The CHIME Studio (Chicago Integrated Media Experimental Studio) is a vital creative space in the Music Department at the University of Chicago. Directed by composer, improviser, and sound artist Sam Pluta, the studio is focused on creativity in the many realms of electronic music and its integration with other media.

“Mx.Mechanica” by Kari Watson

March 28, 2021

performed by John Corkill

Mx.Mechanica, for drum set and electronics, explores the drum set as a machine that a player enters into, activating it as an extension of the body, and in turn, causing the performer to become a component of the machine. The performer becomes the intercessor between the music – a sort of algorithm of rhythmic repeated phrases, and the machines sonic output. The fixed setup serves as a foil to the player, bringing out the similarities between humans and machines while also demonstrating the impossibility of the human becoming fully mechanised.

“30 sec loops” by Hunter Brown

March 20, 2021

video + stereo audio (2020)

“triangle” (2020) by Ted Moore

March 20, 2021

for string quartet and tape

Commissioned by National Sawdust as part of the Live@NationalSawdust Digital Discovery Festival

​premiered by JACK Quartet

Sam Pluta – Neural Network Mapped Synthesis

March 20, 2021

For the past two years I have been working on a neural-network mapped software instrument. This instrument takes 3 and 4 dimensional (or N-dimensional) control data and maps these controls to an M-dimensional synthesis space. The goal of the instrument is to allow for intuitive control over many-dimensional synthesis systems in 16 to 80 element parameter spaces. In the video below, I am soloing on my Live Modular Instrument, with the NN Synth as the lead voice. Before these past two years, I rarely soloed. But in the current circumstances, this has become one of my main modes of expression, and one I hope will augment my ensemble playing in the future.

“meditation” for improvised flute and electronics by Paul Novak

March 20, 2021

performed by Paul Novak

While many of my pieces are jagged and quickly developing, meditation inhabits a static and shimmering world shaped by the sounds of the flute. I wrote this piece in the fall of 2019, and returning to its tranquil landscape and to the sounds that I love to make on my flute a year later during the pandemic was like a musical comfort food.

CHIMEFest 2020: CIRCULATIONS: Symposium on Live Audio Feedback in Art

January 22, 2020

The CHIME Studio at the University of Chicago presents CHIMEFest 2020: CIRCULATIONS: Symposium on Live Audio Feedback in Art, a gathering of artists and researchers from around the world working with audio feedback. The symposium will include a number of performances, sound installations, paper presentations, and a keynote address by Dr. Cathy van Eck, professor at the University of the Arts in Bern, Switzerland, and author of Between Air and Electricity.

Friday, February 28 & Saturday, February 29, 2020

All events are free and open to the public.

See full schedule here.

Keynote Speaker, Cathy van Eck

Davor Branimir Vincze’s new work “darkroom” tours Europe

January 15, 2020

During my time as Ivy Plus Exchange Scholar at University of Chicago and under a kind guidance of Augusta Read Thomas, I was working on a new piece for 20 strings, 2 percussion and electronics. All electronic tapes have been created in studios of Music department in UChicago. The enesemble that commissioned my piece was No Borders Orchestra. NBO is a German ensemble that promotes values of inculsion, dialogue and mutual respect, by bringing young musicians from all sides of former Yugoslavia to play together.

This year’s project celebrated 30 years of the fall of Berlin wall and was inspired by Berghain – the famous Berlin night club that is known for its openness to all classes, genders, sexuality and life styles. The program consisted of newly written pieces by five composers from former Yugoslavia, myself included. The summer tour 2019 started in Montenegro, and included one performance in each federal country of what once was Yugoslavia, as well as Berlin at the very end.

My piece darkroom takes the idea from hidden corridors filled with sexual drive and abstracts this to a perception of large, unknown, tenebrous space, within which anything can happen. Confronted with the conflict of one’s inner desire versus social norm, the question emerges – can one ever really let go?

This tour was an amazing experience, working along professional musicians, traveling and seeing how my piece evolved and improved with each of the seven concerts. The concert halls were packed in each venue (150-350 people) and audience response was extremely positive. The recording was taken by Festival Maribor in Slovenia.

“TESSERACT Continuum” by Rodrigo Bussad

January 11, 2020

This past April the ~Nois Saxophone Quartet premiered PhD student Rodrigo Bussad‘s TESSERACT Continuum at the Hairpin Arts Center in Logan Square. Rodrigo created the multi-channel tape part that accompanies the saxophone quartet in the CHIME Studio.

