Depth of Field is a mix of news, music & conversation concerning all things Transistor.  Andy Miles hosts, with Danielle Echols.



EPISODE GUIDE

Episode #14: Colleted Voices ethnographic film festival (August 2016)

This month Danielle Echols talks to Ife Olatunje, director and founder of Collected Voices, Chicago's first and only ethnographic film festival.  Transistor will host a festival screening Saturday night, August 27th.  They talk about that event and all of the other festival screening nights, in this, the second year of the festival, which blends together fiction and documentary media from diverse Chicago filmmakers in academia and art.   

Visit the Collected Voices website and Facebook page.

Music heard in episode: 
Transistor by Rayograph
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph (opening theme)
"Such Great Heights" by Mesha Arant
 

"Chi-Voices" clip courtesy of Shiri Burson.  

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #13: Chicago filmmaker Nick Alonzo (4-1-16)

Director Nick Alonzo is an independent, self-taught filmmaker born and raised in Chicago. In the summer of 2014 and after becoming a father, Nick challenged himself to make his first feature-length film, SHITCAGO, a no-plot satirical comedy. Loosely based on a few personal events and people he met while living in Chicago all of his life, the film follows a young loner as he wanders the city of Chicago and encounters many idiosyncratic characters.  The film will be shown later this week at Transistor, Saturday night, April 2nd.  Earlier this week Nick stopped by Transistor to talk to Depth of Field contributor Danielle Echols; on this week's show we have that conversation, plus a rundown of April events at Transistor. 


Visit the SHITCAGO Facebook and Tumblr pages. 

Music heard in the episode: 
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph (opening music)
"Nothing But The Blues" by Nino Arobelidze recorded live at Transistor, 9/5/14. Sound by Jon Monteverde. 
- The songs from the SHITCAGO soundtrack -- "Strapple from the Pineapple" (composed by Sal Plascencia) and "As I Was Walking By" (composed by Seiichi Nagai) -- featured Ricky Georgen on guitar, Mitch Klicki on bass, Michael Lee on saxophone), Seiichi Nagai on guitar, Melissa Neff on trumpet, and Alex Santilli on drums. 

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #12: Chicago musicians Ana Munteanu and Abraham Mellish (2-17-16)

Friday night, February 26 folk & jazz singer Ana Munteanu and Afro-folk-pop singer-songwriter Abraham Mellish will perform live at Transistor.  Earlier this week Depth of Field's Danielle Echols sat down with Ana and Abraham to talk about their far-flung musical journeys and upcoming Transistor show.  On this show we have that conversation, which includes in-store performances from each.  

Ana Munteanu, born in Republic of Moldova, is a singer who combines the lyricism of French music, the sensuality of Latin music, and the freedom of jazz.  For her Transistor set, Ana will be accompanied by Alex Brescanu on bass guitar. They will play songs composed by Manuel de Falla, Caetano Veloso, Duke Ellington, Jose Maria Contursi, as well as traditional Romanian songs.  

Abraham’s life journey has spanned the globe, which is evident in his sound. At his core, Abraham is a storyteller in the folk tradition, with a lyrical breadth that fully encompasses a universal human experience steeped in Liberian roots. His Transistor set will consist mainly of original songs, with a smattering of choice covers. 


Visit Abraham Mellish’s Soundcloud page.
Visit Ana’s website and Soundcloud page.

Music heard in the episode: 
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph (opening music)
No One Listen by Abraham Mellish (closing music)
Soldier Boy by Abraham Mellish (YouTube video) 

Photos by and special thanks to Alex Brescanu

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #11: Filmmaker Melody Gilbert and jazz saxophonist Caroline Davis (1-20-16)

