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Here’s the Deal with That White Box in Millennium Park

The structure that just popped up is really a sound-art chapel dedicated to birds.

Jean-Luc Mylayne. C16, Small Chapel for One Person or at Most a Couple (April 1987), a public project presented by the Art Institute of Chicago and The Arts Club of Chicago in the Millennium Park Lurie Garden in 2015.   Photo: Art Institute of Chicago

In conjunction with  photographer Jean-Luc Mylayne’s dual exhibitions at the Arts Club (through August 13) and the Art Institute (through August 23), a temporary pavilion housing a selection of the French artist’s bird photography has popped up in Millennium Park. The minimalist space is also the site for a diverse birdsong-themed program of sound art. Called the Millennium Park Chapel, the sanctuary was designed by local firm Wheeler Kearns Architects and can fit thirty guests for the series of free, intimate performances of new work inspired by bird sounds. Here is a list of what performances to expect over the next two months. 

July 17

Douglas Ewart Fresh off the MCA’s stage—he debuts a composition for clarinets and dancers on July 11 as part of their new exhibit dedicated to Chicago jazz, The Freedom Principle—the famed Jamaican-born composer known for creating his own instruments here performs a solo in collaboration with the chirping birds at twilight. 6 p.m.

July 24

Graham Stephenson This trumpet artist often makes music critic’s top lists, especially for his unusual style of using a microphone as an instrument, rubbing and scraping it against his trumpet. 6 p.m.

August 4

#Birdbox Ben Mirin, who runs the blog Wingbeat, combines his two passions of bird-watching and beat-boxing to interpret birdsong through the human voice in this interactive DJ event. 2 to 3 p.m.

August 7

Carol Genetti She “moans, shrieks, bleep, growls, blats, and produces an infinite number of indescribably subversive sputters,” wrote All Music Guide. The jazz and folk vocalist’s live works are not to be missed. 6 p.m.

August 14

Katherine Young A Northwestern University doctoral student in music, experimental bassoonist Katherine Young reveals new sounds from this 19th-century reed instrument. She appears frequently on the international underground music circuit. 6 p.m.

August 21

Nomi Epstein and Kenn Kumpf Epstein, founder of the all-female acoustic ensemble a.pe.ri.od.ic, composes a piece for Kumpf, a throat singer who has trained in Germany, France, and Spain. 6 p.m.

Jean-Luc Mylayne’s Millennium Park Chapel is on view through December 31. Additional programming related to Mylane’s exhibitions can be found at http://www.mutualregardchicago.org/calendar

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