is terrific, but nothing compares to watching Noetinger work these wonders live. This is the duo's only scheduled U.S. performance. Saturday, May 8, 9 PM, 6Odum, 2116 W. Chicago; 773-227-3617 or 312-666-0795.

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