Carol Genetti and Gwyneth Zeleny Anderson «Chyme»

A long time ago, perhaps simultaneous to now, geographic and navigational trajectories of Aboriginal Australian trade and ceremony were captured in songlines, memory devices that embed knowledge and landscape into chanted song cycles. Chyme, the collaboration between Chicago-based vocal improviser and composer Carol Genetti and visual artist Gwyneth Zeleny Anderson turns inwards, tracing audio compositions for voice, corrugated tubing, and piano housing into screen-printed “listening scores” of sensory depths internal.

In the making since 2016, Chyme culminates in a limited-edition pouch that holds and activates a measured balance between outer and inner listening. While Anderson’s sensations towards Genetti’s expressive character are rendered as scores, the scores capture music and unfold like maps of attention and its periphery.

Genetti’s vocal craft in recording is as definite and momentous as her shattering live performances. Heard for the first time unaccompanied by another musician since 2002’s Grain and exhibiting a select palette of her vast range, Genetti’s voice outlines and crevices like scribbly gum, pressing narrowly alone and ringing in layers bewilderingly. Salient accompaniments include a filtering corrugated tube (the same heard in Olivia Block’s 1999 classic Pure Gaze) that sonically reinforces a journey into and out-of, and editing techniques that mimic the vocal’s dexterity into an embossing.

Anderson’s scores invite one’s own listening awareness, participation, and self-sensing in imagination of another. They pose a self-diagnostic that prompts the weighing of answers, their bordering absorption, and the recognition of their relative position in timelines. All the while Chyme leads the ears, the eyes, and the fingers across shifted impressions and sudden conjunctions that make welcome.

The audio and score correspond to the voices of each artist, beacons for a dynamic, triangulated listening participation. Witnessing representations of a visceral process in pieces, insinuating the digestion of oneself and other, double-sided, is Chyme.

Take it out, turn it up, go inside, and touch the edge of the paper.

A true collectors’ item, available via

Nathan Keay «-1»

Nathan Keay’s short-running, site-specific, 100-channel sound installation titled -1 is the inaugural exhibition of Third Floor Gallery, a Chicago-based “itinerant curatorial project.” Despite its short notice announcement it wasn’t at all an impromptu project. The hundred speakers have been gathered over the past year, and the hundred one-minute recordings have been recorded at Nathan’s home (also the site of the installation), and other locations where he and Stephanie Morris, his now deceased wife spent time in.

The Chicago Reader’s 100 Minutes of Silence article emphasized the silent aspect of these recordings, which set up an expectation of an experimental installation. Rather more, it struck as a display of personal interrogation. The cacophony of sound played back from the speakers was heard from the first floor of the building (for a moment I thought I had arrived at the wrong address): an unquiet reflection of Morris’ absence.

“Silence is not always what we think it is. Silence can be the absence of sound; an accustomed sound gone or the loss of a voice. Absolute silence is hard to come by. These sounds are what are left.” –Nathan Keay

The hundred speakers were distributed throughout the apartment in pairs, stacked on window sills, the floor, by an undone bed, bathroom racks, night stands, kitchen counter, and office space. Neither peaceful not chaotic, the continuous minutes of absence collided with Morris’ presence in photographs, stirring contemplation and anxiety, as the apartment at times seemed to rumble. The installation as a memorial agitated the signifiers of presence and absence, silence, and private space.

The recorded and the looped bespoke absence’s essence and presence’s ephemerality. The audio content became shadows of much larger evocations of pondering and holding of transitions. The silence took place in the listener.

Being aware of the tricky and confusing legal issues of apartment galleries in Chicago, an exhibition like this brings to mind messages that an institutional environment conveys differently, or at a loss. Works of private space like -1 must inspire others to create them and support them – to underline and transform the existing, and to transmit the personal into a shared experience.