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Musicians Ian Antonio and Ben LaMar Gay interact with Assaf Evron’s Collage for The Arts Club of Chicago⁠


About the Program

Assaf Evron’s Collage for the Arts Club of Chicago is the fourth chapter in the Collages for Mies van der Rohe project, following the McCormick House, The Esplanade Apartment, and S.R. Crown Hall. This is the first interior installation in the series. The image of a semi-transparent conch shell installed on the glass windows in the gallery corresponds to the form of the enclosed Mies staircase and echoes the ancient past of its geological veneer. In response, Michigan-based percussionist Ian Antonio and Chicago multi-instrumentalist Ben LaMar Gay engage with the geology of The Arts Club’s gallery, exploiting the reverberant nature of the terrazzo and travertine. In this performance, they deconstruct musical materials and re-combine them to make something new, a metaphor for the process of breaking down shells to make travertine.

About the Artists

Ian Antonio is a percussionist whose breadth of experience—concertizing across four continents with a wide variety of chamber ensembles, orchestras, experimental rock bands, avant-garde theatre companies, and as a soloist, conductor, and educator—has led him to develop a unique sound and approach to both performing and teaching. Ian is a co-director and core member of the Wet Ink Ensemble and Talujon. His playing is frequently featured at prestigious venues across the globe and his recorded performances can be heard on more than 50 albums released by the Nonesuch, Carrier, Kairos, Warp, Tzadik, and Unseen Worlds record labels, among many others.

Ben LaMar Gay is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, poet, and patently eclectic polymath who Afropunk has called “strikingly original,” Pitchfork has called “uncategorizable,” and Jeff Parker has called “hands down, one of my favorite musicians on the planet today.” He channels a radical array of sound, color, and space through the universal language of folklore; but despite the widely attributed genius of his work, his artistic approach and general demeanor are characterized by an endearing humbleness and warm humanity.