this weekend, next up in the florasonic series opens at the remarkable lincoln park conservatory in chicago. take a stroll through the fern room while absorbing the sounds of michael zerang and mazen kerbaj's the fifth pythia of deir el qamar. the composition's inspired by a really really old lebanese village and features zerang and kerbaj exploring as many sounds as possible on their intsruments (percussion and trumpet) in response to an imaginary myth set in the village. the myth features oracles, multiple gods, angry villagers and a monastery, and i suspect the installation's better heard than read about here.
the fifth pythia of deir el qamar runs through september 30th. admission is free and the conservatory's open daily from 9am - 5pm, at 2391 north stockton drive. be forewarned if you're driving - parking kinda sucks around there.
p.s. mazen kerbaj's also a fine painter/cartoonist too, (as evidenced by the image above) who works on cardboard a lot.
UPDATE: it may not surprise you to learn that mazen kerbaj didn't make it over to chicago for the opening of this installation. it's hard to fly out of a country when all of the runways at the airport have been annihilated. kerbaj's keeping a blog about the situation, which you may want to follow.
regarding the installation... it's well worth the trip out to the conservatory even with the possible forty minute parking adventure beforehand if you opt for a sunday afternoon visit and need to drive for various reasons i won't go into here. interesting how in a setting that's lush and green and humid like a sauna, even a dialogue between a rangy trumpet and mad percussion can sound like chattering jungle animals and insects. most fun is definitely watching young kiddos stride through the fern room, trying to spot the monkeys which are surely hiding in the ferns...somewhere...