Past Event

Immediate Futures: Archiving Improvisation and Performing History – A Roundtable Discussion with Creative Audio Archive

Creative Audio Archive is a Chicago-based center for the preservation of innovative and experimental live musical performances. CAA was formed in response to growing concerns about the state of historical preservation of high-quality audio recordings of live music from the past several decades.

Malachi Ritscher was a musician and recording engineer who became a fixture in Chicago’s jazz and experimental music scenes in the 1990s. He was known for creating high-quality recordings of live performances for musicians at no cost. Many of these historic recordings have never seen official release.

Inspired by Malachi Ritscher’s recording and archival process, this roundtable discussion will consider two questions: How do artists and collectors engage the past through archival recordings? What kind of archives might artists, collectors, and audiences create for themselves and others today?

As part of the discussion, we will present a recorded concert featuring Jim Baker, one of the many artists recorded by Richter, alongside Katherine Young, a musician whose contributions to Chicago’s vibrant scene carry on the spirit of invention and exploration found in Ritscher’s extensive audio archives.


This FREE event is presented as part of The Collaborative City, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

For more information about the event, please go to:

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580 at least 72 hours prior to the event. For parking locations near the facility, please visit