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Press Release: Loops and Variations Contemporary Classical and Electronica Series Returns to Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, May 29—July 3


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Millennium Park - Loops and Variations

Millennium Park  >  Upcoming Events  >  Loops and Variations


Crowd enjoying a concert at the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion; photo Patrick Pyszka

May 29 - July 3, 2014  • Thursdays at 6:30 pm

Loops and Variations features new music mixed with electronica.


Loops and Variations nominated for “Best Event” Friends of Downtown Chicago award.


(schedule is subject to change)

Thursday, May 29, 2014YACHT

YACHT + Hauschka with Q Ensemble

LA-based conceptual pop group YACHT has played on boats, in caves, in bathrooms, and in art galleries, not to mention tours with LCD Soundsystem, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hot Chip, Architecture in Helsinki, Vampire Weekend, The Dirty Projectors, the Breeders, and Phoenix. Their live set, named “Temporary Autonomous Zones”, features uncluttered, anarchic, inspiring sessions of damaged dance moves and coded ritualism, backed by constantly changing elements—Power Point presentations, audience Q&A sessions, and shamanistic video environments. Prepared piano innovator Hauschka will open the show displaying his modern methods of creating unsuspected electronic sounding tones from the instrument. He will be supporting his latest album release Abandoned City and will be joined on stage by renowned local Chicago all-female string players, Q Ensemble.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Christopher Willits + Civitas EnsembleChristopher Willits (Photo by: Tomo Saito)

San Francisco-based artist Christopher Willits uses his self-designed software tools to “paint with his guitar” (Pitchfork), creating “mesmerizing, intricate electronic soundscapes” (Nowness) and lush audiovisual performances of weaving patterns, texture, and harmony. Working solo and in collaboration with the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto, Matmos, Zach Hill (Hella/Death Grips), and Taylor Deupree, Willits will present a new sound and image performance improvised with inspiration drawn from Millennium Park itself. Civitas Ensemble, founded by members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2011, will open. Heralded by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Classical Review and Chicago on the Aisle for its quality of performances as well as its community engagement efforts, the musicians will perform Augusta Read Thomas’ Toft Serenade, among other selections.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Third Coast Percussion + Ghost Beach

Third Coast Percussion (Photo by Saverio Truglia)Hailed by The New Yorker as “vibrant” and “superb,” Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion has gained national attention with concerts and recordings that meld the energy of rock music with the precision and nuance of classical chamber works. Currently the Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame, Third Coast Percussion will be performing a program of music all by acclaimed Chicago composers. Resounding Earth, by internationally-renowned composer Augusta Read Thomas, features over 300 bells and other ringing metal objects from around the world. The piece was recently hailed by the Chicago Classical Review as "one of the most powerful new music experiences I've felt in years." The program will also feature Marc Mellits's rapturous new work, Gravity, and works by TCP-member David Skidmore and former TCP-member Owen Clayton Condon. Tropical grit pop band Ghost Beach opens, infecting listeners with contagious ear-candy offerings from their recent Nettwerk Records release, Blonde.


Thursday, June 19, 2014eighth blackbird (photo credit Luke Ratray)

eighth blackbird

The entire Grammy-winning cast of eighth blackbird will take the stage with special guest Michael Ward-Bergeman. The blackbirds have been called “a new breed of super-musicians” (Los Angeles Times) and “stage animals” (The Sunday Telegraph). Ward-Bergeman, a respected composer from New Orleans with commissions by Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project and performances as a hyper-accordionist at diverse venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Gainesville Correctional Facility, will join 8bb for a program that zings, zooms and zips with verve and wit. Included will be the rambunctious Murder Ballades by rock & roll band The National's, Bryce Dessner.


Thursday, June 26, 2014Oneohtrix Point Never (Photo Credit Timothy Saccenti)

Oneohtrix Point Never: featuring video artist Nate Boyce + Spektral Quartet

Acclaimed electronic music composer Daniel Lopatin, who records and performs under the moniker Oneohtrix Point Never, has always deftly balanced the experimental with the accessible. On his latest Warp Records release, Commissions I, the artist outlays his commissioned music for artwork, performance and film from years past. This music will be on full display when video artist Nate Boyce joins the lineup. Boyce, like Lopatin and his live soundscapes, creates improvised visuals and CGI forms, mutating and morphing found-text in disorientating virtual space. No strangers to the art museum circuit the duo have toured together extensively, performing at venues including MoMA/PS1, the Walker Art Center, and Wexner Center for the Arts. Ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago, Spektral Quartet opens. Widely regarded as one of the city’s most magnetic and forward-thinking chamber ensembles, their 2013/14 season saw the critically-acclaimed release of the group’s debut album, Chambers, with two more recordings set to launch in the new year on Azica Records and Warner Classics. For this concert the quartet presents Steve Reich’s modern masterpiece Different Trains.


Thursday, July 3, 2014Alarm Will Sound (Photo Credit Justin Bernhaut 2007)

Alarm Will Sound + Taught Abroad

Alarm Will Sound's Chicago debut features the music of Aphex Twin, Steve Reich, Tyondai Braxton and John Orfe. The large ensemble has been described as "the SEAL Team Six of new music" by New York Magazine and as "one of the most vital ensembles on the American music scene" by the New York Times. In this show, AWS transforms the electronica of Aphex Twin into live performance on acoustic instruments, putting machine-made music into the hands of human players. Steve Reich's newest work Radio Rewrite, based on the music of Radiohead, and Tyondai Braxton's Fly By Wire, both written specifically for Alarm Will Sound's adventurous virtuosos, explore the relationship between popular and classical music. Chicago-based producer/songwriter Chris Sadek’s outré electro-pop solo project, Taught Abroad, opens with new material from his sophomore release Ripe Hours.


Performer Photo Gallery

click on image to enlarge

  • Hauschka
  • Q Ensemble
  • Christopher Willits (Photo by: Tomo Saito)
  • Civitas Ensemble
  • Third Coast Percussion (Photo by Saverio Truglia)
  • Ghost Beach
  • eighth blackbird (photo credit Luke Ratray)
  • Oneohtrix Point Never (Photo Credit Timothy Saccenti)
  • Spektral Quartet
  • Alarm Will Sound (Photo Credit Justin Bernhaut 2007)
  • Taught Abroad


Thursdays; May 29-July 3, 2014




6:30 pm




Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601








Every aspect of Millennium Park was designed to be fully accessible to all patrons. The following services are available:

  • Wheelchair loans in the Millennium Park Welcome Center, 201 E. Randolph Street
  • Integrated spaces for wheelchair seating at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion
  • Wheelchair accessible restroom facilities
  • Assisted listening devices at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion Sound Booth




Public Transportation:
For travel information, visit



Millennium Garages

Parking Details: Park right below the action! Garage locations are Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage at 5 S. Columbus Drive, Grant Park North Garage at 25 N. Michigan Ave. and Grant Park South Garage at 325 S. Michigan Ave.

Packages: $30 parking/Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage (regular rates apply at Grant Park North & Grant Park South Garages)

Purchase Options: Pay at parking location; call 312.616.0600