Exquisite Corpse | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Exquisite Corpse 


This Sunday at the Art Institute three Chicago composers and three performers will demonstrate their version of Exquisite Corpse, a parlor game favored by Parisian surrealists in which various artists would sketch parts of the human body on the same folded sheet of paper without knowing what the others had drawn. Each composer--Northwestern University's cyber composer Amnon Wolman and two of his doctoral students, Frederick Gifford and Peter Edwards--chose an instrument and wrote music for the first section of the piece. Clues as to what each had composed--"in bar 48 there may be an A," "the first three beats in measure 76 are very active"--were given to the other two, who elaborated on them in the following four sections, each of which lasts as long as the first. None of the composers knows what the entire piece sounds like, though all admit to having had fun exchanging notes. The instruments they've chosen--mandolin, guitar, and bass clarinet--make an unusual blend, and the instrumentalists are adept at this kind of controlled chaos. Dimitris Marinos, the mandolin player, is one of the best, with the dexterity of Segovia and tremolos so expressive they can sound ethereal as well as mean. Grounded in folk traditions, Marinos also can adapt to the demands of contemporary music. His partners are Italian-born clarinetist Guido Arbonelli and guitarist Jesse Langen. Sunday, 2 PM, Fullerton Auditorium, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan; 312-443-3600. Ted Shen

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/A. Sourbis.

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