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Tuesday, May 18

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Transmission
« Preview: Shemekia Copeland @ City Winery 10/12 Contest: White Rabbits @ Lincoln Hall! »

Concert Fri Oct 12 2012

Keith Rowe: The Six Strings That Draw Blood

Keith Rowe plays guitar. He plays it on its back, on a table, using piles of raw materials (springs, bows, coins, credit cards, steel wool, wood strips) to resonate the strings. In 2012, this is hardly uncommon, but in 1966, when Cronos-like Ur-free improv group AMM recorded their debut, it was like saying you eat your dinner with a windshield wiper. Rowe's relentless push to the edges of abstract sound and telepathic improvisation (as well as that of his former AMM colleagues Eddie Prevost, Cornelius Cardew, and others) built a cottage industry of abstract improvisers who are serious, humorless, and often proprietary in their explorations. Not so Rowe...at a solo performance hosted by Lampo in 2001, he ended his set -- 45 minutes of enveloping, genuinely alien atmospheres -- he asked the crowed with a big grin whether anyone else wanted to "have a go" at playing his rig for a while. No one stepped up -- attempting our own rendition would have been like taking Yo Yo Ma's still-warm-from-use cello out of his hand and farting "Happy Birthday" into the resonators. (His selective use of shortwave radio during long, serious improvisations also helps to incorporate the outside world into an inherently isolationist art form.)

Following a second solo performance at Lampo in 2005, Rowe returns this Saturday with another Lampo performance, performing a composition titled "City Music," written for him by Chicago composer Frank Abbinanti. The performance takes place at the Renaissance Society in Hyde Park (5811 S. Ellis Ave, Cobb Hall 418). Admission is FREE, no RSVP required, and the performance begins at 8:00.

Here is an excellent clip that not only allows Rowe to show of hiss techniques, but also lets him speak about the genesis of his style.

 
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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.

Read this feature »

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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