Aural Neighborhoods

Aural Neighborhoods

Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology and NON:op Open Opera Works are excited to be partnering with Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago to present a second season of Aural Neighborhoods—two soundwalks that reveal the aural characteristics within the built environment of diverse Chicago neighborhoods.

The economic disparities between different Chicago neighborhoods have been clearly identified and publicly displayed in community activist and photographer Tonika Johnson’s Folded Map Project.

Are these inequalities equally perceivable in the world of sound? What are the sonic characteristics of different neighborhoods? How are they the same, how do they differ, and how can these questions help understand matters of difference, agency, and power?

Teaching artists Allen Moore and Paige Alice Naylor encounter Logan Square and Back of the Yards, disposed on two sides of the south/north divide that bisects Chicago. A sound trail will be drawn in each neighborhood—with a complete audio recording and sonic points of interest clearly identified on a map. Each point of interest will include one or more photos, background and listening cues, and a brief audio sample.

Aural Neighborhoods is part of the OHC2021 app available for download on Apple and Android devices. Sound Trails and additional content, including information on our teaching artists, is available on NONopera’s website. Audiences may interact on site or virtually with one or both sound trails, and they may submit their own recordings, photos, and written responses to be included in our Aural Neighborhoods blog. This year, you may also submit brief recordings by text.


October 1-31: Virtual and App-Based Engagement. Visit the Facebook Event pages below for more info and download the OHC 2021 app!

Logan Square | Back of the Yards | OHC 2021 App Info

October 17th, 9AM РJoin Paige Alice Naylor for an in-person guided soundwalk in the historic Logan Square neighborhood. Listen to the bells of Old Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church, Lula Caf̩, and the Logan Square and Mercadito Markets. Meet at the Illinois Centennial Monument in Logan Square Park just before 9am.

Paige will provide an orientation, breathing exercise, and lead the soundwalk. The walk follows the Logan Square Sound Trail south to Palmer Square Park, along Palmer Street to Sacramento Ave, and then north to Milwaukee Ave and back to Logan Square where Paige will lead a discussion. Sign up here and visit the Facebook event page for more information.

Walk one or both trails using the OHC2021 app with or without headphones, listen to complete recordings of each soundwalk below, and respond to prompts on NONopera’s Aural Neighborhoods blog