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Mario Diaz de Leon/Ted Moore & Ben Roidl-Ward/Willful Devices
April 9, 2019 @ 9:00 pm - 11:30 pm
New York’s Mario Diaz de Leon performs solo, Ted Moore & Ben Roidl-Ward present their work “feed”, and duo Willful Devices arrives from Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Since 2002, Mario Diaz de Leon has created a significant body of new works for acoustic instruments and electronics. Following his teenage years playing hardcore punk, metal, and electronic music, Diaz de Leon was inspired by the mystically oriented modernisms of Stockhausen, Scelsi, Messiaen, and Dumitrescu, and soon after developed his signature style while a student at Oberlin Conservatory. His debut album as composer, “Enter Houses Of” was released in 2009 on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, and praised by the New York Times for its “hallucinatory intensity”. A second album, entitled “The Soul is the Arena”, was released in 2015 on Denovali, and was named a notable recording of the year by New Yorker Magazine. Pitchfork wrote that the album “combines his interests seamlessly into music that throbs with snarling exuberance.” Both releases were performed by his longtime collaborators in the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). He currently leads the metal band Luminous Vault as vocalist and guitarist, whose “Charismata” EP was released on Profound Lore Records in spring 2017. From 2012-2016, his solo electronic project Oneirogen (o-NI-ro-jen) toured internationally and released three full length albums on Denovali. He collaborated with director Zev Deans to create the score for Alien: Biotic, a short film commissioned by Fox as part of the official Alien: Covenant campaign. In 2016, the Los Angeles Philharmonic commissioned and premiered his “Lightmass” for their “Noon to Midnight” festival of contemporary music. He has also collaborated with Nate Young of Wolf Eyes on “Standard Deviance One”, which they recently performed at Tectonics Festival Glasgow with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Ted Moore is a composer, improviser, intermedia artist, and educator based in Chicago. His work focuses on fusing the sonic, visual, physical, and acoustic aspects of performance and sound, often through the integration of technology. Ted’s work has been reviewed as “an impressive achievement both artistically and technically” (Jay Gabler, VitaMN), “wonderfully creepy” (Matthew Everett, TC Daily Planet), and “epic” (Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press). Ted also frequently performs solo on electronics using his laptop, modular synthesizer systems, resonant physical objects, lighting equipment, and video projection. He has been featured as an installation artist by the Northern Spark Festival (Minneapolis), New York University, Studio 300 Festival of Digital Art and Music (Lexington, KY), St. Paul Public Library, TC Make (Minneapolis). Ted is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Chicago.
Ben Roidl-Ward is a bassoonist and improviser based in Chicago who is dedicated to working with and advocating for composers of his generation. He has appeared as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, and has performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, the Chicago Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic. A 2018 Luminarts Fellow in Classical Music, Ben is a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and a student of David McGill at Northwestern University. He also studied with Ben Kamins, George Sakakeeny, and Francine Peterson.
Willful Devices is a collaboration between composer/computer musician Scott Miller and performer/improviser Pat O’Keefe. The duo’s name refers to the fact that both musicians are manipulating devices, be it a clarinet or a computer, in order to generate sonic material. Anyone who works with computers or musical instruments knows that despite your best efforts, these devices are never fully under your control, and seem to have a mind of their own. Scott and Pat accept this fact, and even celebrate it, because within this unpredictability lies the potential for unimagined sonic discoveries.