Featured Artists


Directed in woodwork, graduate of applied trade problem solving; vocational touch and go. Piano tuner/ Reed organ repair/ Instrument builder in rubber, brass, cloth and wood. Experiments in natural mechanical sound mimicry/organic tone-noise/big-bang echo chamber-like; percussive table-tennis hegemony. No training for enthusiasm, well-practiced on the musical-saw.


Andy Ortmann is a transgressive Sound/Visual/Conceptual Artist who has been making eclectic electronic experimental music since 1990. His drawings/collages have been reprinted in various international publications over the years in addition to his more familiar audio constructions. Ortmann continues to work with his longtime collaborative noise project Panicsville in addition to O/W (Ortmann/Wiese) and more recently the synth damaged Fashion Dictator. Occasionally Ortmann can be seen smoking cigarettes onstage along with his Korg MS-20 supplementing long time psyche-rockers Plastic Crimewave Sound. Many of his releases are renowned for the exceptional and/or excessive packaging; (steel, plexi-glass, wood, etc.). Notable releases include “Nightmania” (a series of drawings that inspired the accompanying audio CD) and “Octagonist” (7.1 Surround Sound DVD), both released under the support of arts grants.


Auris is a Chicago-based collective that performs original music on traditional, electronic, and self-built instruments. Founded in 2007, its performances employ free improvisation and non-traditional scores in the exploration of electroacoustic sound as an organic art of time and space. The founding members of Auris are: Julia Miller (guitar, voice, electronics), Christopher Preissing (flute, voice, electronics), and Eric Leonardson (springboard, electronics).


“A Scratch Orchestra is a large number of enthusiasts pooling their resources  (not primarily material resources) and assembling for action (music-making, performance, edification).
The word music and its derivatives are here not understood to refer exclusively to sound and related phenomena (hearing, etc). What they do refer to is flexible and depends entirely on the members of the Scratch Orchestra.”
CSO members include Julia Miller, Joe Fosco, Clifton Ingram, Andrew Royal, Samuel Bradshaw, Christopher Preissing, Dan Godston, Paul Hartsaw, Carol Genetti, Sid Yiddish, Dan Mohr, Right-Eye Rita, Sid Samberg, Alex Feldman, Eric Leonardson, Bobby McMahon, Noé Cuéllar, Joseph Kramer, Jeff Kowalkowski, and many others. As a sort of “leaderless” social unit each member of the group is expected to contribute their own score for the scratch orchestra to perform. These are often visually graphic and verbally task-oriented, but do not eschew traditional musical notation either.


Born November 1st, 1983, growing up in the North East Kingdom of Vermont, Clifton Ingram’s relationship with music did not deviate from the normal adolescent path until the 4th Grade, when he began to study an instrument (in this case, the clarinet) like many of his classmates. A year later, music became a more prominent activity, when Ingram joined an english hand bell choir. From these experiences, he learned how to read music and how to function in a group setting. In junior high, Ingram discovered an outlet for his “growing pains” in the alternative rock scene of the 90s. Following this epiphany, in the 8th Grade, for Christmas his father bought him an acoustic guitar, which soon took precedence over the clarinet and hand bells. Involvement in a cover band soon evolved into Ingram and his friends writing and playing their own music (as best they could), an activity which was greatly influenced by the contemporary post/math rock of their high school days, which continually acted as a window to more fringe music. Temporarily disenchanted with the “dogmatic process” of playing classical repertoire, Ingram wished to employ his acquired skill at guitar towards jazz music, which led to a period of self taught theory and to attempts at improvisation. Eventually, at Skidmore College, Ingram would study guitar, improvisation, and composition, encouraged by Chuck D’Aloia, notably a talented sideman of the late saxophonist Nick Brignola, eventually leading to a diploma in May of 2006. Upon graduation, Clifton Ingram moved to Chicago to pursue music. He can be heard on a track on the album “Handwriting” by electronic friend/musician, Khonnor, providing some vocals and guitar, and recently has been experimenting with electronic music, playing free improvisational music, and writing a string quartet.


