Adapting to the new and unprecedented changes of the coronavirus pandemic, the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology’s series of thematically focused soundwalks in Chicago parks, with partial support of Chicago Park District’s Night Out In the Parks arts and culture program, has been realized in …
Report and photo by Katie Wood
On the evening of March 1, 2020, about 25 folks came together at the Harrison-Leonardson home to commune and celebrate the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology’s guest of honor, Annea Lockwood. Many folks brought food and guests stood around chatting and sharing their ideas and enthusiasms for most of the night. Annea took questions from many folks who had attended her concert at Constellation two nights before, where among other successful and moving pieces, Nomi Epstein played “Ear Walking Woman” and other selections were performed by Nate Wooley and members of Chicago art music ensemble a.pe.ri.od.ic. It was an unusually warm night for the time of year, and folks carried the energy of the previous day’s opening of Annea’s seminal work “Sound Map of the Danube.” The installation of this work opened the day before at Experimental Sound Studio in Ravenswood, Chicago, with an audience of 30 or more that flooded the room.
The culmination of the dinner was a group discussion of all of the sound events and promising new initiatives hitting the Chicago sound art and new music scene in Spring 2020. Among those discussed are the CLEAT 16-channel speaker system at Elastic Arts, the Acorn initiative of curated concerts, the upcoming MSAE Summer Soundwalk Series, and the Frequency festival that also took place that weekend. When I spoke with Annea, she was quick to diffuse any appreciation of her presence and thoughtfulness to the power of the collective. She pointed out that it was a wonderful occurrence to have so many brilliant hearts and minds dedicated to the power of listening to be able to come together in one place. Looking back on this now, we are still hearing the echoes of this gathering as we rekindle forgotten friendships and foster new connections that we planted like seeds that evening.