Olivia Block with members of the Chicago Composers Orchestra | Constellation | Classical | Chicago Reader
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Olivia Block with members of the Chicago Composers Orchestra 

When: Sun., Oct. 27, 8:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $10
Chicago-based composer Olivia Block holds a pair of mirrors up to the institution of the orchestra on her new LP, Karren (Sedimental). On one side of the album, extraneous sounds that the musicians would rather you not hear add up to a depiction of something coming into being; on the other, layers of gorgeous strings sink into slowed-down hand claps, transforming the ensemble’s preferred profile into one of lush decay. Both pieces are recording-studio constructions, impossible to reproduce live, so at this concert Block is celebrating the release of Karren with four unrecorded pieces that will feature members of the Chicago Composers Orchestra. “Bones as Levers” is a violin solo that extracts slender filaments of beauty from rough clumps of abraded sound; “Numbering the Dust” is a sparse electro-acoustic environment that recalls the loveliest moments of long-running trio AMM. Another piece is a string quartet, but it’s impossible to say what “Red Ball, Yellow Ball” will sound like, since it’s an adaption of the improvisational Theater Games devised by director Viola Spolin. No two Block concerts are alike, but this is the first time she’s ever had such a large ensemble at her disposal; I can’t wait to hear what she’ll get it to do. —Bill Meyer


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