This Wednesday, Chicago kicks off the Ear Taxi Festival, a 6-day, 88-composer, 350-performer, 54-world premiere celebration of the city’s new music community spearheaded by Augusta Read Thomas. The event will include concerts, lectures, webcasts, and artist receptions—plus a special edition of NewMusicBox LIVE, which will highlight stories and music from Andy Costello, Nicole Mitchell, and Shulamit Ran. (If you’re in town, we hope to see you on October 8 at 5 p.m. in the Harris Theater.)
Inspired by this concentration of activity, here at NewMusicBox we’ll be devoting the week to an examination of the creative energy that fires Chicago from a variety of angles. We will reflect back with Patricia Morehead, consider aesthetics with Michael Lewanski, and examine culture past and present with Seth Boustead. To further showcase the spirit of the community Ear Taxi is organized to celebrate, we’ve asked for short posts from a diverse roster of local creators to highlight the stand out (but quite possibly under-the-radar) aspects of the scene—to pull back the curtain on Chicago for those in the know about new music but maybe a stranger to the city.
But to get things rolling, we’re going to start with an essay by our very own Frank J. Oteri penned for the festival’s program book, but do check back for more as we explore what makes Chicago an inspiring place to create.