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MCA Live: John Preus, New Material


John Preus and New Materia

Image courtesy of the Devos Art Museum-Northern Michigan University


Initially developed by John Preus for You Complete Me, an exhibition at the Devos Art Museum in Marquette, Michigan, New Material continues to build instruments with which they perform—generally out of abandoned furniture parts. Preus further developed the sound and the instruments for performances at the Experimental Sound Studio and in The Beast, Preus's solo show at the Hyde Park Art Center, both in 2014\. Some of the instruments have been made specifically for this performance from materials salvaged from recently closed Chicago Public schools.

New Material performances are largely improvised, embracing a wide range of musical influences including experimental, jazz, folk, and rock standards. The band includes Leroy Bach (Low Tide, Wilco, Iron and Wine, Beth Orton, Liz Phair, Black Monks of Mississippi), Tadd Cowen, and John Preus, with special guest artist and musician Walter Kitundu (a MacArthur Fellow) and other musicians to be announced.

A triptych of photographs shows three musical instruments that have been changed into sculptural objects or furniture.

John Preus and New Material's instruments

Photo: Elyse Blennerhassett


Performance supported in part by the Efroymson Family Fund.