Mengnan/Mary Wu


M, aka Mengnan, aka Mary, aka 吴梦南, aka…dances, draws, writes, and builds community in Chicago. M is interested in how bodily/social/political movements, sounds, images, and text push and pull each other and the spaces in between. M is interested in vulnerability in performance and believes all life is performative. My aims to document, describe, and interrogate performing arts in Chicago. 


Emily Kerski

Emily Kerski is a collaborative clarinetist and advocate for social imagination and engagement through new music and art. A former member of the Manson Contemporary Music Ensemble (London) and founding member of the It Could Be Anything New Music Ensemble (Fort Collins, Colorado), she currently performs throughout Chicago with Ensemble 20+ and Noise Bias. 


Shi An

Shi An (世安) became a contributing writer for Cacophony magazine in 2017. They regularly write and report for New Music Box, Family Court Nightmares, and the Media/Communications team at Asian Americans for Advancing Justice-Chicago. They have contributed articles to FOCI Arts, chicshifter, and Riksha on the topics of economy, fashion and racial identity. As a writer, Shi An is interested in articulating politics, activism and law as performance. They also maintain careers as a classical pianist, actor, and performance artist. 


Lia Kohl

Born in New York City, Lia Kohl is a cellist and performance artist based in Chicago. Her work as a performer is deeply collaborative, and she is constantly seeking the meeting point between creative minds. She has worked extensively with dancers, poets and visual artists, and is inspired by new and different ways of thinking. Fascinated by the illusory medium of performance, she endeavors to blur the lines between the pedestrian and the formal, and the obvious and the absurd in an attempt to bring her artistic practice into daily life—and vice-versa. She is a passionate interpreter of contemporary music and an avid improviser. She holds a B.M. and an M.M. in Cello Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Chicago College of Performing Arts, respectively. 

Her work with the magazine focuses on bringing together Chicago's many vibrant music and performance communities.


Bethany Younge

Younge is a composer of both acoustic and electroacoustic works with extensive collaborative experience with video artists, poets, and sculptors. Many of her acoustic works seek to mimic both speech and sound poetry with instruments while also dissecting words to reveal individual phonemes, illuminating a world embedded with complex semiotical relations between the spoken word and what is interpreted to be "music." She collects speech recordings [titled: Recitation Archives] that have characteristics of sound poetry, often elaborated to create complex textures by the use of electronics.


Tim Porter

Tim Porter is not the Tim Porter who is a photographer based out of Marin County, CA, nor the photographer based out of Tokyo, Japan. He is not the Tim Porter who is a mandolinist of wide-ranging musical interests rooted in the blues, jazz, Celtic, Indian, and worship genres, all of which (do not) connect with Tim's heritage. He is not a Richmond-based rapper. He is not an itinerant lecturer, with two subject areas; music and the middle ages. He is not an Adjunct Instructor of Applied Guitar at Schreiner Univerity in Kerrville, TX. He is not a business professor at George Mason University, nor the dean of the UNLV College of Sciences. He was not a Professor in Mathematics in the University of Wales, Bangor until they shut the maths department down. He is not a high school Sociology/Government/History teacher at Mineral Ridge High School in Ohio. He is not the Director of Technology and Student Achievement at South Lane School District. He is not the Tim Porter who is a licensed realtor in Wisconsin and Minnesota, neither is he an insurance agent for Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee in Madisonville. He is not a candidate for Todd County Sheriff. He is not the Chief Financial Officer of Porter Family Vineyards. He is not the Managing Director of Madrona Venture Group, focused on investing in B2B companies in the Pacific Northwest. He is not the writer, director, and editor based in South East London, who recently worked as an editor in Game of Thrones. He is not the chief arborist for the city of Charlotte, NC. He is not a pediatrician in Chicago. He is also not the Tim Porter that went to high school with the Tim Porter that is Tim Porter, nor is he the Tim Porter who owned a chocolate store in Tim Porter's home town, who was the father of the Tim Porter that went to the same high school as Tim Porter. 

Tim Porter is a data artist that uses complex systems of transformation to create abstract forms. He works in a range of media, including performance and installation works. He is based out of Chicago, IL, and his portfolio can be viewed on the sixth page of Google Search Results for “Tim Porter”. He deals with the genericity of his name daily.

Jeff Kimmel

Jeff Kimmel is a Chicago-based clarinetist and teacher.  His work encompasses a commitment to expand the timbral possibilities of the clarinet and bass clarinet while presenting the instrument in a variety of formats.

Currently, Jeff is a member of, a collective of performers and composers dedicated to notated, acoustic, experimental music, and he regularly collaborates with Chicago improvisers. His work has been funded by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and in the fall of 2011, he was selected to attend a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.  

Originally from Greenville, SC, holds a B.M. from the New England Conservatory of Music and relocated to Chicago in 2007.

