Thomas Ankersmit | Graham Foundation | Experimental | Chicago Reader

Thomas Ankersmit All Ages Free Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Feb. 25, 8 p.m. 2012

Space is Thomas Ankersmit's place, and I'm not talking about what's outside the atmosphere. The Dutch-born sound artist has used a variety of instruments to delineate and exploit the acoustic peculiarities of venues as disparate as the Empty Bottle and an abandoned seaplane hangar. The last time he played in Chicago, in 2008, Ankersmit hadn't yet released a full-length album, but since then he's released two, and the latest reveals another dimension of his involvement with space. Forma II (PAN), a joint effort with Italian tape-deck wizard Valerio Tricoli, uses a dense but impeccably arranged selection of electronic tones, from lancet-sharp high frequencies to bottomless bass drones, to create music that suggests spaces even more vast than that hangar. Ankersmit just finished a two-month residency at the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts in Los Angeles, where he had access to a restored analog synthesizer built by former faculty member Serge Tcherepnin in the early 70s—an immense switchboard-like creation, it's capable of an equally immense variety of sounds. For this concert, he'll play a four-channel electronic piece using his own Serge synth (which is much newer and more modest) as well as recordings of the CalArts instrument. —Bill Meyer

Price: free with RSVP at


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