TESSERACT Continuum – for saxophone quartet and tape, is the first written out of four movements that will compose a large and unified work dedicated to the Nois~ quartet. Each of the movements deals with a characteristic of a Hypercube, a visual representation, or rather, a shadow cast in our 3-dimensional plane of what we understand to be the fourth dimension. It happens that this movement entitled Continuum deals with the lines that form such Cube. To convey such visuals, the sounds were crafted and organized in such fashion, where those lines will be drawn over time, and in the span of four octaves by the saxophones. These octaves lines will have their sound projection modified and integrated by the supporting tape, bringing a meta-quality to acoustically sourced sounds. Again this work has no beginning either end, for it is a piece of a larger structure.
TESSERACT will be in the future an album-long piece, some sort of sonic journey that will involve musicians, sound artists, and visual artists.

Rodrigo Bussad’s TESSERACT Continuum

Binary Canary’s “iterative systems” is released to critical acclaim

November 27, 2019

Graduate student Ted Moore is one half of the laptop-saxophone avant-improv duo Binary Canary (alongside saxophonist Kyle Hutchins). Their third album, iterative systems, came out in October and has been praised by audiences and critics alike. The entire project was recorded, edited, mixed, and mastered at the CHIME Studio. The album release event was held at Constellation, Chicago on November 3rd, as part of the Frequency Series.

Hutchins’s splurt, splatter, spunk, and spittle congeals throughout the spaghetti network of Moore’s tubes, feedback devices, no-input mixer, and Eurorack modules, yielding an ever-morphing nest of alien topographies that rattle the speaker cones in abject fury. This is a restless, dynamic, caustic recording whose ideas achieve critical mass the moment the disc is engaged, even during the quieter climes of “Alloy”, but that metallic sensation never resides too far off, as the duo maintain a rigorous tension and plangent atmosphere that’s just barely out of reach. Downtown Music Gallery

tech check for album release show @ Constellation, Chicago, Nov. 3, 2019

CHIMEFest 2019

April 6, 2019

The CHIME Studio presents CHIMEFest 2019, a meeting of electronics performers and improvisers from around the globe, with leading artists and researchers from the United States, the UK, and Europe.

Events on May 2 and 3 include concerts at 7pm each evening, as well as talks by local artists and guests during the day. See the full schedule below for details.

CHIMEFest 2019 is a collaboration between the CHIME Studio, the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition, and the Arts, Science, and Culture Initiative.


Thursday, May 2, 2019

10am-2pm – Talks Session 1

Anne La Berge –Devices

Jeff Snyder – Snyderphonics Genera: a DSP Eurorack module for rapid hardware prototyping

PA Tremblay – Fluid Corpus Manipulation: blurring taxonomies through creative convergences of practices

Alex Harker – FrameLib: A DSP framework for arbitrary size frame processing with arbitrary sub-sample accurate timing

7pm – Concert 1

Utter written and performed by Anne La Berge

Rage Thormbones – Weston Olencki and Matt Barbier, trombones

  • Matrix (for George Lewis) by Sam Pluta
  • new work by Baldwin Giang

Improvisation Set I – Lauren Sarah Hays – solo performance

Improvisation Set II – Ted Moore/Katherine Young/Weston Olencki/Matt Barbier

  • Ted Moore – electronics
  • Katherine Young – bassoon and electronics
  • Weston Olencki – analog synthesizer
  • Matt Barbier – trombone

Friday, May 3, 2019

3pm-6pm – Talks Session 2

Sam Pluta – LMI Version 4 – A New Approach to Multi-Dimensional Performance Software

Ted Moore – New Approaches to Machine Listening and Machine Learning based Composition in SuperCollider

Lauren Hayes –Beyond Skill Acquisition: Improvisation, Interdisciplinarity, and Enactive Music Cognition

6pm – reception

7pm – Concert 2

Improvisation Set III – Pedro Lopes – solo with turntables

Katie Schoepflin Jimoh, clarinet and bass clarinet

  • La rupture inéluctable by PA Tremblay
  • Fluence by Alex Harker
  • new work by Darlene Castro

Improvisation Set IV – Jeff Snyder/Anne La Berge/Sam Pluta/Ben Lamar Gay

  • Jeff Snyder – analog synthesizer
  • Anne La Berge – flute and electronics
  • Sam Pluta – electronics
  • Ben Lamar Gay – cornet