Anne La Berge | Elastic | Experimental | Chicago Reader
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Anne La Berge 

When: Thu., Dec. 5, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $8 suggested donation
When flutist Anne La Berge left the U.S. for Amsterdam in 1989, she put aside her aspirations as a composer and set out on a circuitous path that would lead her to a niche in the netherworld between improvisation, electronics, and noise. I first heard La Berge in 2000, when she played here with Gert Jan-Prins in the duo United Noise Toys, and her amplified, processed flute sounded just as harsh and abstract as her partner’s electronics. On the 2011 album Speak (New World), she augmented her flute with text and computers; “Drive” combines a fictional interview with Mary Anderson (an Alabama woman who invented the windshield wiper after riding a New York trolley whose driver had to stop and get out to clear snow off his windows) with sputtering digital clicks, distorted flute, ominous industrial drones, and sampled discussions of the female reproductive system. The heart of La Berge’s practice is improvisation, though, and she’s been an important part of the Amsterdam scene for years; she not only founded the wide-open Kraakgeluiden series with Steve Heather and Cor Fuhler, but she also plays in the latter’s shape-shifting Corkestra. In this rare Chicago concert she’ll improvise with some of the city’s most genre-averse talent: bassoonist Katherine Young, clarinetist James Falzone, modular synth player Brian Labycz, and bassist Jason Roebke. —Peter Margasak

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