Andrew Voigt | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Andrew Voigt 

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ANDREW VOIGT

Andrew Voigt is best known as the V in the acronymically named saxophone quartet ROVA, which he cofounded in 1977 with Jon Raskin, Larry Ochs, and Bruce Ackley and left almost exactly ten years later. That's partially because there's precious little documentation of the work he's done since he quit: a 1990 duo album with Anthony Braxton (Kol Nidre, on Sound Aspects), a few projects as a sideman, and that's it. Instead the alto and soprano saxist has kept busy as musical director (and often composer) for several experimental performance ensembles in the Bay Area, a more natural transition than you might think: ROVA concerts, though not as stagy as those of their contemporaries the World Saxophone Quartet, nonetheless have their own theatricality, contained in the abstract story lines of their improvised interplay. And musically Voigt can match most any onstage mood, creating complex textures and propulsive surges as well as lithe melodies and placid timbres. This Saturday, Voigt will appear as part of Corpus Ludens, a troupe that includes both musicians and dancers who "play silence through minimal movement." The group features Voigt and New York-based French hornist Vincent Chancey, an ex-Chicagoan and former denizen of Sun Ra's universe; Chicagoans Harrison Bankhead on bass and Hamid Drake on drums, a well-traveled tandem that infuses even complicated rhythms with earthy emotion; and dancer-choreographers Erica Blue and Eponine Cuervo-Moll from San Francisco, joined by Chicago performance artist Sandra Binion for this show. Sunday at the Cultural Center, Chancey and Voigt (this time on shakuhachi) accompany Cuervo-Moll in Binion's Duras Piece, the last segment of her three-part performance; Monday, Voigt supplies taped background sound to the theater piece Simone Alone, performed by Blue and directed by Cuervo-Moll. Saturday, 9:30 PM, Velvet Lounge, 2128 1/2 S. Indiana; 312-791-9050 (reservations recommended). Sunday, 6 PM, Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; 312-744-6630. Monday, 7:30 PM, Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division; 773-278-1500. If you're reading this on Thursday, April 8, you can also catch a different performance by Corpus Ludens at 8 PM at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo; 312-362-9707. NEIL TESSER

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Brad Miller.

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