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Friday, October 30

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Concert Mon Oct 08 2007

Musicircus: Big lineup, small audience, good time

Musicircus Audience.jpg

Yesterday's Musicircus at the Chicago Cultural Center was an interesting and fun little festival featuring dozens of random musical groups, poets and dancers performing in different rooms from 12 - 4PM. Performers included everyone from members of the Chicago Youth Orchestra to avant-garde video art installations. Depending on the time they entered the building, visitors could heard the sounds of several groups leaking into the lobby at the same time and were free to roam wherever they wanted to seek them out.

It's too bad then that despite the large crowds on Michigan Avenue and in Millennium Park across the street, not too many people showed up.

IMG_4881.jpg

Maybe this was a bit too avant-garde for some people, or the marketing was a little week (but for some reason the word "marketing" and "musicircus" don't sound right together), but those who did show up seemed excited to have discovered this unique, crazy event. I wandered through several different rock performances, a poetry reading, a classical choir performance, really strange solo dance/movement installations, and a couple of chamber quartets all in the span of about two hours. The groups usually performed separately in different rooms, but sometimes together, as was founder and composer John Cage's intention.

Cage, who was one of the pioneers of electronic composition in the 50's and 60's, said that "one very important element is that there should at all times be many people performing simultaneously."

The idea of Musicircus seems similar to that of Looptopia or the "Macy's Day of Music" at Symphony Center. In fact, France's "Fete de la Musique" follows the same basic idea, except on a massive scale: Musicians all over the country (rather than one building) perform on their local streets outdoors on June 21 of each summer to celebrate the solstice.

Why don't we combine these events and have one giant all day and all night music fest in Chicago? No musician permit or registration required...just bring your instrument outside and start playing.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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