Lisa Goethe | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Lisa Goethe


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To play contemporary music compellingly an instrumentalist must have a fanatical belief in the new and an arsenal of newfangled techniques. Flutist Lisa Goethe, who trained at the University of Illinois in Urbana, has both qualities--as followers of the local music scene know from her regular performances at venues such as HotHouse. At the end of February she's going to Rotterdam to participate in a flute competition; this solo recital, titled "Perception," offers a free preview of works she'll perform there. Her program--a showcase of daunting flute techniques with an emphasis on microtonal notes and multiphonics--features recent works by three Europeans and two Americans. In Phleu by U. of I. professor and electronic-music composer Salvatore Martirano, Goethe performs a duet with a computer program named SAL that selects, transforms, synthesizes, and regurgitates notes from her amplified flute. Flutist Robert Dick's Lookout is an unabashedly tonal display vehicle in which salsa rhythms are created through various "extended" techniques. In two short companion pieces by Italian Salvatore Sciarrino look for lots of rapid glissandi and tongue rams from Goethe. Dutch jazz flutist Theo Loevendie's Strands is a delectable mix of jazz and folk based on medieval rhythms and enlivened by Islamic phrasing techniques. The most conventional of the lot is perhaps Laconisme de l'aile ("Brevity of the Wing") by Paris-based Finnish emigre Kaija Saariaho. Based on a poem by St. John Perse, it contrasts pure and coarse sounds to imitate the troubled flight of a bird. Saturday, 4 PM, I Space, 230 W. Superior; 587-9976.

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

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