Birgit Ulher & Eric Leonardson | Bond Chapel, University of Chicago | Experimental | Chicago Reader
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Birgit Ulher & Eric Leonardson 

When: Wed., Oct. 9, 8 p.m. 2013
For Chicago sound artist Eric Leonardson, improvisation isn’t just a way to use an instrument; it’s how to make your instrument. He devised what he called the “springboard” by attaching contact microphones, screws, and springs to a block of wood mounted on a walker, and he’s spent nearly 20 years modifying it and looking for new noises to coax out of it. Sometimes his playing sounds like a lumber mill in operation; at others, it’s more like an especially lively piece of musique concrete. Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher uses microphones to wrest tiny gurgles and pops from the depths of her horn; she also turns it into a resonating chamber by playing radio static into its bell. The two musicians share an appreciation for the qualities of individual sounds and the richness of layered tones; at this Renaissance Society event, the duo’s first concert in the area since 2007, they’ll explore both by performing solos and duets. —Bill Meyer

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