Alvin Curran | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Alvin Curran 

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In the mid-60s, American composer Alvin Curran moved to Rome, where he and several collaborators--including Richard Teitelbaum, Frederic Rzewski, Steve Lacy, and Allan Bryant--performed as MEV, or Musica Elettronica Viva, one of the first electroacoustic improvised-music groups and one of the earliest to explore the use of synthesizers and amplified found objects. Since then Curran has maintained a refreshingly wide-ranging approach to composing and making music, keeping up with evolving technology and tapping into the sounds of his childhood in Rhode Island--from 40s jazz to the low-end horn blasts of ocean freighters. He's written for all kinds of classical ensembles, collaborated with jazz players like ROVA and Evan Parker, and engaged in laptop experiments with Domenico Sciajno. He's so prolific and his curiosity so seemingly endless that after all these years his approach remains hard to pin down; he's still wonderfully in flux. Curran doesn't make it to Chicago often, so this pair of concerts shouldn't be ignored. On Tuesday he'll collaborate with members of Ensemble Noamnesia and the AGAM Quartet on works including VSTO, for string quartet, and the electronic piece TransDadaExpress. The following night he'll improvise with Noamnesia founder Gene Coleman, Jim Baker, Michael Zerang, and others at Elastic; see Wednesday's Treatment item for more. a 8 PM, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, 5811 S. Ellis, 773-702-8670. F A

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