Double Danger Room
May 2 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Double Danger Room @ High Concept Labs | Chicago | Illinois | United States

Dungeons and Dragons meets Double Dare in this comedy game show hosted by award-winning game designer Andy North. Double Danger Room combines storytelling and improvisation with physical and mental challenges to create an interactive adventure story. Players cooperate to complete their mission before time runs out, battling opponents, sneaking into secret compounds, leaping perilous drops and performing other daring feats.

Read Andy North’s post on the hcl blog about this event.

Participation is not required for attendance, but prospective players should arrive early.

Please note: this game performance will be filmed.

About Andy North

Andy is a game designer specializing in big live games played by large groups. His works explore games as physical exercises, as tools for storytelling, and as aids for interaction. Andy’s work is aimed at people who don’t consider themselves part of the “gamer” community – people who might never consider sitting down to play a video game, or a session of Dungeons and Dragons, or an afternoon of flag football. His goal is to create games that allow players to inhabit stories, to adapt games with narrow communities for a wider audience, and to explore how games’ ability to motivate behavior allows groups of strangers to create stories together. Andy has previously worked with Links Hall and created several games as part of his residency, including “The Battle for Booze Mountain” (featured at the 2013 THAW fundraiser) and “Monster Fight Night,” (run at Chicagoland Games and the Red Door as a promotion for the Planetary Defense Force’s “Rise of the Dinosaurs”) . His game “Adventure Squad vs. the Sky Pirates” won the festival award for “Best Narrative” at the 2013 Come Out and Play festival in New York City.

“Diligence Is To Magic as Progress Is To Flight” Listening Party
May 2 @ 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm
"Diligence Is To Magic as Progress Is To Flight" Listening Party @ High Concept Labs | Chicago | Illinois | United States

On Saturday May 2nd, Parlour Tapes+, with host Mana Contemporary Chicago and sponsor High Concept Labs, reveals the final layer of a year-long passion project with two of the most compelling musicians in Chicago. Composer-improviser Katherine Young and violinist of the critically acclaimed Spektral Quartet J. Austin Wulliman’s Diligence Is To Magic as Progress Is To Flight is boldly experimental, deeply collaborative, and the result of a long and patient creative process.

Audiences have seen the work in live performance and heard it on stereo cassette tape (read below for more info). And on May 2nd, it will be available as a limited-edition four-tape box set, inviting a do-it-yourself, at-home installation with hand-packaging and one-of-a-kind drawings by visual artist Molly Roth. To mark the occasion, we and High Concept Laboratories are filling a gallery space at beautiful Mana Contemporary in Pilsen with boom boxes, hand-held tape players, and projections of Molly Roth’s art for a multi-channel/multi-device analog listening party. Come on out, have a drink, and celebrate with us!


Last December, Parlour Tapes+ had the honor of presenting, with Ensemble Dal Niente and Constellation Chicago’s Frequency Series, a blowout performance event to celebrate the release of an album that feels like the culmination of everything we want so support as a record label. Diligence Is To Magic as Progress Is To Flight incorporates visual elements, including a video used as score for structured improvisation and a sound installation that prepares the space for the performance, conjuring a multi-layered, multi-sensory environment. We couldn’t be more proud of the work that Young, Wulliman, and Ensemble Dal Niente have put into the making of this (if we do say so ourselves) rather exquisite record.

We’ve released it on cassette tape and for digital download (each tape comes with a download code), and each tape has been lovingly packaged by hand and duplicated by yours truly, the PT+ team. In addition to the stereo cassette and digitial download options, “Diligence” will be available as a limited-edition four-tape box set. The hand-packaging you’ll see wrapped around each tape is the work of visual artist Molly Roth, whose installation and drawn pieces were an integral part of the “Diligence” concert experience. Additionally, Roth has made one-of-a-kind drawings for each of the limited-edition 8-channel box sets.