Coppice (Noé Cuéllar & Joseph Kramer) is a is a Chicago-based duet of bellows and electronics.  Since its formation in 2009 they have produced original compositions for stage, fixed media, and performed installation settings, with a focus on adhering textural attenuation, processed gradation, the contours of instrumentation, and their multiple aspect highlights.
Their variable instrumentation departs from bellows and reed instruments (accordion, pump organ, shruti box, harmonica), custom electronics (reproduction, transmission, spatialization, interference and gentle feedback), and multi-channel systems adapted in ways responsive to location, audience flow, and aural perspectives.
Recently praised as “virtuosic and exact listening,” Coppice has appeared at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Flea Theater in New York, Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts in Minneapolis, McNeill Street Pumping Station New Music Festival in Shreveport, and internationally in Iceland, Sweden and the Netherlands.


Evan Apodaca’s projects in sound most often take the form of installation that engages audience interaction. Most notably, Ultrasound a work in role playing merges wire recording technology with the guise of medical self-examination. Originally based in Los Angeles he has collaborated with various Chicago collectives and has exhibited across the US. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009.


Geoff Hanssler is a sound and image producer from Crystal Lake, Illinois.  He graduated with a BFA in video from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2009.  His work includes but is not limited to photography, drawing/painting, graphic design, sound, video, and occasionally installation.


Jonathan Chen’s work includes composition, improvisation, and installation. His work has been performed or installed in cities in the U.S., Europe and China. As a violinist and/or electronicist he has performed as improviser at venues and festivals in the U.S. and internationally and has collaborated with many notable artists. Chen has studied composition, improvisation, and installation with Alvin Lucier, Anthony Braxton, and Pauline Oliveros. He received his Master of Music in violin performance from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL in 1999. In 2006 he completed his Master of Arts in music composition at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and is currently a PhD Candidate in Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He can be heard on Asian Improv, Interval, and Striking Mechanism among others.


Joseph Clayton Mills is an artist, writer, and musician who lives and works in Chicago. His text-based paintings, assemblages, and installations have been exhibited at galleries and alternative spaces in Chicago and New York, and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker. His fiction and criticism have been published both in the United States and abroad, most recently in the magazine Joyland and the architectural journal Log, and he is the author of the short-story collection Zyxt. In addition, as a member of Fung Collaboratives, he has written and edited texts for The Snow Show, an international collaborative exhibition of art and architecture held in Finland in 2004, and The Snow Show 2006, held in conjunction with the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. He is also an active participant in the improvised and experimental music community in Chicago, where he has performed and collaborated with such notable musicians as Adam Sonderberg and Steven Hess (as a member of the band Haptic), David Daniell, Jason Stein, Sylvain Chaveau, Tony Buck, Mark Solotroff, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Jonathan Chen, and Olivia Block, among many others. His recordings have appeared on numerous labels, including FSS, Entr’acte, and Bloodlust!.


Julia Miller received her DMA in Composition from Northwestern University in 2004. She received her MM in composition and classical guitar performance from Northwestern in 1993.
Julia has participated in composition master classes with Franco Donatoni, George Crumb, Pauline Oliveros, Bernard Rands, and Sydney Hodkinson. She has studied composition with composers including Amnon Wolman, Gerhard Stäbler, Alan Stout, Jay Alan Yim, John Anthony Lennon, Steve Syverud, Michael Pisaro and George Flynn. She has participated in guitar master classes with Oscar Ghiglia and Robert Guthrie, and studied the classical guitar with Mark Maxwell and Anne Waller.
As well as being the recipient of nine commissions, including five orchestral works, Julia has received many grants and honors including those from the Chicago Tribune Foundation, the New York Art Ensemble, the United Arts Council, and Meet the Composer. Julia was chosen as a finalist in the Gaudeamus Music Week Composition Competition 1999 for her acousmatic work, bluu, and also presented that same work at the IRCAM Forum in Paris.
Julia is a curator, along with founder George Flynn and composer Frank Abbinanti, of the prestigious New Music at the Green Mill concert series. She is also a member of the Chicago Composers Consortium (C3), on the Board of New Music Chicago, and was instrumental in the technical organization of the Chicago Composer’s Forum’s production of John Cage’s Musicircus at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2004.
Julia is currently on the faculty of the Sound Department at the School of the Art Institute, in the School of Music at DePaul University, and as a private instructor at The Music Institute of Chicago,. Additionally, she is a partner in Huron Studios with visualist Eric Gelehrter, and is a member of the VJ collective Merkaba.


Noé Cuéllar is a sound artist, composer and photographer originally from South Texas; graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He frequents close collaboration with sound artist Joseph Kramer as Coppice. A variety of his work has been performed or exhibited nationwide and internationally; among others. Recent commissions include Synapse Arts Collective, Poetry Foundation, and Electric Eel Films.