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Soundpost — A preconcert series that explores the innovative side of classical music

Explore another side of Symphony Center through Soundpost, the Overture Council’s preconcert series that examines music’s cutting edge.

Soundpost is a preconcert live event that explores the ever-evolving medium of music — highlighting artists, individuals and companies who challenge the ways in which we interact, experience and view classical music. Past events include a partnership with video game composers to understand non-linear classical music composition and the future of video game music within the traditional classical music canon; a conversation with Lady Gaga’s songwriter/composer-collaborator Dino Zisis about the future of composition through technological innovations, and a multimedia exploration with Mexican artist and composer Ricardo Mondragon, whose work explores harmonic content, frequency information, waveform generation, modulation, color and light.

The goal of Soundpost is to expand the reach of CSO programming by focusing on the next generation of classical music audiences, those ages 21-45. Soundpost events attract a wide spectrum of attendees, from young professionals who may be unfamiliar with the CSO to avid symphony patrons. Soundpost aims to creatively modernize the way in which the CSO interacts with its audience. Vibrations, the theme of Soundpost's 2021/2022 Season, explores how the experience of sound and energy changes as the world shifts back from a prolonged virtual life to in-person concerts and interactions.

Soundpost: abridged

New to the 2021/2022 Season is Soundpost: abridged. Based on the Soundpost concept but in a condensed format, Soundpost: abridged is a short, sweet and interactive accompaniment to the original series, following an overarching theme across the season. What’s more, Overture Council members are encouraged to bring along friends to meet and network, all ahead of the concert that evening!

The 2021/2022 Soundpost: abridged series will dive into the people and spaces of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, featuring engaging discussions with those conducting the operations from behind the scenes, insights into how the message of the Orchestra is heard beyond the music and an appreciation of what gives Orchestra Hall its signature sound.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 11, 2022, 5:45 p.m. at Buntrock Hall (Symphony Center)

What happens when the way we produce and understand sound changes?

Technology is constantly evolving, and because of it, how we understand one another and the world also has to evolve alongside it. At Soundpost: AlgoRHYTHMS, Visda Goudarzi, assistant professor of audio arts and acoustics at Columbia College Chicago, will walk us through how technology is being used as a tool to push the boundaries of sound by producing not only novel sounds but also innovative works of music. We’ll find out how the ability to create previously impossible sounds and the capacity to apply automation technologies to composing and performing opens an entirely new realm of exploration in the pursuit of music.

  • Doors: 5:30 PM
  • Participatory Performance: immerse in the lake 2.0, 6:00 PM
  • Presentation: 6:15 PM
  • Concert: 8:00 PM

About the performance: immerse in the lake 2.0 is a remote live-coding experience for two laptop performers located on two different continents. The performance is based on the processing of sound by crowdsourced and personal site-specific field recordings made throughout Chicago. Audience members also may interact with the piece live visually and sonically on their mobile devices. The piece is a real-time improvisation and a free interpretation of John Cage’s A Dip in the Lake.

Performed by Visda Goudarzi and Anna Xambó.

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Associated Concert — Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky Romeo & Juliet

Soundpost: algoRYTHMS Abstract

Previous Events

Monday, March 14, 2022, 5:45 p.m. at Harris Theater for Music and Dance
Soundpost: abridged | The Art of Score Reading with Michael Manning, manager of audio media and operations
Associated Concert — CSO MusicNOW: Night of Song

Soundpost: abridged kicked off with an engaging discussion at Harris Theater on how to spot the sparkle within a score. Michael Manning, manager of audio media and operations for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, walked through Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night to show how he and other members of the CSOA team uncover special moments hidden amongst the lines to create a truly special experience for CSO patrons. Soundpost: abridged attendees even had the opportunity to mark up a score and find their own special moments in Transfigured Night.

Monday, May 2, 2022, 5:45 p.m. at Symphony Center
Soundpost: abridged | The Acoustics of Orchestra Hall with Dawn Schuette, FAIA, partner at Threshold Acoustics
Associated Concert — Civic Orchestra of Chicago: Nature’s Realm

Have you ever sat in Orchestra Hall (or any performance space, for that matter) and wondered why the room has a curve here, some fabric there and maybe a large, glass spaceship hanging over the stage? Dawn Schuette, partner at Threshold Acoustics, will look to answer all these questions and more as we aurally wander through the jewel of Symphony Center, highlighting the architectural interventions of the 1997 renovation and what makes Orchestra Hall sound the way it does today! Attendees will also be invited to virtually talk and sing from stage with additional room modifications of their choosing through the power of auralization.

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