By Clinton Krute in the May-June 2020 Issue
Artists, venues, and ad hoc collectives have begun streaming performances from musicians’ homes. Concerts broadcast by the Chicago-based venue Experimental Sound Studio have brought a murderer’s row of improvisers and noise musicians (including Joe McPhee, Julia Holter, and Thurston Moore) online for playful and profound 30-minute sets. In the April 7 ESS lineup, a series of performers leveraged the static, single, grainy, laptop-lensed shot to both build tension and create a sense of shared space with listeners and commentators. Cracked electronic composer Aaron Dilloway’s creepy, basement-dwelling session, a collaboration with two free-range chickens, set a high bar, while Lea Bertucci’s looped flute and saxophone—recalling Dickie Landry and Terry Riley—beautifully played off a series of swirling, (hopefully remotely) controlled projections courtesy of experimental film scene–fixture Bradley Eros. And maybe most importantly, all donations will go directly to the artists.
Clinton Krute is Film Comment’s digital editor.