Kasper Toeplitz | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Kasper Toeplitz 

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French composer Kasper Toeplitz erases distinctions--between acoustic and electronic, performer and composer, music and sound. He's no friend of the instrumentalist; he's written that "the instrument is only a tool," and his growing body of work bears that out. His Branca-esque guitar project Sleaze Art created a huge, amorphous, lumbering din on a phalanx of electric guitars and basses, and he's written equally slippery pieces for orchestra, in which harmonic ambiguity and dissonance produce a different but similarly excruciating tension. (Some of his vocal pieces, though, more clearly indicate his classical training.) He's performed with Japanese noise artists like Merzbow and Aube, but he's at home in academia too, taking commissions from prestigious French electronic music centers like Pierre Boulez's IRCAM and Iannis Xenakis's CCMIX. For his Chicago debut, Toeplitz will perform two original works and give the U.S. premiere of a new one by Phill Niblock. His Demonology #10 is performed on a bass-computer hybrid, which allows figures played on a bass to trigger electronic responses. Marine is a dense computer piece played in 444 different pitches at once. Niblock's tape piece Yam Almost May incorporates numerous layers of electric bass performed by Toeplitz, and he'll add at least one more during its playback here. The performances will all be run through a quadraphonic sound system equipped with large subwoofers. Saturday, October 27, 10 PM, 6Odum, 2116 W. Chicago; 773-227-3617.

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