Schnee, Los Glissandinos | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Schnee, Los Glissandinos 

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Viennese musicians Burkhard Stangl (guitar) and Christof Kurzmann (computer), who together form SCHNEE, were among the first practitioners of what's now usually called electroacoustic improvisation--a gestural, texture-oriented music in which an instrument's traditional sound is often obscured and subsumed. (In particular, Stangl was a founding member of the paradigm-shifting group Polwechsel.) But Stangl has never been shy about letting his guitar sound like a guitar: on Schnee's self-titled 2000 debut he complemented Kurzmann's hovering, abstract sound sculptures with the occasional strummed chord or damped-string scrape, enhancing the music's gorgeously meditative flow. Last year's Schnee Live (ErstLive) adds spoken word, singing, and actual chord progressions, but the duo's music is still built around subtle interaction and patient resolution.

LOS GLISSANDINOS, the duo of Berlin clarinetist Kai Fagaschinski and Viennese sine-wave manipulator Klaus Filip, dissolve the distinctions between acoustic instruments and electronics on their superb debut, last year's Stand Clear (Creative Sources). Fagaschinski plays with stunning control, climbing into the clarinet's extreme upper registers to meld with his partner's pure electronic tones or using unpitched, striated breath streams to contrast with them. More than just noisemakers, these two engage in high-level give-and-take. This is their Chicago debut.

Schnee headlines and Los Glissandinos open. a 8 PM, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, 5811 S. Ellis, 773-702-8670. F A

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