Howard Sandroff Presents a Multisensory Lecture, "The Obsessive Image"


March 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Paula Danoff,

(847) 475-5300, ext.206


Howard Sandroff’s “The Obsessive Image” Presents a Unique Relationship between Musical Compositions and Sculptural Objects

Join us on May 8 for an enlightening discussion about multisensory experiences and how the same aesthetic concerns can be applied to sound and steel


Howard Sandroff and “The Obsessive Image”

Thursday, May 8

7 pm Lecture

Evanston Art Center

2603 Sheridan Road in Evanston

(847) 475-5300

Free and open to the Public


The Evanston Art Center provides an open platform for public programming that engages our community in conversations about contemporary art and our visual culture, along with a recent expansion of activities that includes other art forms, such as poetry, music, drama, dance and performance art. Recognizing that many contemporary artists’ practices incorporate various art forms, we think it’s important to represent that sentiment in our galleries.  Through collaborations with Universities, community partners, cultural providers, and various individuals, the Evanston Art Center strives to be a catalyst for scholarship and an incubator for new ideas; welcoming people from all backgrounds and experience levels into the dialog.


We are pleased to welcome composer Howard Sandroff who will talk about the relationship between his sculpture (completed at the Evanston Art Center while studying with Matt Runfola) and his musical compositions. Sandroff will also discuss the modes operandi of "preverbal memory" and the muse, which inspires (or not) us all in the creation of art.  

Sandroff’s sculptural works bear an uncanny aesthetic consistency with his compositions in that they are characterized by objects of extreme economy of material and complexity, which are not born of evolutionary development but by his interest in arresting time and space. The same “obsessive image” inherent in his objects, both musical and steel, interact and are woven into with multiple clones and variations of the original object.

The conclusion may be inescapable, that for the last 40 years his musical compositions were actually his obsession to freeze the time and motion of music into the static spatial constructions, which are now his welded steel sculptures.

Using photos and recorded musical examples, Sandroff will take the audience through the “obsessive image” that dominates both his music and his sculpture. Three of his smaller sculptures will be on view in the gallery during the presentation offering visual references concurrent with a sampling of recordings and scores.


Howard Sandroff's concert works, written for soloists, mixed chamber ensembles and orchestra, often include live or pre-recorded electronics and have been performed, recorded and broadcast by major arts organizations throughout the world including New Music America, the Society of Composers, the Aspen Music Festival, New Music Chicago, among many others.

In June 1996, Sandroff was invited by Maestro Pierre Boulez to the dedication of the new I.R.C.A.M. facilities at the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris where Alain Damiens, soloist with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, performed Sandroff's 1990 composition, Tephillah: for clarinet and computer

In March 2008, Sandroff was one of four featured composers at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Four Score Festival. In addition to the five compositions performed by the Music for a While Ensemble, an exhibition of his recent welded steel sculpture was mounted.

Howard Sandroff is currently Professor of Sound Art at Columbia College Chicago, Department of Audio Arts and Acoustics and has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 1978. 

In the early 2000’s Sandroff began sculpting in welded steel and has expanded that medium to include his interest in computer-controlled interactive sound installations and robotics.  These works bear an uncanny aesthetic consistency with his compositions in that they are characterized by extreme economy of material and complexity, which is not borne of evolutionary development and his interest in arresting time and space. Sandroff likens his musical compositions to mobiles, a collection of fixed elements that are continually changing their association with other fixed elements. 

Howard Sandroff is currently a Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of the Computer Music Studios at The University of Chicago’s Department of Music


The Evanston Art Center is dedicated to fostering the appreciation and expression of the arts among diverse audiences. The Art Center offers extensive and innovative instruction in broad areas of artistic endeavor through classes, exhibition, interactive arts activities, and community outreach initiatives.

Gallery Hours:  Mon. – Thurs. 10 am – 9 pm; Fri. – Sat. 10 am – 4 pm; Sun. 1 – 4 pm
First floor galleries are handicapped accessible. Limited free parking is available.

The Evanston Art Center is located at 2603 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL. For more information please visit us online at or contact Paula Danoff, Director of Communications, at (847) 475-5300 ext. 206. Visit the Evanston Art Center on Facebook: or follow us on Twitter:!/evartcenter


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