Christophe Preissing

HPSCHD-50: Every Neighborhood Is a Universe


Christophe created NON:op Open Opera Works in 2013 to engage diverse audiences, artists, and program partners around urgent social issues of our time through immersive, interactive, and multi-disciplinary projects and performances. Large-scale, site-specific, staged works combine music, theatre, dance, visual forms, and technology and are supported by installations, salons, panel discussions, and workshops. Presentations include:

Blood Lines: Remembering the 1919 Chicago Race Riot, an installation at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, with visual design by David Sundry and mechanical design by Hugh Sato, runs through October 31. and will include an October 19 live performance in partnership with Open House Chicago.

Related events include Present Scars: Witnessing and Remembering Violence in the 1919 Chicago Race Riot, a presentation at the Art in Response to Violence conference [] at Northeastern Illinois University on October 17; a live reading of the names, race, age, date, location and manner of death of each riot victim in time with the sound of the installation at Augustana Lutheran Church on October 19; and an artist talk by collaborating artists at High Concept Labs on October 27.

HARPSI-CHRISTMAS: A festive holiday party featuring food, baroque music and carols, and neighborhood video projections in the style of John Cage’s HPSCHD. Date and location TBA.

HPSCHD-50: Every Neighborhood Is a Universe, is two 50th anniversary retrospective performances of John Cage and Lejaren Hiller’s HPSCHD, on February 29 and March 1, in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall, featuring performances by a diverse group of harpsichordists, 52 channels of computer generated sound, and an immersive environment of video and still images representing Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Preceding the performances will be a symposium in partnership with Northwestern University on February 28. NON:op is also partnering with the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign for additional related events in the month following the performances.

HPSCHD-50: ENIAU seeks to recognize the abundance within our lives and within the places we call home, to observe and privilege the unique significance of artists and people who live in Chicago’s neighborhoods, and to create relationships that encourage conversations, acceptance, and new creative partnerships.


Photo credit Gonzalo Guzman, Art Dir Shirley Ellis, Tech Denny Chan


Composer, intermedia artist, collaborator, and producer, Christophe Preissing creates music and sound for live, interactive, and immersive environments. His music has been praised by the Chicago Tribune as “brilliant”, “mechanistic” and “sound-crazy… that might best be described as John Cage on steroids”. Christophe has been a resident and fellow at Indiana University, Beloit College, Ball State University, Experimental Sound Studio, Ragdale, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, VCCA-France, Djerrassi, Millay Colony, PLAYA, Chicago Cultural Center, Atlantic Center for the Arts. He has received support from Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago, American Composers Forum, and fellowships from Pritzker Foundation and Columbus School for Girls.

Recent projects include Blood Lines: Remembering the 1919 Chicago Race Riots an installation at Augustana Lutheran Church in Hyde Park; whorls of recent memory, an installation at Millay Colony (2018); sound for Samuel Beckett’s radio play, Cascando (2018); is: SI ng, a collaborative performance with disabled artist Matt Bodett (Victory Gardens Theater, 2017); sound/installations for Inferno from Journeying la Divina Commedia, University of Notre Dame’s adaptation of Dante’s Divine Comedia (2016); performance installation SUS: the long thin wire