Experimental Sound Studios brings together a duo of improvising giants | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Experimental Sound Studios brings together a duo of improvising giants 

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click to enlarge Lou Mallozzi, Douglas Ewart

Lou Mallozzi, Douglas Ewart

Sandra Binion; Glen Stubbe

Lou Mallozzi and Douglas Ewart are both seasoned interdisciplinary artists who approach sound and music from a multitude of perspectives. Mallozzi, who founded Experimental Sound Studios (ESS) over 30 years ago, most recently exhibited a site-specific installation at gallery Sector 2337 that’s composed of two works, one of which involves sound and its interaction in space. That’s a common thread for Mallozzi no matter which primary medium he’s working in, but while his installation centered around barely audible sounds in a room with subtle visual manipulations, his performances often have him expressing another side of his explorations, often using turntables and electronics to produce twitchy organic figures that boldly take up the room. Beyond his endeavors as a composer and woodwind artist, Ewart invents and builds instruments—some of which he’ll play at ESS tonight. He values the visual aesthetics of his creations as much as their functionality; repurposing old crutches and skis, he makes didgeridoos from scratch, and always adds ornate details that make them sculptures worthy of display whether or not they’re being played. As peers and collaborators, Mallozzi and Ewart go way back. Notably, in 1992 ESS (then under the direction of Mallozzi) commissioned a sound installation created by Ewart and George Lewis titled Rio Negro. For this show, Mallozzi and Ewart will play a duo improv set under the name Lunch With Money, and while they’ll focus on music, it’s hard to imagine that their vast experimentation in other disciplines won’t inform their playing.   v

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