Saturday night, January 23rd Transistor will present an evening of short films. The program, 'Show Us Your Shorts,' has been curated by Melody Gilbert, an independent documentary filmmaker and film professor who has directed, shot, produced, (and sometimes edited) six independent feature-length documentaries since 2002. Recently, she co-directed the first 3D documentary made in Bulgaria, 'Steps in the Fire,' and is currently in post-production as producer/writer on 'Women Outward Bound' and as director/producer/cinematographer of 'The Summer Help.' All of Melody’s films have screened at prestigious film festivals around the world and have been broadcast internationally and been featured on Netflix and iTunes. She was the first recipient of a McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship for Filmmaking and has received several filmmaking grants from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She is a passionate teacher and educator who has taught at the University of Minnesota, Carleton College and was a visiting artist at Columbia College for a semester in 2010. Melody moved to Chicago in the summer of 2015 while she is on leave from teaching filmmaking and journalism at the American University in Bulgaria. She recently started the Chicago DocuClub, a monthly group of docu-makers and docu-lovers who network and show rough cuts of their films for constructive feedback in a supportive environment. Depth of Field contributor Danielle Echols talked to Melody Saturday morning, January 16; we have that conversation on this week's show.

In 2013 jazz saxophonist Caroline Davis left the Windy City for New York City but was already immersed in a recording project honoring her eight-year stint in Chicago. The resulting album, 'Doors: Chicago Storylines,' was released last November on the independent label ears & eyes records. Davis combines spoken stories and original compositions on 'Doors.' The inspiration came in 2007 while she was teaching a course on the history of Chicago jazz at Northwestern University. “I found that 1980 to 2000 was virtually uncharted territory for the local scene,” she says. “We searched interviews and newspapers far and wide, but they didn’t cut it, so I invited several musician friends to talk about their experiences during that time.” Davis and her students found the stories to be extremely compelling; the effect was so strong that she wanted to highlight them on a grander scale alongside her own musical renderings. On 'Doors,' she pairs samples of musicians telling their favorite stories with her original compositions, some inspired by themes, others by spoken phrases. In early December Davis traveled back to Chicago for a record release show at Constellation. That morning she stopped by Transistor to talk about the album and her musical journey with Depth of Field contributor Danielle Echols.

Visit Melody Gilbert's Frozen Feet Films website.

Visit Caroline Davis' website and the 'Doors: Chicago Storylines' Bandcamp page.

Caroline Davis recordings heard in the show: 
Lin
Fields
Delighted
Golden Era
Lincoln Land
Another Way 

Also available:
Whirlpool (Caroline Davis, Jeff Swanson, Charles Rumback) live at Transistor (11-29-13)
(Caroline Davis, Jeff Swanson, Charles Rumback) live at Transistor (2-8-13)
Caroline Davis Quartet live at Transistor (9-13-13)

Also heard:
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph
Transistor by Rayograph

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #10: 78 RPM DJ Konstantin Jace (12-16-15)

This week Depth of Field has an interview with Konstantin Jace, who will be playing a 78 RPM DJ set at Transistor's holiday party Saturday night December 19. When Konstantin is not one-third of Chicago art-pop band Moritat, he is an avid collector, historian and listener of 78 records. One of only a few 78 RPM DJs around the world, he fell in love with that era of music (1899-1960) at the age of 22 and has been curating his own personal collection of 78s, in all genres, ever since. Last week Andy Miles spoke to Konstantin and listened to some of his 78 RPM records. We have that conversation on this week's show.

Visit Konstantin Jace's Time Travel at 78 RPMs blog.

All of the 78 RPM recordings heard in the show are part of Konstantin Jace's collection.

Also heard:
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph
Invisible by Randi Russo
Lesser Evil by The Forest of Love

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #9: Ayuda Quartet and Dave Maher (12-9-15)

The Ayuda Quartet came together as friends in the Civic Orchestra and embarked together on the idea of forming an unconventional string quartet. Through the integration of music traditions past and present, the Ayuda Quartet blends deft classical artistry with refined modern pop sensibilities. The quartet strives to redefine the role of chamber music in today's world.

With their love of chamber music and art, the quartet launched the Flow Concert Series in the summer of 2015. Flow brings music from the concert hall to small spaces in celebration of the intimacy of music and art. The series is deliberately intimate, taking place in modest spaces, specifically designed to highlight the personal, emotional and intrinsic connection between the listener and the performers. Flow performances include poetry, visual arts and dance in combination with a set of musical pieces and songs.

In November, they launched a monthly concert series at Transistor, Second Sundays at Six. The next of these will be Sunday, December 13th. In October, Depth of Field contributor Danielle Echols talked to three members of the quartet, Myra Hinrichs, Liz Oar and Danielle Seaman. This week we have their conversation, plus several in-store performances.

