Turning Concert

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Coppice Turning Concert took place as part of a residency at Silent Funny, to develop staging and spatialization of selections from Newly Cemented Dedication to Freedom, music for modular and physical modeling syntheses. The performance and audience areas flowed between each other, marked by two rooms of Cold Light and Fake Fire. The audience was invited to change places throughout the concert. The music happened in varying degrees of performance and reproduction (shifting between live playing and listening to studio pieces played back), over a decentralized arrangement of multiple speakers and speaker types.

Coppice was joined by special guests: sound artist Lou Mallozzi and Peter Speer, and a fire-based dual-projection installation by Phil Peters that filled one of the rooms with dim flickering and impressions of warmth.

The evening unfolded as follows:

  • Fake Air opening
  • Improvisation 1 with Lou Mallozzi (conduits and Capillaries)
  • Improvisation 2 with Lou Mallozzi (controlled feedback)/”Blueberry”
  • “The Wall” (modular synthesizer, impossible specimens, impossible objects, fake Wurly, and voice)
  • “Dense Day Cooling” (recording [modular synthesizer, impossible objects, and fake double bass], Rhodes Piano Bass, and live voice over transmission line)
  • “Country Road/Afterthought” (impossible objects, modular synthesizer, Multi-material Filter, and percussion)
  • Peter Speer’s “misc. showers” (modular synthesizer)
  • Fake Fire transition
  • “Ashdown” (impossible objects, modular synthesizer, Multi-material Filter, and cymbal)
  • “Flywheel” (impossible objects, modular synthesizer, Rhodes Piano Bass, concrete, and voice)
  • “Walrus Dream (Wet Hologram)” (recording [impossible objects, fake Rhodes, modular synthesizer, field recording])

Sound artist Lou Mallozzi conceived and performed two improvisations with Coppice. The first consisted of two 20-foot pieces of .75-inch diameter steel conduit connected to Mallozzi’s ears as he sat between the two different rooms. Coppice performed very delicate, quiet sounds using mouth-blown Capillaries (collections of tubes of different lengths) at the two separate spaces into Mallozzi’s tubes. While Coppice couldn’t hear each other, Mallozzi heard them both in separate ears, and in response improvised vocal sounds with two microphones very close to his mouth, amplified over two loudspeakers placed in each of the separate spaces. The second improvisation used two microphones in and around Mallozzi’s mouth to create controlled feedback in a pair of drones that shifted pitches and beating patterns, combining and colliding in the bifurcated architecture. In response, Coppice performed with their custom Multi-Material Filter, plastic tubing, and a Rhodes Piano Bass, while Peter Speer joined with modular synthesizer.

  • August 26–27, 2016 – Silent Funny; Chicago, IL

Disgusting/Slimy/Exploded/Surveillance/Stained Glass/Mesh Sets

Newly Cemented Dedication to Freedom

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Six developmental live sets of material from Newly Cemented Dedication to Freedom were presented between 2015–2016, each capturing different stages of multiple components of the project:

  • Disgusting Set at Emporium (with live video by Ryan Dunn) and Elastic in Chicago
  • Slimy Set at Hideout Inn and Comfort Station in Chicago
  • Exploded Set at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago
  • Surveillance Set (within installation by Jessica Stockholder) at Kavi Gupta in Chicago
  • Stained Glass Set at Dreamland in Louisville, The Artifex Guild in Bloomington, and The Spot in Lafayette
  • Mesh Set at High Concept Laboratories (with live video by Vaudeo Motion) and Empty Bottle in Chicago

Vinculum re: Screens for Mutual Attractions to Related Objects (Some Impossible)

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Comprising physical modeling synthesis, musical instruments, custom technologies, and various physical materials (copper, galvanized steel, aluminum, cork, acrylic, plastic tubing, cement), this installation induces the sounds of “impossible objects” onto a set of sound sculptures to focus perceptions of new material characteristics of Coppice music.

Vinculum re: Screens for Mutual Attractions to Related Objects (Some Impossible) was conceived and developed in response to Jean-Luc Mylayne’s exhibition Mutual Regard, presented at The Arts Club Chicago, and C16, Small Chapel for One Person or at Most a Couple (April 1987), a public project presented by the Art Institute of Chicago.

  • October 3, 2015 through January 3, 2016 – 6018 North; Chicago, IL – installation of re: Coil’s “Where Are You?” for 6018 North affiliate partnership with Chicago Architecture Biennial
  • August 22, 2015, 1 PMMutual Regard at Millennium Park’s Lurie Garden; Chicago, IL – Performance series at C16, Small Chapel for One Person or at Most a Couple (April 1987), a public project presented by the Art Institute of Chicago
  • July 25, 2015, 1 PM – The Arts Club Chicago; Chicago, IL – In Concert Series

Compound Form

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Compound Form (2012), a 30-minute composition for prepared pump organ and tape processes was performed numerously in Chicago, the Midwest, and throughout West Coast and East Coast tours between 2012–2015.

