May 27, 2016

Friday night live at Transistor: solo experimental guitar from Derek Allen, solo experimental percussion from Chris Sies, and free-form folk from Justin Purtill.  Sound by Jon Monteverde. 


Derek Allen is a Chicago-based experimental musician. As front man for the experimental rock band Counterfeit i, Derek has released a handful of albums and EPs and toured extensively. A recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute’s Department of Sound, Derek performs sets using a guitar, pedals and a small amp. The resulting sound is dynamic, varied, yet cohesive. His music can be heard on Bandcamp.

For his performance at Transistor, Derek played an improvised solo guitar set using various physical objects and effects alongside glossolalia and blurred vocal lines.

Also available: a Derek Allen Transistor performance from May 22, 2015.


Chris Sies is a percussionist and improviser who seeks to bring visceral and engaging concert experiences to diverse audiences. A versatile performer with "virtuoso flair" (Detroit Free Press), Chris has appeared with the United States Navy Band, New Music Detroit, The Michigan Arab Orchestra, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, and SŌ Percussion. An avid promoter and performer of contemporary music, Sies has premiered numerous works and performed at such events as the Midwest Composer’s Symposium, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and New Music Detroit’s annual Strange Beautiful Music. A passionate educator in the Chicago area, Sies is on faculty at the Chicago Academy for Performing Arts, The People’s Music School and Triton College.  

For his solo set at Transistor, Chris performed a new work for snare drums and electronics by bassist/composer Ben Willis.

Visit Chris Sies' website

Also available: a previous Chris Sies Transistor performance (as Seis/Willis Duo) from December 4, 2015.


Justin Purtill plays the guitar in ways both orthodox and unorthodox. He will begin a song only to not finish it and then finish a song that he didn't begin. The nature of his music is improvisational yet forms do appear only to disappear.

Justin has performed, recorded and toured with the likes of Stu Allen, Edgar Bateman, Gary Burton, Jerry Bergonzi, Hal Crook, David "Fuze" Fiuczynski, The Fringe, George Garzone, Leo Genovese, Donna Jean Godchaux, Bill Goodwin, Joe Hunt, Steve Kimock, Matt Kilmer of The MAST, Eric Kloss, Rakalam Bob Moses, Tisziji Munoz, Tiger Okoshi, Kelli Scarr, Melvin Seals and the JGB, John Shannon, Esperanza Spalding, Nat Mugavero's The Sewer Rats, Kendrick Scott, and Paul Wertico. He has released four CDs of improvisational singer-songwriter music entitled Permanent Mystery, Raw, and Sore Eyes for Sight on Ayva Records and The Sun in Splendor on Constant Clip Records. 

Visit Justin Purtill's Bandcamp page. 

Photo by William Flores

Photo by William Flores

Poster by Kendra Hutchings

Poster by Kendra Hutchings

Find more live performance recordings on our archive page.