Ear Taxi Festival 2020
September 28–October 12, 2020, New Music Chicago offers Ear Taxi 2020, a multi-day celebration of Chicago new and experimental music presenting hundreds of Chicago musicians in dozens of performances, the vast majority featuring new or recently composed work by Chicago composers and sound artists. Reaching an estimated audience of 5,000 through performances, workshops, and receptions, Ear Taxi 2020 elevates Chicago as an internationally recognized center for extraordinary musical and cultural innovation. The theme for Ear Taxi 2020, Hear All Voices, is a call to engage with the multiplicity of styles and traditions that constitutes Chicago’s expansive musical identity in the 21st century. September 28–October 7, Ear Taxi 2020 presents Spotlight Concerts, an open series of artist-curated and artist-presented programs occurring in venues throughout Chicago. Spotlight Concerts include ambitious evening-length programs by Renée Baker, Chicago Composers Orchestra, Ensemble Dal Niente, Fifth House Ensemble, and many others.
The culminating Curated Festival runs October 8–12, offering five consecutive days of nonstop programming at the University of Chicago, DePaul University School of Music, Constellation Chicago, the Harris Theater, Harris Theater, and other sites around Chicago, and dozens more eclectic, unexpected, and ambitious performances. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series caps off the Festival with a performance and reception at the Harris Theater.
Ear Taxi 2020 commissions and presents at least four significant new works by Chicago composers. Cellist, improviser, and composer Tomeka Reid writes a new string quartet for D-Composed. Composer and artist Tonia Ko and clarinetist Zachary Good collaboratively co-create a duo for clarinets and bubble wrap. Janice Misurell Mitchell creates a new work for herself and musicians from the MAVerick Ensemble. In a co-commission with Experimental Sound Studio, sound artist Ryan Ingebritsen creates an original sound installation. Throughout, Ear Taxi 2020 accelerates Chicago artists’ professional development by offering workshops, panel discussions, receptions, and networking opportunities. Professional documentation ensures performers walk away from the Festival with the materials they need to garner further support for future projects.
Because project goals include attracting a broad audience, Boston-based firm Bucklesweet spearheads Festival communications, vigorously pursuing coverage in local, national, and industry press. Bucklesweet also handles the Festival website, social media accounts, and e-communications, as well as online and radio marketing. By reflecting the multiplicity of distinct, interrelated, and autonomous musical traditions reflected in contemporary music in Chicago, Ear Taxi 2020 gives audiences the singular opportunity to discover local music—music by their cultural peers, music about their location and their lives—that they may nevertheless not have come upon otherwise. Ultimately, Ear Taxi 2020 hopes listeners experience performances that are familiar and comfortable as well as work that is new, alien, nonsensical, or disruptive.
BLACK is a collaboration between new music 17-piece big band Heisenberg Uncertainty Players and rapper K.I.D. Music by John Dorhauer, lyrics by FNC and K.I.D., recorded in 2016. John has two proposed projects in consideration for the festival: a collaboration with Chicago hip-hop collective Hitmakuzz Productions; and “My Son, the Corporation,” an absurdist spin on the Citizen’s United Supreme Court ruling for chamber ensemble and spoken word.
This work was performed as part of Sound Room, a collaboration between Chicago based composers/ sound artists Kyle Vegter, Ryan Ingebritsen, and Daniel Dehaan in 2012. Ryan Ingebritsen has proposed re-mounting Sound Room at Ear Taxi, which uses custom built software and a complex, multi-channel speaker system to create unique and intuitive three dimensional sound spatialization systems, specifically tuned to the acoustic nuances of a room or space. Sound Room can host performances of electro-acoustic music, workshops, and improvisations.
Start and End Dates
10/08/2020 — 10/12/2020