An active performer in Chicago and internationally, Austin Wulliman is one of the founding members of the Spektral Quartet, as well as violinist for Ensemble Dal Niente. As a soloist and chamber musician, Wulliman has been featured on concert series at Aspen Music Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt, University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, and live on NPR’s Performance Today.


As a composer and performer, Katherine Young has been active in Chicago and New York for a decade. Young is known for her work as a bassoonist, improviser, and composer/band leader for groups Pretty Monsters, Architeuthis Walks on Land, and Till by Turning. Young has studied, toured, and recorded with Anthony Braxton. Currently a doctoral candidate in Northwestern’s composition department, she has received commissions from Issue Project Room, Distractfold Ensemble, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, choreographer Daria Fain, and others.


Parlour Tapes+ is Chicago’s only contemporary art music cassette tape label. Dedicated to disseminating the work of Chicago’s finest musicians, Parlour Takes + trades in a format that is palm-sized, handmade, and portable. Equally devoted to creating one-of-a-kind performance events, bizarre video content, and playful alternative-media mercy, Parlour Tapes+ creates surprise and spreads quirk at every opportunity. Steve Smith, in the New York Times, called the label’s first release, Spektral Quartet’s CHAMBERS, “a fantastic snapshot of Chicago’s contemporary music circa 2013 rightly elbowing its way in among the cassette-culture cool kids.”

Vaudeo Motion I
May 7 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Vaudeo Motion I @ High Concept Labs | Chicago | Illinois | United States

Follow a trio of cybermystics on a journey through dimensions of synaesthetic expanse.

Nora Sharp, Evan Kühl, and Ben Baker-Smith manipulate multisensory feedback systems in real time, in their first public event as part of the High Concept Labs Sponsored Artists Program.

More on Vaudeo Motion here >



Artist Bios

Vaudeo Motion is a collaboration between dancer Nora Sharp and the audio-video artists Ben Baker-Smith and Evan Kühl, who have been working together as the synaesthetic media duo Vaudeo Signal since 2010.

Ben and Evan explore the manipulation of analog signals in real time using an instrument made up of uniquely integrated, customized audio-video hardware. This exploration seeks out synaesthetic experiences that open up the extreme reaches of what consumer media devices can, will, or will not produce beyond the limits of their intended use.

Nora creates dance movements that empathize with viewers and facilitates spaces where people feel welcome, connected, and acknowledged. Her movement vocabulary ranges from the athletic to the everyday, and her approachable, honest performance quality builds bridges between the people present. Often inspired by popular music, her work offers audiences concrete anchors of meaning within the music and movement, while leaving space for them to feel their own story.

Cultural Conversations
Dance + Dramaturgy
May 9 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Cultural Conversations<br />Dance + Dramaturgy @ High Concept Labs | Chicago | Illinois | United States

High Concept Labs and Chicago Dancemakers Forum join forces this May to present a Cultural Conversation on dramaturgy and contemporary dancemaking. The full day of events will include panel discussions by renowned choreographer + dramaturg teams, stimulating lunch discussions, and a focal open rehearsal designed to demystify the dramaturgical process. Registration is encouraged.

CDF + hcl invite creators, dramaturges, performers, students, and audience members to engage in dialogue about theory and practice of dramaturgy, the choreographic process and the dancing body. The day is designed to heighten awareness of dramaturgy as a practice for the creation of new dances and to connect artists with one another in an environment conducive to making new friends, stimulating collaborative partnerships and new ways of working.

Read more about our panelists here >

Panel One: Dramaturgy and the Dancing Body

11 AM to 12:30 PM

Artistic teams Reggie Wilson and Susan Manning; Carrie Hanson and Michael Kramer with dancer Philip Elson; and Lin Hixson, Matthew Goulish and Bryan Saner will participate in a panel discussion focusing on choreographic process, dramaturgy and the body, moderated by Chicago Dancemakers Forum Executive Director Ginger Farley. Artists will offer informal “case studies” sharing the particulars of their shared creative processes on a given work or long term collaboration. The artists will discuss and demonstrate, with the live moving body and with other materials, the process, ways of working, challenges, and successes that they have participated in together.

