Behind-the-Scenes: William Blake Song Suites at the Block [Video]

Visitors to the Block Museum of Art on February 7, 2018 enjoyed William Blake’s art through music when students from the Bienen School of Music performed two song cycles inspired by Blake: Benjamin Britten’s 1965 Songs and Proverbs of William Blake and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s 1957 Ten Blake Songs. The performances took place in the museum’s gallery surrounded by […]

Block Museum Stages a Blake Inspired “Mad Song” [Video]

On Tuesday, February 20th Twelve student vocalists from the Bienen School of Music performed Mad Song, a work by Chicago composer, flutist and vocalist Janice Misurell-Mitchell that translates the text and imagery of a William Blake’s poem by the same name into a sonic experience. The performance was preceded by a discussion by Misurell-Mitchell and […]

Present Tense Pamphlets Look to the History and Future of Score-Based Performance

During the Block Museum’s Spring 2016 symposium “Performed in the Present Tense” artists Mashinka Firunts and Danny Snelson, shared an open call for a unique series of artists scores, a project they dubbed the Present Tense Pamphlets.  In the tradition of Charlotte Moorman’s Avant-Garde Festivals, Dick Higgins’ Great Bear Pamphlets, and La Monte Young’s An Anthology of Chance Operations, […]

Trisha Brown Dance Company Performance of Roof Piece at Northwestern Arts Circle

  “Trisha Brown’s dances are shaped by dreams of levitation, by geometry, enigma, physics, by memory, mathematics and geography, by language. Her gestural imagery challenges perception of the moving body, making the impossible appear possible.” – Marianne Goldberg, Fifty Contemporary Choreographers Trisha Brown is among the most acclaimed choreographers to emerge from the postmodern era. She first came […]

Scoring the Symposium: Susy Bielak and Amanda Jane Graham on “Performed in the Present Tense”

On April 8 and 9 an international group of curators, scholars and performers convened at Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art for “Performed in the Present Tense,” a free two-day symposium considering the present field of performance art. Inspired by the Block Museum exhibition, “A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-1980s,”  participants examined […]

Feast of Astonishments Opening Program: Riana Anthony Performs Morton Feldman

  Morton Feldman’s “Projection One” (1950), performed by Riana Anthony, Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, Master of Music, Class of 2017. The piece explores categories of pizzicato, arco and arco-like ponticello, as well as harmonics. It was written on graph paper with the pitch range of the instrument indicated in boxes inside larger boxes, […]

Feast of Astonishments Opening Program: Myrtil Mitanga Performs Nam Jun Paik

Nam Jun Paik’s “One for Violin Solo” (1962), performed by Myrtil Mitanga, Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, Class of 2017. The piece undermines clichés of the classical music genre through an unanticipated gesture. Charlotte Moorman, who valued drama, humor, theatricality, and subversion in her work, was drawn to the ceremony of the piece, as […]

Feast of Astonishments Opening Program: Drake Driscoll Performs John Cage

John Cage’s “Cello Etude Boreales, no. 1” (1978) performed by Drake Driscoll, Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, Class of 2018. The pieces was created using star charts from the Atlas Borealis as a source of randomness. Cage traced the star maps and then used additional chance operations to determine, with painstaking precision, the specific […]

Feast of Astonishments Opening Program: Barbara Moore

Barbara Moore, Independent Scholar and Director, Peter Moore Archive Speed-dating the Avant-Garde: 15 Festivals in 30 Minutes Barbara Moore is an independent scholar of seminal late 20th-century art alternatives such as performance and artists books. She was the first editor at Dick Higgins’s legendary Something Else Press, a rare-book dealer for thirty years specializing in printed […]