Gray Sound Program 2020–2021

Gray Sound Program 2020–2021

University of Chicago Arts

Damon Locks, Where Future Unfolds, 2017. Screen print, 18 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

November 3, 2020
Gray Sound Program 2020–2021
Facebook / Instagram

Envisioned as an ongoing performance and discussion series, Gray Sound represents a chance for artists and the broader community to tease the boundaries of sound—when it moves from voice to music, from a recognizable tune to noise.

This year, in the midst of the ever present global pandemic, we as a people are looking at the hard truths of who we are as a public. Themes of identity, place, ownership, environment, noi(z)e and care run rampant in the news, blogs and creative work that has surfaced since March 2020. For the 2020-21 season of Gray Sound, Seth Parker Woods has curated a cohort of artists whose creative practices explore multiple convergences of the aforementioned ideas, and whose latest output, either in text/sound formatted interviews or new performative work, is presented to our global audience for reflection and alignment. We look forward to sharing these events with you from our home to yours.

In January 2020, Gray Sound kicked off with MUSIC’S OVER: Listening with Peter Ablinger, a 9-day residency with the experimental composer. Ablinger’s first visit to Chicago threaded talks, composition seminars, and experimental discussions in between multiple performance events featuring world premieres and internationally renowned ensembles. From April - July 2020, Gray Sound presented a weekly music-and-sound streaming series, GRAY SOUND SESSIONS, featuring virtual concerts, happenings, experiments, a playing-around with form and platform during quarantine.

Program dates (7:30pm CST start time):
All events are presented virtually. The link will be posted on Gray Center’s website on the day of the event.

November 10: Maria Chávezabstract turntablist, sound artist and DJ
December 8: Damon Locks, musician, DJ, educator and visual artist
February 9: Ryan Packard, percussionist, composer and sound artist
March 16: Elizabeth A. Baker, New Renaissance Artist
May 11: Charmaine Lee, vocalist, improviser, and composer

About Seth Parker Woods
Hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace” who possesses “mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink,” cellist Seth Parker Woods has established a reputation as a versatile artist straddling several genres. In addition to solo performances, he has appeared with the Ictus Ensemble (Brussels, BE), Ensemble L’Arsenale (IT), zone Experimental (CH), Basel Sinfonietta (CH), New York City Ballet, Ensemble LPR, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s (US). A fierce advocate for contemporary arts, Woods has collaborated and worked with a wide range of artists ranging from the likes of Louis Andriessen, Elliott Carter, Heinz Holliger, G. F. Haas, Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Lang, and Peter Eötvos to Peter Gabriel, Sting, Lou Reed, Dame Shirley Bassey, and Rachael Yamagata to such visual artists as Ron Athey, Vanessa Beecroft, Jack Early, Adam Pendleton, and Aldo Tambellini.  Woods serves on the performance faculty at the University of Chicago as a Lecturer/Artist in Residence for Cello and Chamber Music. 

About the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry
The Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry is a forum at the University of Chicago for experimental collaborations between artists and scholars. Gray Center activities take place all over campus (encompassing various divisions, departments, and programs), across the community, throughout the city, and beyond. Through its various programs—including the Mellon Residential Fellowships for Arts Practice and Scholarship, exploratory research initiatives, Portable Gray (the center’s journal published twice annually by the University of Chicago Press), Sidebar (a monthly conversation series reconceived as FarBar for academic year 2020–21), Gray Sound (an experimental music and sound performance series), international conferences, and institutional collaborations—the Gray Center seeks to foster a culture of innovation and experimentation at the intersection of arts practice and scholarship.

Press contact
Mike Schuh, Gray Center Assistant Director of Fellowships and Operations, at

RSVP for Gray Sound Program 2020–2021
University of Chicago Arts
November 3, 2020

Thank you for your RSVP.

University of Chicago Arts will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.