Watch a performance video from this interview.

After being in a month-long diabetic coma, during which he was almost taken off life support and subsequently eulogized on Facebook, Dave Maher woke up to find himself like Tom Sawyer at his own internet funeral. 'Dave Maher Coma Show' is the comedian’s story of what happened and how, plus all the jokes and questions it spawned: What's the grossest part of coming out of a coma? What’s the best way to flirt with nurses in physical rehab? What now? The one-man show starring Dave Maher and directed by Dan Shar is running at the Annoyance Theater, 851 West Belmont Avenue in Chicago. The final two performances are coming up, Friday December 11 and 18. Last week Depth of Field contributor Danielle Echols talked to Dave Maher about the show and his story. This week we have their conversation.
 

Visit The Ayuda Quartet's Flow Concert Series website.

Visit The Annoyance Theater's 'Dave Maher Coma Show' website.

The Ayuda Quartet performances heard in the episode were recorded by Jon Monteverde.

Also heard:
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph  
Onlijournitro by Knxwledge

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #8: Tim Daisy (12-2-15)

This week's guest is Tim Daisy, a Chicago-based sound artist, percussionist and composer who has been working in the fields of improvised and composed music since 1997. He has performed, recorded and toured both solo and with many acclaimed musicians and ensembles from the USA and abroad. He works in a number of different environments, including modern dance, film, chamber ensembles, free jazz and improvised music ensembles. His new project, On The Ground, is an improvised solo situation that utilizes an ever-expanding arsenal of both traditional and nontraditional instruments -- including radios, turntables, gongs, chains, bells, a snare drum, brushes, scrap metal, circular saw blades, sticks and alarm clocks. OTG explores the art of sound collage in a solo improvisational context, multi-layered free improvisation, with all of the instruments and objects spread out and assembled on the floor. Tim talks to Andy Miles about that project and performs an improvised set in his practice space.

Tim Daisy will perform as On The Ground Friday night December 4 at Transistor.

Visit Tim Daisy's website and Bandcamp page.

Tim Daisy music heard in the episode: 
An Amusing Mess by Tim Daisy; performed by On The Ground
'Anketa' by Tim Daisy; performed by Vox Arcana :: James Falzone (clarinet) // Fred Lonberg Holm (cello + electronics) // Tim Daisy (percussion)
'Writers' by Tim Daisy; performed by Tim Daisy (drums) & Marc Riordan (piano)

Other music played in the episode:
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph
Transistor by Rayograph

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #7: Marilyn Ferdinand and Liz Bagby (11-11-15)

Marilyn Ferdinand founded and blogs at FerdyonFilms.com. She reviews all types of films but favors documentaries, “offroad” films from emerging national cinemas, silent films, films noir, experimental films, and works by female directors. She cofounded the fundraising For the Love of Films: The Film Preservation Blogathon. She has written for Humanities magazine, Fandor, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, and other venues. On Saturday night November 21st Marilyn will be presenting the film noir classic 'The Prowler' here at Transistor. Depth of Field contributor Danielle Echols recently talked to Marilyn here at Transistor. We have their conversation.

Chicago singer-songwriter Liz Bagby grew up in a border town in New Mexico, and after brief stints in St. Louis and on the East Coast moved to Chicago for its vibrant theater scene. She performs both as an actor and as a musician. She has composed music for numerous productions; favorites include Shakespeare's 'King Phycus' with Strange Tree and 'The Ballad of the Sad Cafe' with Signal Ensemble Theatre. Her writing has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies; Press 53 published her novel 'The Crazy Garden,' and Adirondack Plays will soon print her farce 'Quartet and Fugue.' Last year she took part in the Arts & Sciences Expedition to the Arctic Circle, a three-week residency aboard a tall-mast ship.Marilyn Ferdinand founded and blogs at FerdyonFilms.com. She reviews all types of films but favors documentaries, “offroad” films from emerging national cinemas, silent films, films noir, experimental films, and works by female directors. She cofounded the fundraising For the Love of Films: The Film Preservation Blogathon. She has written for Humanities magazine, Fandor, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, and other venues. On Saturday night November 21st Marilyn will be presenting the film noir classic 'The Prowler' here at Transistor. Depth of Field contributor Danielle Echols recently talked to Marilyn here at Transistor. We have their conversation.