Jill DeGroot

Jill is the flutist and founder of Noise Bias: An All-Female Contemporary Ensemble. Her work focuses on curating new music performances that directly confront and challenge the gender disparity in the Chicago contemporary music scene. Her goal is to encourage purposeful and thoughtful dialogue while placing decision-making and creative power in the hands of women performers.

Jill is currently a flute performance major at DePaul University School of Music. She has performed in master classes with Emmanuel Pahud, Tim Munro, Amy Porter, Jonathan Keeble, Sonora Slocum, Leela Breithaupt, Mark Sparks, and Mary Stolper. She has performed in the 2016 Chicago Ear Taxi Festival with DePaul's Ensemble 20+, as well as in Chicago's 2017 International Women's Day Concert.

Lakshmi Ramgopal

Lakshmi Ramgopal is a musician, writer, and historian based in Northampton, MA and Chicago, IL. She holds a PhD in Classics from the University of Chicago and was a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. Lakshmi performs electronic ambient music under the moniker Lykanthea, and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Trinity College. Her writing covers ancient history, the occult, experimental music, and immigrant experiences.

Jen Hill

 jen hill makes stuff (art?) with sound, image, music, ideas, internet, jokes, etc


jen hill @ chicago il via SAIC


Eli Namay

Eli Namay has been working to develop a musical practice that is informed by social theory and political struggle. This has led him to an interest in symbolic deconstruction through non-idiomatic improvisation, notation that give rise to a multiplicity of outcomes, as well as liminal perceptual frameworks. He plays the double bass and regularly collaborates with folks from Chicago’s improvised music and new music scenes.


Lily Mooney

Lily Mooney is a writer, performer and teacher in Chicago. She has been an ensemble member of The Neo-Futurists since 2012, where she has created over 100 short plays for the long-running late-night show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. She is the co-creator, with Kurt Chiang, of The Arrow, an experimental storytelling show that collides prose, plays, and improvisation to create singular, unreproducible performances. She earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Northwestern and hails originally from Boston.

Olivia Junell

Olivia recently completed a dual Masters degree at School of the Art Institute in Arts Administration and Policy, and Modern and Contemporary Art History. She also works as Development and Outreach Director at Experimental Sound Studio and Managing Director at the Hyde Park Festival. In Texas, Olivia worked in development for over 8 years, most recently as the Development Manager at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. In Chicago she became actively involved in a number of groups and organizations including High Concept Laboratories, the Roger Brown Study Collection, and Honey Pot Performance. Her most recent projects have investigated the potential of hip hop to facilitate cross-cultural communication, as well as explored contemporary philanthropic trends as they relate to the individual experiences of artists.


Alejandro T. Acierto

Alejandro T. Acierto is an artist and musician whose work is largely informed by the breath, the voice, and the processes that enable them. He has exhibited artworks at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Issue Project Room, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Salisbury University, SOMArts and presented performance works at Rapid Pulse, the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, Center for Performance Research, and Center for New Music and Technology. Noted for his “insatiable” performance by the New York Times, Acierto has performed extensively throughout the US and abroad and can be heard on Carrier, Albany, New Focus, Parlour Tapes+, and Avant Media Records and has issued a solo record on Prom Night Records. He was also a recipient of the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Darmstadt Festival for New Music with Ensemble Dal Niente, with whom he is a founding member.

Acierto has also held residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Banff Centre, High Concept Laboratories, Chicago Artists' Coalition and was recently an FT/FN/FG Consortium Fellow and a Center Program Artist at the Hyde Park Art Center. He received his undergraduate degree from DePaul University, an MM from Manhattan School of Music, an MFA in New Media Arts from University Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and is currently on faculty at UIC.


Michael Lewanski

Conductor, educator, and writer Michael Lewanski is a champion of new music and older repertoire alike.  His work seeks to create deeper and more engaged connections between audiences, musicians, and the music that is part of their culture, history, and psychology.  He is conductor of Ensemble Dal Niente and assistant professor of instrumental ensembles at the DePaul University School of Music.  His recent guest-conducting has included work with Lyric Opera of Chicago, chamber ensembles from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.  Michael has an extensive discography as both conductor and a producer.

A native of Savannah, Georgia, he studied piano and violin; he made his conducting debut at age 13, leading his own composition.  At 16, he studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with the legendary Ilya Musin.  He attended Yale University; he subsequently studied with Cliff Colnot and Lucas Vis.


Deidre Huckabay

Deidre Huckabay is a Chicago-based performer, writer, photographer, and event producer. She is a flutist and has toured Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. She performs with the Eastman BroadBand and Manual Cinema, and has recorded for Urtext and Bridge Records. Deidre is co-owner of the classical cassette tape label Parlour Tapes+. Originally from west Texas, Deidre holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Duquesne University.