  • March 22, 2015 – Space4Art; San Diego, CA
  • March 20, 2015 – AD HOC # 12 presented by The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS), Council Chambers West Hollywood Library; Los Angeles, CA
  • March 19, 2015 – Canessa Gallery, San Francisco, ;A
  • March 17, 2015 – Life Changing Ministry; Oakland, CA
  • March 16, 2015 – The Boreal; Eugene, OR
  • March 14, 2015 – Wayward Music Series, The Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center; Seattle, WA
  • March 13, 2015 – Quiet City series, Skylight Gallery; Vancouver, BC
  • March 23, 2014 – Weighter Music Series, Community School of Music and Arts; Ithaca, NY
  • March 22, 2014 – Ecstatic Yod; Florence, MA
  • March 21, 2014 – Issue Project Room; New York, NY
  • March 20, 2014 – PearlArts; Pittsburgh, PA
  • March 19, 2014 – Robinwood Concert House; Toledo, OH
  • June 18, 2013 – Apop Records; St. Louis, MO
  • June 15, 2013 – New Media Art and Sound Summit, Salvage Vanguard Theater; Austin, TX
  • March 13, 2013 – The Burlington; Chicago, IL
  • October 27, 2012 – Cedar House; Milwaukee, WI
  • October 26, 2012 – crow with no mouth series, Studio Z; St. Paul, MN
  • July 27, 2012 – Experimental Sound Studio; Chicago, IL
  • July 13, 2012 – Southside Hub of Production; Chicago, IL


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Inspired by certain aspects among the amazing variety of ferns at the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the moist environment in which they thrive, Droopy adds several new specimens to the Fern Room collection, along with some requisite adjustments to its sonic environment. Droopy concocts a diverse ecosystem of drooping species in which sonic flaccidity is let to sag and corrugate.

Coppice’s bellows, bladders, and breath elicit the natural harmonic series from very “unnatural” objects: corrugated tubes of plastic and metal, small organ pipes, and a homemade electrical reed box are driven to sound by the excitement of turbulent air. In this process, Droopy highlights the decay of breath and its cumulative humidity as its expelled.

Droopy was commissioned by Lou Mallozzi/Experimental Sound Studio for the Florasonic series at the Fern Room of the Lincoln Park Conservatory in Chicago. 

  • Florasonic sound installation series – Lincoln Park Conservatory, curated by Lou Mallozzi; Chicago, IL
    • July 14, 2013, 3-5 PM – opening reception
    • July 14 – November 10, 2013, 9-5 PM – open daily (free admission) 

A Vinculum Variation

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Canadian sound/radio artist Anna Friz invited Coppice to present a sound work in conversation with her recent installation Nocturne – “an intimate atmosphere of transmission inside a multi-channel array of radio receivers and micro-watt transmitters, suspended and dispersed throughout the space”.

The response to this invitation resulted in A Vinculum Variation, a multi-channel installation and performance that accomodates motifs and materials from Vinculum, including a custom-built inductive mixing table. When sounds are played back through small speakers resting at different locations on the table’s surface, they become redistributed across multiple speakers dispersed throughout the installation space.  The shifting sound blanket are elaborated in performance by the reorientation of the speakers on the table, subtle imaging variations, and chordal passages performed live on accordion.

For its second iteration at Mana Contemporary, six speakers were placed inside galvanized steel sculptures that would act as filters and resonators. The performance also included Andrew Furse’s Apiary.

Some of the following photographs partly show Anna Friz’s suspending radio installation at the first iteration of the piece.

  • September 22, 2013, noon and 2 PM – Mana Contemporary; Chicago, IL – High Concept Laboratories showcase at the opening celebration of Mana Contemporary
  • May 25, 2013, 6-11 PM – Tritriangle; Chicago, IL – presented in conversation with Nocturne, a sound installation by Anna Friz

Vinculum (Passes)

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Vinculum (Passes) is a sound sculpture exhibition rendering selected recordings from the Vinculum archive through physical materials: galvanized steel, foam, glass, copper, and aluminum.

While the archival recordings are produced to capture particular aspects of air interacting with an object, Vinculum (Passes) feeds that sound energy into material properties to highlight new sonic aspects.

Sculptures and installation views
  • Acrylic, aluminum, clay, copper, custom electronics, glass, metal, paper, polystyrene foams, S-1 01.01 020:00, twine
  • BK-1 B1.01 002:25, F-GS 01.02 030:01, galvanized steel, stainless steel, twine
  • F-GS 01.01 007:31, PC-1 04.02 000:22, wood
  • Exhibition on display daily through December 2012 and January 2013 – Gallery Uno, curated by Barbara Goebels-Cattaneo; Chicago, IL
    • December 14, 2012, 5-10 PM – exhibition open hours
    • January 11, 2013, 5-9 PM – exhibition open hours
    • January 27, 2013, 2 PM – artist talk and performance featuring Andrew Furse

Mark Booth’s God Is Represented By The Sea

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In conjunction with Mark Booth’s exhibition The Sea is Represented by an Irregular Shape, devening projects + editions presented God is Represented by the Sea, a collaborative durational performance by  Mark Booth with Coppice and Orla McHardy.

