Six Words

Edward Breitweiser with pt.fwd and the McLean County Museum of History

Six Words Graphic

Friday, June 24th, 2022 @ 7:00 pm
McLean County Museum of History
200 North Main Street, Bloomington, IL 61701
Live Stream: YouTube: Experimental Sound Studio

Archival Research, Community Dialogue, and Collaborative Music-Making

Using archival research, community dialogue, and collaborative music-making, Six Words engages directly with Central Illinois residents to reflect on our collective experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. Six Words takes the McLean County Museum of History’s “COVID-19: The McLean County Experience” as a starting point to ask local residents about their pandemic experiences, and to preserve them for future generations. Breitweiser is collaborating with local non-profits and youth organizations—including the McLean County Museum of History and pt.fwd—to create a communal space for telling and hearing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Bloomington-Normal area. These diverse experiences will be shared in a concert-length public performance at the Museum of History, featuring music and words by area residents who contributed to the project.

How Six Words Works

Community Input
On Saturday May 7, Breitweiser will facilitate a free public workshop in partnership with the McLean County Museum of History and local youth organizations. The workshop will leverage resources from The Museum’s “COVID-19: The McLean County Experience” project and will ask participants to write brief reflections on their pandemic experience. Together, the group will select six shared themes to unify their writings.

Following the workshop, Breitweiser will compile themes and writings as the foundation of a new musical work. During this time, Breitweiser will compose a concert-length piece inspired by the writings.

Public Performance
On Friday, June 24th at 7pm CST, Breitweiser will present a performance of Six Words in a free public concert at the McLean County Museum of History. This performance will include workshop participants, who will recite their writings to live music. The performance will be live-streamed via Experimental Sound Studio’s live-stream channel. Performance attendees will be encouraged to submit written responses to “COVID-19: The McLean County Experience”.

In conjunction with the performance, Breitweiser will participate in public discussions hosted by NON:op.

Following the June performance, Breitweiser will explore recording Six Words and releasing copies of the composition and accompanying texts. Workshop and performance materials will be donated to “COVID-19: The McLean County Experience”.

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Eddie Breitweiser
photo credit: Ryan Paluczak

About the Artist

Edward Breitweiser is an artist, musician, and writer. Incorporating models from various intellectual traditions and bodies of knowledge, Breitweiser organizes particulars (custom software, handmade electronics, audio/visual signals, text, networked distribution channels, improvisational music, performative activities) into arrangements whose products are the macro-result of the emergent interactions of all components at once.

His works have been presented at Festival MusicAlp (Courchevel, France); Network Music Festival (Birmingham, UK); the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago); Illinois State University Galleries (Normal, IL); MobileHCI (Stockholm); Salle Cortot (Paris); threewalls (Chicago); the Giorgio Cini Foundation (Venice); Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, IL); the Fuse Factory (Columbus); the McLean County Arts Center (Bloomington, IL); and Sixty Inches From Center (online). Breitweiser is the founder and Director of pt.fwd, a non-profit program that presents performances of contemporary music and sonic arts in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. Breitweiser studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA ‘12), l’École Normale de Musique de Paris (’08), and Elmhurst College (BFA ‘09).

Viral Silence is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency
and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.