Past Event

OpenICE: The Threshing Floor, featuring The Dilettantes

Call it what you will – experimental, avant-garde, new – but the music of the critically acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is sure to challenge, engage, and challenge your notions of what music can be.

This performance of “the threshing floor” — a 20-minute work for amplified tenor saxophone, amplified percussion, and electronics completed in 2014 — marks ICE’s first Chicago presentation of music by UK-based Costa Rican composer Mauricio Pauly. The work is Pauly’s statement piece—ambient and linear at the same time, embracing the listener in an utterly beautiful sound world with distant sightings of noise, trash, and drones. The sounds of two familiar instruments are amplified and sent though guitar pedals, nearly unrecognizable by the time they reach audience ears. The saxophonist brings on amplification feedback through the placement of a microphone aimed at instrument’s bell and, as the percussionist controls the ebb and flow of feedback by bringing the microphone close to different areas of a drum’s skin, the listeners—completely enveloped within a ring a speakers—can almost feel the embrace of the sound on their own skin. ICE dream team Claire Chase (flute), Ryan Muncy (saxophone), Ross Karre (percussion), and Levy Lorenzo (electronics) bring the work to life.

Mauricio Pauly: the threshing floor (2015) for percussion, tenor sax and electronics

Erin Gee: Mouthpiece XXIV (2015) for percussion, tenor sax and amplification CHICAGO PREMIERE

Ashley Fure: Percussion solo from The Force of Things (2016) WORLD PREMIERE

Marcos Balter: Strohbass (2012) for baritone sax and bass flute

Marcos Balter: Pessoa (2013) for bass flute and electronics

Marcos Balter: Alone (2014) for solo flute


The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced. With a modular makeup of 33 leading instrumentalists performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, ICE functions as performer, presenter, and educator, advancing the music of our time by developing innovative new works and new strategies for audience engagement. ICE redefines concert music as it brings together new work and new listeners in the 21st century.


From live games to interactive discussions, The Dilettantes specialize in crafting distinctive, immersive experiences. Their projects can be narrative-based, structurally experimental, or anywhere in between, but they are all linked by their steadfast belief in the value of live events and face-to-face interactions. Through their work they explore the nature of what’s joyful, unexpected and necessary about being in a room with other human beings.

If you require any arrangements to fully participate, please let us know via email or call (312) 422-5580 at least 72 hours prior to the event.