The Museum of Contemporary Art has a stiff one for the innovative use of sound these days and I’m loving it. Fresh off last weekend’s engagement by imaginative pop duo The Books, this week the MCA will present the North American premiere of Norwegian composer Rolf Wallin’s “Strange News, ” performed by the Grammy-nominated Chicago Chamber Musicians. In 2006 Wallin, along with director Josse de Pauw, took a reporter and cameraman to Uganda and The Democratic Republic of Congo to meet with child soldiers. The result is a kind of chamber opera telling one boy’s story through video footage, war audio and electro-acoustic landscapes. Wallin describes the work as, “An artistic parallel to a TV or radio documentary: a small, but informative window onto a particular matter, where the empathy with those involved is more important than dry information.” The piece is anything but dry. Bone-chilling might be a better description if images of children with automatic weapons make you squirm. Sharing the bill with “Strange News” will be George Crumb’s 1970 anti-Vietnam War quartet “Black Angels for Electric String Quartet.” (William Scott)
May 8 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, (312)397-4010.