On Friday the 13th of November Liz has a new album coming out, 'Everything I Think I Know Is Wrong.' Last week, Transistor Radio's Danielle Echols talked to her about the album, her musical (and theatrical) journey, and the music and musicians that influence her sound. And this week on Dept of Field, we have their conversation, with three live-on-the-spot performances.


Visit Liz's website 
Visit the 'Everything I Think I Know Is Wrong' Bandcamp page

Also available:
Liz Bagby live at Transistor, 8-8-14
Liz Bagby live at Transistor, 10-30-15

Liz Bagby songs performed in the episode: 
'Half' (recorded live at Transistor, 10-30-15; sound by Jon Monteverde), 'Everything I Think I Know Is Wrong,' 'Whiskey Boots'

Liz & The Baguettes recordings heard in the episode:
'Get Out,' 'Sleepwalker,' 'Like'

Other music played in the episode: 
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph 

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #6 (10-21-15)

Chicago bluesman Calvin Conway has a new record coming out the last day of October; it will be called 'Dark Horse Deluxe.' The 13 songs on the album were written and recorded in Chicago with inspiration from New Orleans and Austin, Texas, and they cast a light on how Calvin takes experiences in travel and translates them into sound. The stories he tells are a true reflection of real experiences that came to be from riding the rails. The album blends a variety of genres like blues, soul, gospel, ragtime and folk and has given Calvin the chance to pay homage back to his family heritage and the musical landscape that nourished him from the start.

Last Saturday morning at Transistor, Depth of Field contributor Danielle Echols talked to Calvin about the album, his musical journey and the legendary music and musicians that influence his sound. This week on the show we have their conversation, with three live-on-the-spot performances. We also preview two upcoming events at Transistor, with music from Elizabeth Bagby and The Elizabeth Dane.

Visit Calvin Conway's website
Visit the 'Dark Horse Deluxe - The Album' Kickstarter campaign page.

Also available:
Calvin Conway live at Transistor 5-24-13
Calvin Conway live at Transistor 8-24-13

Calvin Conway songs performed in the episode: 
Mud Bug, Miss New Orleans, Tell Me Jesus

Calvin Conway recordings heard in the episode:
If You're A Live One, I Need You, Let's Meet in Memphis, Like A King, Tierra Quemada

Other music played in the episode: 
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph
Transistor by Rayograph
Get Out by Liz Bagby
The Thinny by The Elizabeth Dane

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #5 (10-14-15)

Last month Depth of Field visited the Rogers Park apartment and workspace of Nathan Minnehan, owner of WalknTalk, a company founded in Chicago in 2012. WalknTalk produces handmade, high-quality leather goods designed to inspire a philosophy of self-creation through intentional travel. The WalknTalk mission aims to inspire you to get lost to find yourself. A portion of profits is donated to youth exchange and student travel through the WalknTalk Dreambox Scholarship. Depth of Field contributor Danielle Echols talked to Nathan; we have their conversation on this week's show. We also feature music by Abud: A Bard and Sarah Eide, both of whom will be playing Transistor Friday night, October 23.

Visit the WalknTalk website.

Music heard in the episode: 
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph
Couch Fort by Abud: A Bard
Borderland by Sarah Eide

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #4 (10-7-15)

Since 2012 Chicago artist Steve Connell has been working on a painting series he calls Chicago Night. His method: digital finger painting on an iPad. Having worked for years as a commercial illustrator and graphic designer here in Chicago, he builds these paintings from his own sketches and prints them as archival prints or mounted woodblocks. The paintings reflect his interest in the urban environment at night and depict various Chicago music venues, bars, diners, or just corners of the city that catch Steve's eye. As the title of the series suggests, the paintings depict night scenes, in the small, desolate hours that call 'Nighthawks at the Diner' to mind. 'If the street is deserted,' Steve says, 'you can hear the hum of the neon, the echo on the sidewalks.'

For more than a year now Transistor has carried a number of works from Steve's ever-growing collection; through November they will be featured on one of Transistor's main gallery walls. Recently Depth of Field contributor Danielle Echols talked to Steve at Transistor; tune in to hear their conversation.

