Lesley Flanigan | Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center | Experimental | Chicago Reader

Lesley Flanigan Free All Ages Soundboard

When: Fri., Sept. 10, 5 p.m. 2010

On her lovely, self-released Amplifications New York sound artist Lesley Flanigan employs minimal tools—her voice and speaker feedback—to create something deceptively rich and fully realized. The speakers she uses, which she designed and built, double as sculptural objects; they're equipped with external piezo microphones that are connected to the speakers with amplifying circuits and can be variously positioned to create different tones and rhythms in the feedback. While the opening piece, "Retrobuild," uses layers of pretty, wordless vocals to create a dreamy piece of prerock pop that suggests Liz Fraser dabbling in exotica, most of her music treats her voice and the feedback as equal partners. "Sleepy" opens with her hushed soprano unfolding organically into swells of raspy low-end and droning midrange, and eventually additional layers of vocal melody open the piece up. Though her works are usually adapted to the specifics of each space where she performs, Flanigan always has deft control of the feedback, taming it as an instrument in service of her elegant compositional logic. This performance is part of Sonar Chicago. —Peter Margasak

Price: Free

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