Coppice’s sound consisted of small gestures of quiet instruments, repetitive variations and fragmented alternations of multiple sound devices including Andrew Furse’s Apiary, 2 shruti boxes, 3 handheld samplers, 3 small speakers with Vinculum audio, speaker mutes, 13 reed boxes, 3 metal pipes and 2 funnels; while twelve readers alternate reading Booth’s 558 line text, and an animated projection titled Rip Current by Orla McHardy.

A sound installation of the recorded text with remixed Coppice material by Mark Booth accompanied the exhibition during gallery hours.

God is Represented by the Sea was performed with the readers Becka Cooling Mallard, Becky Grajeda, Mark Jeffrey, Devin King, Tim Kinsella, Orla McHardy, Adrian Moens, Judd Morrissey, Peter O’Leary, Caroline Picard, Suzanne Scanlon, and Samantha Topol.


Vinculum (Courses) [Version Baschet]

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Coppice was invited to perform on the Baschet Brothers’ Aluminum Piano as part of Crystal Baschet Concerts in conjunction with the exhibition Motor Cocktail: Sound and Movement in Art of the 1960s at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

For this special one-time-only event, Vinculum (Courses) was re-arranged for new instrumentation highlighting the Baschet Aluminum Piano, with 4-channel sound installation, pump organ, prepared shruti box, and signal processing.

From the Museum’s press release:

François and Bernard Baschet’s (b. 1917 and 1920) Aluminum Piano (1962) is one of the most arresting and fascinating works included in Motor Cocktail: Sound and Movement in Art of the 1960s. With its five large metal cones and slender metal tendrils mounted on a small keyboard, the work has the appearance of a large flower.

When Aluminum Piano was presented as part of the exhibition, Structures for Sound: Musical Instruments by François and Bernard Baschet at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1965 and later at the Arts Club Chicago in 1969, they invited musicians to perform on these ‘sound structures.’ Motor Cocktail continues this tradition: Chicago musicians have been invited to play and accompany François and Bernard Baschet’s Aluminum Piano in the exhibition space.


Vinculum (Courses)

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Vinculum (Courses) is a composition for staged performance that presents variable wind power and tactile reed excitement, with signal processing in three movements.

In the first movement, free reed chambers are mouth-blown, individually introduced and distributed throughout eight speakers as they are developed with density and identity.  A second set of free reed chambers is then activated with by means of bellows, supplemented with minimal tactile rhythms and acoustic filtering. Meanwhile, electronically-processed impressions hollow out and transform the signal.  By the final movement, the original recorded material has integrally evolved and become segmented. A live accordion passage reprises the original onset. The piece dissipates within the spread of events and long silences.


Vinculum (Coincidence)

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Vinculum (Coincidence) is a procedural composition that unfolds from intersections between two accordions, aleatoric content, spatial/temporal intervals, and audience flow.

The sounds consist of multiple breathing rhythms, simple and complex tones, periodic silences, and instrumental artifacts (like crackle, hissing, rattles); while the accordion parts are minimalist, based on long notes, intervalic relationships and simple musical phrases repeated over a long period of time.

The score derives its instructions from coincidences between the two accordions as they intersect with aleatoric pre-recorded material and the activity in the space.

The performance can be conditioned to different settings in ways that integrate diffused performance/audience spaces, distance, proximity, and the inherent sound characteristics of the space itself.

Conceived for its site-specific live presentation at the Museum of Contemporary Art‘s Without You I Am Nothing: Interactions, a four-month companion series of artist and audience activations within the exhibition Without You I Am Nothing: Art and Its Audience, co-curated by MCA Associate Curator Tricia Van Eck with assistance from Dominic Molon. It was performed for a total of 14 hours between February 8-13, 2011.



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Copse is a three-movement composition for performed multi-channel installation; based on the atomization and dispersal of instrumental aspects.  The products/by-products of the instrumentation are separated and shuffled spatially and temporally, in an effort to present the parts-to-the-whole relationships as fluid and continuous.

The instrumentation consists of multi-channel audio, tapes, custom electronics, shruti box, pitch pipes, harmonica, and acoustic filters. 

Eleven small speakers playing a multitude of prerecorded sounds  as well as processed sounds of live shruti box performance were used as a performance instrument.  By moving the small speakers across a custom inductive mixing table the sounds were diffused through a low wattage multichannel distribution system to an additional eight speakers distributed throughout the performance space.  Focus was placed on the creation of spaces and in shifting audience attention between sound environments and live musical performance.