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Pitchfork and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Midwinter Soundscapes Announced

Pitchfork and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Midwinter is a three-night event taking place at the Art Institute from February 15-17, 2019. It’s set to feature live performances from Slowdive, Panda Bear, Oneohtrix Point Never, Kamasi Washington, Deerhunter, Laurie Anderson, Bill Callahan, and more. The museum will also host original new music soundscapes from Nico Muhly, Stars of the Lid, Julia Holter, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Visible Cloaks, Helado Negro, and more. Today, Pitchfork is happy to announce more details about the immersive soundscapes, which are inspired by works of art throughout the museum. The soundscapes have been tailored for the space through Sonos and its Trueplay technology.

Nico Muhly’s piece is called “Étretat Cycles” and will appear in the Art Institute’s Impressionist gallery. It’s inspired by two paintings by Claude Monet: Boats on the Beach at Étretat and The Departure of Boats, Étretat. “The piece is a cycle of chords which recycle every seven minutes, with a set of increasing and decreasing energy; the rhythm of the sea (both small, as in the repetitive crashing of the waves, and large, as in the slow pulls of the tides) provides the framework for these large cycles and variations,” Muhly said in his artist statement.

Stars of the Lid’s piece is titled “Installation for People with Special Powers on the Run from Government Exploitation” is inspired by the Neoclassical Sculpture Court. “[My grandparents] resided out in the West Suburbs in the tiny village of Glen Ellyn,” reads their artist statement. “Most of my early life, summers were spent in Chicago, and I have forever been sitting and gazing in wonder at the beauty of the Sculpture Hall, and the epic Shedd Aquarium just across Grant Park, as they are literally two of my earliest memories.”

Julia Holter and Tashi Wada’s “The Flying Fix” is inspired by Noguchi’s Miss Expanding Universe. Their artist statement explains, “The smooth, billowing form of Miss Expanding Universe, at once human and cosmic/angelic, suggests a continuum, bringing to mind life cycles and paralleling the haniwa sculptures, which are thought to have been created to watch over the living and the dead. Our piece ‘The Flying Fix’ responds sonically by unfixing and moving the space around the floating figure—an action the sculpture implies, but does not do itself—with waves of sound and unexpected turns.”

Find the titles and locations of the soundscapes below. Tickets for Midwinter are on sale now.

Nico Muhly
“Étretat Cycles”
Inspired by: Claude Monet’s Boats on the Beach at Étretat, The Departure of Boats, Étretat
Location: Impressionist gallery – 240

Stars of the Lid
“Installation for People with Special Powers on the Run from Government Exploitation”
Inspired by: Neoclassical Sculpture Court
Location: Sculpture court – 161

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
“Stillness in the night”
Inspired by: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Sky Above Clouds IV
Location: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Clouds – 249

Midori Takada
“Rin Air”
Inspired by: The Ando Gallery
Location: Ando Gallery – 109

Ilyas Ahmed
Inspired by: The Alsdorf Galleries
Location: Alsdorf wing – G140

Helado Negro
“Meuniverseandyou: Field Recordings A”
Inspired by: The American Folk Art Gallery
Location: The American Folk Art Gallery

Visible Cloaks
Inspired by: European Painting and Sculpture Gallery
Location: Gallery 211 European Painting

Tashi Wada and Julia Holter
“The Flying Fix”
Inspired by: Noguchi’s Miss Expanding Universe
Location: Gallery 265


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