Werner Moebius & Mariella Greil | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Werner Moebius & Mariella Greil


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Werner Moebius uses the plasticity of sound to set up dialogues with other media, other music methodologies, and even other species. The Austrian-born sound artist has worked extensively with dancers and video artists, and during a residency last summer at the Boreas Farm, a dance center in Hebron, New York, he created an outdoor installation for the local wildlife called Music for the Coyotes. Hopefully he'll put it on a record someday--with its masterful balance of elongated feedback filaments and echoing reports, it's way too good to be heard only by varmints. Moebius has also engaged the most commercial sounds he could find. He composed the relentlessly perky instrumentals on his solo album, Apres Ski (2001, Klanggalerie), using only the factory-loaded presets on his synths and drum machines, just to see if there was any life left in them; "Rosa (Jalousie Mix)" only proves that certain canned piano voices are irredeemable, but on "Rot (Orange)" he finds more than a smidgen of soul within the sweeping string samples and clattering beats. Moebius has been living and working in Chicago since last September with the support of the Austrian Federal Chancellery, and this concert signals the end of his stay. The first set includes both video and live performances with fellow Austrian Mariella Greil, a dancer and musician. The second set opens with "Plastictube," a hypnotic solo piece constructed from samples and loops; its harsh, mechanical soundscapes bracket an interlude of humid chirps and thumps that suggests a conference of bullfrogs and swamp bugs. He'll close the concert by improvising with bass clarinetist Gene Coleman, cellist Marina Peterson, and Michael Hartman of TV Pow (see Saturday's Critic's Choice). Moebius and Greil also open for Cinquefoil on Saturday, February 25, at 8 PM at Hexameter Studios, 1934 N. Campbell, 773-722-3692; suggested donation $5. Thu 2/23, 9 PM, Heaven Gallery, 1550 N. Milwaukee, second floor, 773-342-4597, donation requested. All ages.

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