ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE:
Saturday, November 9 | 6pm - 9pm | Old Capitol Senate Chamber at the Pentacrest Museums
Free and open to the public ($10 suggested donation)
ABOUT THE COLLABORATION:
The Feed Me Weird Things collaboration is a series of online visual “mixtapes” created in response to a series of music performances. Each mixtape (or group of art) is culled from the permanent collections of the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art and paired with short essays. These essays and images provide an avenue for exploring overlaps between the aesthetic sensibilities of visual and sonic artforms.
A central endeavor of art exhibitions and concert series alike is to introduce audiences to new ideas, or novel combinations and juxtapositions of old ideas. Musical curator Chris Wiersema (Mission Creek Festival) and visual curator Vero Rose Smith (Stanley Museum of Art) are united in their effort to carve out cavities for interesting conversations and cross-disciplinary connections. What is music? What is art? Where are the spaces between, and the intersections? What does it mean to listen and see deeply? The curators hold in common a belief that learning to listen and see with depth and empathy should not be limited to those able to receive specialized training. Sharing time, and attention, and physical proximity with others can create a natural empathy despite differences in personal identities and cultures.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS:
Bill MacKay & Katinka Kleijn:
Bill MacKay, a Chicago-based guitarist/composer/writer/ improviser, and Katinka Kleijn, a classical cellist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the International Contemporary Ensemble, team up regularly as an improvised music duo. It is at once an unlikely and perfect pairing as both musicians are known not only for their excellence, but for their curiosity and range. MacKay’s recent projects have centered on experimental-folk, avant-garde, free jazz, western blues, and Appalachian styles, while Kleijn's include an ambient-folk album, a prog-rock metal band, and regular performances in the free jazz scene. Together they form a fluid, intuitive, dialogical, improvisational pair.
Hailed as “Chicago’s first lady of the cello” by Timeout Chicago Magazine, Dutch cellist Katinka Kleijn defies today’s traditional definition of a cellist, transitioning comfortably through the styles of classical, experimental, contemporary, improvisatory, folk and progressive rock, as well as across the traditional fields of solo, chamber and orchestral performance.
A member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Kleijn is in frequent demand as a soloist, performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Charles Dutoit in Penderecki’s Triple Cello Concerto, as well as with the The Hague Philharmonic, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Illinois Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestras of Elmhurst, DuPage and Sheboygan, and as a soloist in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Kai on the CSO’s MusicNOW Series.
Bill MacKay cut his teeth in various bands and projects spanning genres across the United States, and has created an extensive body of original work, while energizing the folk, avant-garde, and experimental diaspora.
MacKay’s blissful harmonic control and just-outside-the-box guitar mastery are one with his compelling songwriting, and his creative voyage and imaginative influences are fully displayed on his most recent solo records for Drag City.
These recordings along with his unmatched live performances reveal a startling range – from the folk of Appalachia, avant-rock, and blues to jazz, raga-esque excursions, and western modes. MacKay’s music has received praise in reviews by the Chicago Reader, Mojo, The Ear, Uncut, Downbeat, Paste, Pitchfork and New City among other publications.
Madara Gruntmane (poetry; Latvia) has a background in cultural management. A recipient of 2015 Latvian Literature Readers’ Choice Award for her book Narkozes (Narcoses; 2015) and the 2019 Public Broadcasting Award for her second poetry volume Dzērājmeitiņa [Drunk Daddy’s Girl], she often presents at international literary festivals; she also works with creative collectives to produce cultural arts events throughout Latvia. Her participation has been made possible by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.