The symposium will feature juried concerts, performances, and art exhibitions, a student art exhibition, and other special events throughout the week. Academic sessions will feature keynote and plenary speakers, educational workshops, academic paper and poster sessions, topical small-group discussions, and exhibitions and other special events presented by the world's foremost electronic arts scholars and artists.
For information, visit the Web site at http://www.artic.edu/~isea97 or call (312) 899-5170.
After a very successful year, the Chicago Chapter of the American Composers Forum celebrated its first anniversary this past April. The chapter was conceived in the Fall/Winter of 1995-96 when Linda Hoeschler, Executive Director of the American Composers Forum, approached Pete Edwards, composer/member, about establishing a chapter in the Chicago area. At that time, Pete was working in the Education Department of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as doing a weekly radio show dedicated to new music broadcast on Northwestern Universityís campus radio station, WNUR with current Chapter Coordinator, Keith Carpenter. Pete and Keith organized the first meeting which was held in April of 1996 at the offices of Personnel Decisions, Inc., who kindly offered the meeting space and refreshments. In attendance were several area composers and performers as well as Fritz Bergman, Director of Operations who flew to Chicago for the meeting.
The Chicago Chapter is the third national chapter to be formed after New York and Boston, and we currently have over fifty active area members. The membership base extends from Madison, Wisconsin on the North, Peoria and Champaign, Illinois to the South, South Bend, Indiana to the East and Cedar Falls, Iowa to the West. While the meetings have been held primarily in Chicago, there are plans for upcoming meetings in Champaign, Illinois.
One of the initial aims of the chapter was to serve as a vehicle for the many factions of the Chicago New Music scene to come together. There is a wealth of differing musical movements in the Chicago area including classical, improv, Jazz (traditional and experimental) and experimental sound sculpture, just to name a few. Unfortunately, there is also extreme segregation among the various factions. The Chicago Chapter aims to bring some of these various groups together to share ideas and exchange views on the current musical scene in Chicago. Our chapter membership reflects this diversity and is comprised of composers and performers from various musical backgrounds and with divergent styles. Additionally, the chapter has attempted to provide an alternative, non university setting for area composers and performers.
Recently, the chapter has been trying to incorporate ways to connect composers with individuals or organizations who may have use for new music. In June, a meeting was organized with The Chicago Dance Coalition, a support organization for dancers and choreographers. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss possible artistic alliances. Both the composers and dancers found the meeting to be extremely rewarding, so much so that future meetings are already being planned.
Another project in the works to promote chapter memberís music, is to have Chicago area music stores carry sheet music of chapter members.
In addition to other activities, the chapter has monthly meetings. The purpose of these meetings has been to serve as a support group, a networking vehicle and to produce a monthly chapter memo listing concerts, and upcoming events. Meetings have been hosted at individual member's homes and at the Lunar Cabaret, a local café/performance space for local experimental music and theater. Several of the meetings have had guest speakers including bass clarinetist/composer, Gene Coleman, jazz composer/trumpeter Amin Muhammad, member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and percussionist, Fred Salveggio who addressed contemporary percussion techniques and problems facing the composer with regard to notation. Other meetings have included a holiday party and gatherings focused upon hearing members' music, and visiting artists. In November composer Helmut Lachenmann will be discussing his work as part of a week long concert series dedicated to his music.
The Chapter has also formed a Steering Committee and an Advisory Board. The Steering Committee is composed of members of the chapter including Keith Carpenter, Dan Wallace, Charles Lipp and Michelle Doyle. The Committee meets monthly to discuss issues such as funding, organizational issues and future planning. The Advisory Board currently consists of Prof. Amnon Wolman of Northwestern University, Cliff Colnut and Irv Kuperman. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to provide feedback for ideas as well as assist with solving organizational problems that the chapter may be facing.
In March, the chapter received a $10,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation. The grant was earmarked for projects in keeping with the mission of the forum: linking composers with communities. A committee has been created for soliciting proposals and we are currently considering several ideas. Some of the proposals currently under consideration include:
A joint concert with the ACF and AACM at the Unity Temple in Chicago. This would introduce music to new audiences who would not typically hear new music. This particular concert would be a bonus Jazz/Classical concert on the regular Unity Temple concert season.
A reading session given by the Vision Saxophone Quartet of pieces by composer members at the Merit Music Program which would also include a reading of pieces by student composers at the Merit School of Music. The Merit Music program is a free inner city music program which has community out reach programs.
A composer residency at the North Shore Synagogue, Temple Beth-El, commemorating their fiftieth anniversary and the departure of their cantor.
In the future we plan to continue to implement chapter proposals, find new guest speakers, and seek other resources for funding and performances. After a year of laying the ground work, the Chicago Chapter is confident that we are ready to make an impact in Chicago.