Praised as a “gifted, adventuresome violinist” by the Chicago Tribune and as a “remarkable, unbelievable violinist/violist extraordinaire” by the syndicated radio program Relevant Tones, Austin Wulliman has gained critical and audience attention as a soloist and chamber musician due to his “wide technical range and interpretive daring” (New Music Box). Through in-depth collaboration with performers and composers working in a panoply of aesthetic realms, Austin searches daily for the violin’s voice in today’s musical world. Prior to moving to New York in 2016, Wulliman was a founding member of Spektral Quartet and served as Program Director for Ensemble Dal Niente. In his first Chicago performance since last spring, he’ll present solo pieces by Iannis Xenakis and Andrew Greenwald, Lee Hyla, and John Sokol. He’ll also perform duos with vocalist Kayleigh Butcher and bassoonist Katherine Young.
Guitarist and founder of the 90s duo (and, later, trio) Harry Pussy, Bill Orcutt’s sound is a jagged reinvention of blues guitar. One can hear familiar Southern folk scales amidst Orcutt’s splintery solo acoustic phrases—played with stunning rigor and rawness on a four-string guitar—twisting, distorting, distending melodies into open-ended and ambiguous fragments that tumble down in visceral swells of expressionistic noise and texture. In 2014 Rolling Stone Magazine referred to his playing as “John Fahey-meets-Vernon-Reid acoustic blues-shred,” and since then he’s developed strong musical partnerships with the likes of cellist Okkyung Lee, fellow guitarist Tashi Dorji, and drummer Chris Corsano.