Kevin Drumm

Chicago Cultural Center

78 East Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Kevin Drumm fills the wide-open spaces of Preston Bradley Hall with Narrow Territory, his new multiple speaker project for Lampo and the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Drumm, whose work draws upon musique concrète, improvisation and noise, makes electronic music with cheap testing equipment and computers. Here, he creates a densely packed sound, moving hiss and tone around the room with an array of 18 speakers under the Tiffany dome.

Kevin Drumm (b.1970, South Holland, Ill.) emerged from Chicago’s improvised music scene in the 1990s as a tabletop guitar player. In his early works, he made spare and detailed recordings, laying the instrument on its side and playing it with different objects, like magnets, paper clips and violin bows. Since 1991 his approach has expanded to include electroacoustic compositions and live electronic music made with laptop computers, pulse generators, effects pedals and synthesizers.

He has performed and recorded with many artists, including Japanese guitarist Taku Sugimoto, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jim O’Rourke, tape-looper Jason Lescalleet, and European improvisers such as Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and German trumpeter Axel Dörner. In 2001 he worked with the artist group Simparch, composing a piece for their installation Spec, shown at Documenta XI in Kassel, Germany and at the Renaissance Society in Chicago. His music for Deborah Stratman’s film In Order Not to Be Here was also part of a different Simparch installation at the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

Past performances include those at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (Norway), LUFF (Switzerland), the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (South Korea), Phonotaktik (Austria), Göteborg Art Sounds Festival (Sweden), Sonár (Spain), Reykjavik Jazz Festival (Iceland), What is Music? (Australia) and All Tomorrow’s Parties (Los Angeles, curated by Sonic Youth), among others. His releases include Kevin Drumm (1997), Sheer Hellish Miasma (2002), Land of Lurches (2003), Imperial Distortion (2008), Imperial Horizon (2009) and Trouble (2014). In 2011 he received an award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in recognition of his music. He also received awards from Prix Ars Electronica in Austria in 2000 and 2003.

Kevin Drumm last appeared in the Lampo series in February 2007 with Leif Elggren. In the early 2000s he premiered two key works at Lampo—Land of Lurches in February 2003 and Sheer Hellish Miasma in March 2002. He joined Taku Sugimoto and Günter Müller for a trio concert in February 2002. Drumm presented Three in December 1999, as half of a split bill with Ryoji Ikeda. He first performed for Lampo in September 1999 with Martin Tétreault and Jim O’Rourke.

Presented in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial