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Renee C. Baker

2018 HONOREE

HELEN SAYS:
"Renee thrills and unsettles. She tries to unsettle the world."

Visual artist, film artist, composer and recontextualist, Renee’ C. Baker is a true engineer of multidisciplines. Layering movement, film projections of real and imagined things, she creates an exquisite arena of surrealistic activity within a sonic theatre. Ms. Baker is founding music director and conductor of the internationally acclaimed Chicago Modern Orchestra Project (CMOP), a polystylistic orchestral organization that grew from the plums of classical music, as well as jazz. Her compositions are crafted from her many talents with carefully constructed environments that also allow indeterminacy, experimentalism, classicism, subjectivity, and objective interpretations to co-exist. Intense but rewarding for both performer and listener/viewer, all parties are cast into unknown roles upon encounter, to be radically inside a temporary environment of limitless inhabitation.

Ms. Baker is a member of the world renown collective Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Critical acclaim for her graphic scores novels has come from performances in Berlin, Poland, London, Scotland and as far reaching as Vietnam. As a disruptive composer and visual artist, there are few barriers to the creative turns of this composer, conductor, artist, and instrumentalist. Pushing all boundaries, Ms. Baker reinvents herself and each ensemble with each score, effortlessly transforming the way reality is accessed for that time. An expert at ensemble development and training, Renee’ developed the Mantra Blue Free Orchestra (Chicago), PEK’ Contemporary Project (Berlin), the progenitor of Bleueblue Walkers/Bass Kollektief, Twilight Struggles (Berlin) as well as being involved in starting over 20 cutting edge new music ensembles. Among them: TUNTUI, Wrinkled Linen, Chocolate Chitlin’ Caucus, Red Chai Watch, FAQtet, Project 6, Renee’ Baker’s AWAKENING, Baker ArTet, a Butoh ensemble BODY STRATA, and Strings Attached. Ms. Baker has performed globally from Bimhuis (Amsterdam) to Symphony Center (Chicago) and was a founding member as well as Principal Violist of Chicago Sinfonietta for 26 years.

Ms. Baker has composed over two thousand works for ensembles ranging from pieces for solo instruments, ballet, opera (9), to large orchestral works that bridge the classical, jazz and creative music genres. Her ability to embrace traditional compositions as well as various creative parameters in her work has led to commissions from the Chicago Sinfonietta, numerous commissioned pieces for the Chicago Sinfonietta Chamber Ensemble, MCA Chicago, Berlin International Brass, PEK’ Contemporary Project, Joffrey Ballet Chamber Series, Krannert Performing Arts Center, Shedd Aquarium, the Arts Club of Chicago.,Symphony Center, MOFA St. Peterburg Fl, Adler Planetarium and DanceWright Project, University of Chicago Film Studies Center, Indiana University Black Film Center, amongst many others.