Empty Bottle Presents Music for The Never Quartet at the International Museum of Surgical Science - Atlas Obscura


Empty Bottle Presents Music for The Never Quartet at the International Museum of Surgical Science

Join legendary Chicago producers Empty Bottle for an evening of Michael Morley's unusual instruments in a most unusual location.

Enter the halls of the International Museum of Surgical Science to experience surprising sounds echoing through its majestic halls.

Music for The Never Quartet seeks to employ the resonating qualities of wooden acoustic guitars placed upon items of wooden furniture to reveal connections between time and space by sonically activating the instruments and the other wooden objects within architectural structures.

The development of Music for The Never Quartet has come from a 30-year exploration of the guitar and of sound as art by Michael Morley. Morley is a New Zealand based sound artist and visual artist. His work across a range of genres confirms his abilities as an artist, composer, improvisor, performer, and producer. Morley has recorded more than 100 audio releases from 1985 to 2019, performing as GATE, THE DEAD C., THE RIGHTEOUS YEAH, THE F*CK CHAIRS, and SUN VALLEY, among other collaborations and solo recordings.

During the performance, you'll be encouraged to record and play back loops of the quartet on your personal mobile devices to contribute to the composition and performance in real time, extending the possibilities of the compositional form to include the composer, performer and the audience.


In 1992 the Empty Bottle started out as a cat-ridden, hole-in-the-wall bar in Ukrainian Village (just south of Wicker Park) where you could get any one of nine beers for a buck-fifty or less, play pool for 50 cents, and find everything from Monster Magnet to Bill Monroe on the jukebox. We’ve done a bunch of shows since then; in fact, we’ve been anything but empty these last 20 or so years. Empty Bottle Presents, or EBP for short, is the production and curatorial arm of Empty Bottle that produces any of our events that take place outside of the venue's walls.


Built in 1917 as a private home, the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago reveals the long, complicated history of this curious field. The museum also was a hall of fame for doctors and tool to educate the public about advancements in the field. 


  • This event is 18+.
  • Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door.


Email Shannon atshannon@emptybottle.com.

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All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.