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Etienne Rolin with Glissotar
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Franco-American composer and visual artist Étienne Rolin will present Comprovisation, a FREE art show and September 8th performance, at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, Upstairs Gallery, 927 Noyes Street, Evanston, IL, 60201 (CTA Purple Noyes stop, some lot and street parking). Along with other invited artists and students, Rolin will devise a movement, art and music performance, including playing a Glissotar hybrid, a new woodwind instrument. The Noyes Center Gallery is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


Rolin’s Noyes residency will start on September 5th, culminating in the free September 8th performance, when he will create a new live piece with visuals, including his recent charcoal drawings on long transparent paper, plus movement and music, specifically devised for the Upstairs Gallery. He will perform on the Glissotar, a hybrid with a longitudinal slot on the instrument’s tube, which is covered with a stretched magnetic ribbon. Pushing on the ribbon seals the slot to produce any note in the pitch continuum. Based on a Hungarian single-reed instrument with a conical wooden body called the tarogato, the Glissotar won first prize in the 2022 Guthman Competition for new instruments.


Born in Berkeley in 1952, Étienne Rolin studied philosophy and music in San Francisco, and plays saxophone, flute and clarinet. He’s composed several thousand opus numbers ranging from solo to opera via jazz ensembles. His works, played in Europe and North America, have been premiered by prestigious ensembles such as 2e2m, Accroche Note, the Ensemble Intercontemporain and Ars Nova. He founded Erol Records and co-founded the publishing house Éditions Tempéraments. Rolin also teaches analysis and improvisation at the Bordeaux Conservatory, the Pôle Supérieur and the University of Bordeaux.


Currently a Bordeaux resident, Rolin specializes in “comprovisation,” using sound-painting and composition in real time, notably with his Nouvelle Assemblée Sonore d’Aquitaine ensemble. He is particularly interested in improvisational Indian ragas and gives recitals with the bansuri flute. Also a painter, Rolin incorporates his own paintings into multidisciplinary projects blending music, dance, painting, poetry and drama. See link for “Las Pinturas Robadas” (stolen paintings), his music, painting and dance collaboration with Argentinian dancer Cécilia Loffredo at his Villa Waldberta residency in Feldafing near Munich in 2021.


The City of Evanston funds the Noyes Galleries and the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, a historically significant, self-sustaining community organization. Programs are supported in part by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. The galleries and programs are all  free and open to the public. The Noyes first floor gallery is dedicated to tenant artists, and the upstairs gallery features art and artists who spark community conversations.


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