Eighth Blackbird roosts at the MCA 

Eighth Blackbird

Eighth Blackbird

Luke Ratray

Since 2011 the Museum of Contemporary Art has hosted visual artists to create unique work over extended periods: Goshka Macuga, Mark Bradford, and Martin Creed have all developed projects through the museum's artist-in-residence program. But this year the institution has taken the unusual but laudable step of naming Chicago's Eighth Blackbird—one of the world's foremost new-music ensembles—artists in residence for the 2015-'16 season.

The group has performed concerts at the museum for years--in fact, its brand-new album Filament (Cedille), which features genre-blurring works by Nico Muhly, Philip Glass, rock band Son Lux, and the National's Bryce Dessner, was partly recorded at the MCA in May 2013.

The upcoming season features a number of formal concerts in the theater, but the bulk of the residency will focus on open rehearsals, workshops, and intimate performances in various galleries. When the group isn't working on-site, visitors can watch footage from earlier rehearsals for David Lang's "These Broken Wings," which will be projected on gallery walls. The residency also coincides with the debut of new Eighth Blackbird flutist Nathalie Joachim (a member of the duo Flutronix), who recently replaced longtime member Tim Munro.

September 2015-June 2016, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E. Chicago, 312-280-4010, mcachicago.org, concerts $30, all other events free with museum admission.

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