Table Talk + Dramaturgy Blind Date

12:30 to 2 PM

The second part of the day will include a free catered lunch and table talk led by Meida McNeil and Julia Mayer. A concurrent open rehearsal “blind date” with choreographer Darrell Jones and dramaturge Kat Zukaitis will culminate in a focal live presentation of dramaturgical process at 1:30 PM.

Panel Two: Cross-Generational Collaboration

2 to 3:30 PM

A final afternoon panel moderated by Peter Taub will feature the cross-generational collaboration of the artistic team Lydia Bell and Eiko Otake.

Read more about our panelists here >

About Chicago Dancemakers Forum

Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) strengthens the field of dance in Chicago overall by supporting deep investigation, bold risk-taking, and artistic rigor. CDF provides multi-layered support for Chicago choreographers through its prestigious Lab Artists program, public workshops, events, and residencies, all with strong emphasis on artistic and professional development. The CDF Lab Artist Program makes $15,000 cash grants to choreographers annually. Grants are combined with mentorship throughout the research, development and performance of a newly choreographed work.

Soloists from Fonema Series III: Samuel Rowe with Shawn Lucas, guitars
May 22 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Soloists from Fonema Series III: Samuel Rowe with Shawn Lucas, guitars @ High Concept Labs at Mana Contemporary | Chicago | Illinois | United States


As a part of their residency at HCL, soloists from Fonema Consort will curate 3 programs devoted to some of the principal exponents of new music for their corresponding instruments:

Soloists from Fonema Series III: Samuel Rowe with Shawn Lucas, guitars
Date: May 22nd, 8pm

Moving through the soundworlds created by Pisaro’s and Lachenmann’s music–variously austere and dense, delicate and violent–the guitar emerges as something other than the lyrical, heroic instrument we are familiar with. This music operates at the outer limits of the guitar’s capabilities, ranging from prickly percussive attacks to bell-like overtones verging on inaudibility.  It thus unfolds the latent expressive possibilities of the instrument, its capacities for evoking aggression, tact, and loss.

here (1), by Michael Pisaro: guitar
Salut für Caudwell, by Helmut Lachenmann: 2 guitars


consort : a group of instrumentalists and singers performing together

fonema : (Spanish, phoneme) the smallest unit of speech, which distinguishes words according to their sonic quality.

These concepts define the essence of Fonema Consort, as we endeavor to strengthen and expand the repertoire of 20th and 21st century repertoire for voice(s) and instruments, and live out our fascination with the exploration of vocal possibilities in music. The complex nature of this repertoire encompasses a vast intersection of disciplines (music, drama, literature, for example), and requires the ensemble to explore a wide range of performance practices.

Founded in October 2011 by singer Nina Dante and composers Pablo Chin and Edward Hamel, this Chicago-based ensemble was named “Best New Vocal-Oriented Contemporary Classical Ensemble of 2014″ by The Chicago Reader, and has performed at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall and at the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park, as well as at college and university campuses throughout the Chicago area and beyond. The ensemble is building a national and international audience, with past performances in New York, Costa Rica, and Mexico City, and upcoming performances in Miami, France, and Mexico.

Fonema Consort is dedicated to the commissioning of new works for voice(s) with instruments, and collaborating closely with composers on the realization of these scores. Since its debut concert in February 2012, Fonema Consort has premiered more than 20 works by living composers.

Described by the Chicago Reader’s Peter Margasak as “dazzling“, Fonema Consort’s debut CD, Pasos en Otra Calle, was released this Spring on New Focus Recordings. Believing that new music offers a journey of discovery for the performer and listener alike, Fonema Consort hopes that our audience will join us on this journey at the edge of musical and linguistic discovery.