Visit Steve Connell's website

Music heard in the episode: 
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph  
No Dialtone by Aphorism

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #3 (9-30-15)

Collected Voices, an ethnographic film festival, will be happening in Chicago throughout the month of October. The first-time event has been curated by visual anthropologist and documentary filmmaker Ife Olatunji, and Depth of Field contributor Danielle Echols talks to her and Chicago filmmaker Lonnie Edwards about that event. Plus, Andy Miles has a rundown of events taking place at Transistor in October.

Collected Voices is a grassroots film fest curated by Ife Olatunji, in partnership with Community Film Workshop, Reel Black Filmmakers, and Chicago Artist Month. The interactive film festival competition seeks to crown the best ethnographic filmmakers in Chicago.  Find out more about the festival at facebook.com/collectedvoices.

Lonnie Edwards on Facebook
Ife Olatunji's Chicago Artists Month 2015 profile.

Music heard in the episode: 
A Thousand Cranes by Rayograph (opening music)
No Dialtone by Aphorism
Staying by Stephen Chopek
Ship (Demo) by Hazy Dripz  

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #2 (2-17-15)

Andy talks to Adam Selzer and Michael Glover Smith, authors of the new book 'Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry.' They will be at Transistor Saturday night, February 21 for a book launch and film screening event. We also have a preview of this Friday night's EP release and video screening event with Scott Zareski.

Michael Glover Smith is an independent filmmaker who teaches film history at several Chicago-area colleges. Adam Selzer is a tour guide, and the author of 16 books, roughly an even mix of smart alecky YA fiction and adult non-fiction, including the recent 'Ghosts of Chicago' and 'Museyon Guide to Chicago.' He conducts hundreds of tours per year.

Flickering Empire the Transistor event (2-21-15)

Flickering Empire the book (Columbia University Press)

Scott Zareski at Transistor (2-20-15)

Joe Adamik & Steve Dorocke live at Transistor (2-13-15)

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Episode #1 (1-27-15)

Andy reminisces about the early days of Transistor with Transistor co-founder Rani Young and catches up with Rani's many creative endeavors since leaving Transistor in 2011. We also have a preview of this Friday night's live performers, Dial In and Jack Armstrong, with a song from each.

Rani Young (Woolpert) is a Chicago-based artist, musician and designer. The recipient of a 2014 Individual Artist Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Rani works out of her studio at Fulton Street Collective, with her current focus on narrative figurative oil paintings. She has a BFA from Colorado State University and a post-baccalaureate from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2009, Rani co-founded Transistor, from which she curated a weekly music performance series, hosted a radio interview show, and taught fine art and design software classes to hundreds of students; she stepped away from those roles in 2011; in 2015 she resumed involvement with the Transistor Radio webcast, voicing sponsor and station identification announcements. Rani is a graphic designer, creating digital signage, print materials and outdoor advertising for Hyatt, Hilton, Omni and other hotel clients. She is also the lead singer in three Chicago bands: Girl Detective, Dreams of Falling and Dream House (the latter a Siouxsie and the Banshees tribute band). Visit Rani's website.


Find Dial In on Facebook.

Visit Jack Campbell's website.

This episode of Depth of Field was produced, recorded and edited by Andy Miles.


Danielle Echols is a Chicago-based PR specialist who loves producing shows that promote local creatives. Her most recent endeavors include co-creating Can We Kick It Chicago, a brunch that features performances by Chicago hip-hop and soul artists; and serving as the program manager for Collected Voices, Chicago's Ethnographic Film Festival. In addition to promoting the works of others, she has her own artistic niche: she is a trained belly dancer and SLAM poet competition winner. Danielle can be found hanging out at Transistor most Saturday mornings.  

Andy Miles hosts the weekly show Depth of Field; he also produces The White City Cinema Radio Hour and presents Bring Your Own Beat and 15 Songs, the weekly music show that leads off every installment of Transistor Radio. He has written for various publications on the arts, history & culture, made audio documentaries, worked in radio and public television, owned and operated a company specializing in congressional hearing transcripts, and since 2009 owned and managed Transistor. Currently residing in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood, he has also called Madison, Washington, D.C., and Berlin home.