“A soundwalk is any excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment. It is exposing our ears to every sound around us no matter where we are.” — Hildegard Westerkamp (Soundwalking)
This soundwalk begins in front of the historic Pullman factory clock tower with introductory talks by Linda Beierle Bullen, Curator at Pullman State Historic Site, and Susan Bennett, Park Ranger at Pullman National Monument. The soundwalk continues outside the historic Pullman administration building, along a route whose soundscape will include sounds of nature and the built environment. Following the soundwalk will be a performance by Chicago Phonography with readings of passages from Pullman porters’ oral histories.
Since 2009, the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology has organized and promoted numerous public soundwalks in urban and natural environments. Westerkamp and others provide eloquent descriptions of what soundwalks mean for people through years of practical and shared experience. We hope to apply and share this knowledge to raise awareness of our soundscapes, especially to learn how the reciprocal role of listening and sound making effects our quality of life.
As an ecological practice, soundwalking can be an entertainment or a method for inquiry; a call to action and a meditation, all at once or moment to moment. This aural understanding can enrich design of the built-environment as well as encourage greater care and respect for natural soundscapes.
11am Saturday, July 18: Join members of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology celebrating World Listening Day. Dan Godston, MSAE member and co-founder of the World Listening Project, leads a soundwalk starting at the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education. Tips on listening to the symphony of sounds of nature and humans will be shared. This year’s World Listening Day theme is “H2O.” Water is essential for all life. Without it our soundscapes and life disappear.
This day is open house at the Douglas Center. Following our soundwalk, local artist Marsha Browne will be leading a “Landscapes of Miller Woods” drawing project. You are invited to stay and participate.
The Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education is located in the western portion of the national lakeshore at 100 North Lake Street, about one mile north of U.S. Highway 12. For more information on this or other programs at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, call 219-395-1882 or check the park’s website at www.nps.gov/indu.
Save the June-Aug 2015 flyer to learn about this summer’s activities at the Douglas Center in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Saturday, June 13 • 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Chicago Artists Coalition 217 North Carpenter, Chicago
As the final programmatic element to his ‘scapesBOLT exhibition, Norman W. Long (MSAE) will take participants on a sound walk of the West Loop. Long will retrace his field-recording walks in a different season with a decidedly different technology (our ears). A sound walk is a guided or unguided tour where one listens to their environment. We will be mindful of sounds that drift by, come to the forefront, drop in the background, stay with us and fade away. The sounds we listen to become part of our own stories or lives and affect us in a similar way of language. A sound walk is important to our understanding of place and how we define our communities.
Participants will gather outside the front door of the Chicago Artists Coalition, located at 217 North Carpenter Street, at 11 a.m. to commence the tour.
This issue focuses on of WFAE affiliate news; a tribute to Peter Grant; a call for papers for publication in Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology, Balance-Unbalance 2015, and a summary of recent research projects.
MSAE 2014 year-in-review, plus what’s ahead in 2015.
We hope this New Year has started off well as we take time to reflect and take note of our activities and prospects. Happily, the MSAE had an extremely productive 2014. Highlights of the year and into 2015 include:
Eric Leonardson led a soundwalk and Chicago Phonography performance at Brushwood Center in Ryerson Woods on January 25, 2015. Performers included Todd Carter, Chad Clark, Ed Herrmann, Monica Ryan, and Chicago Wildsounds members Roni Jachowski, Matt Connor, and Lisa Kenny. Nearly 60 people participated in the soundwalk including many Ragdale artists-in-residence. Chicago Tribune columnist Barbara Brotman published an interview with Leonardson about the event on Monday, January 19. Nearly 60 people participated in the event.
Chicago Wildsounds is new and exciting acoustic ecology student group at DePaul University. We look forward to their upcoming public event “Rooted in Sound: A Night of Soundscapes,” at 5:30pm on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at the DePaul Art Museum. Please visit our website for details.
The American Society for Acoustic Ecology (ASAE) will lead a pre-conference Acoustic Ecology Recording Workshop for Balance-Unbalance 2015: Water, Climate and Place, Reimagining Environments. In the conference Eric Leonardson and Andrea Polli will lead a panel entitled Eco-sensing in Higher Education Curriculum. Panel Participants are Linda Keane (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Leah Barclay (UNESCO Biosphere Soundscapes project), Christopher Preissing (Independent Artist), Lindsay French (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Meredith Hoy (Arizona State University), Leonardson and Polli. Leonardson will also present his paper, Our Sonic Playground: A Model for Active Engagement in Urban Soundscapes.
Submissions and proposals for Sound In the Land will be accepted until March 15, 2014. The deadline for submissions (abstracts and audio works) for Invisible Places has been extended to March 31, 2014.
The ASAE is a membership organization dedicated to exploring the role of sound in natural habitats and human societies and promoting public dialogue concerning the identification, preservation, and restoration of natural and cultural sound environments.
Do you enjoy listening to birdsong, bird watching, learning about habitat loss, and other changes in our natural and urban environments?
Then you may be interested in the Great Backyard Bird Count. This newly global, annual event helps in the study of birds and the health of their populations. You’re invited to participate. Learn how by visiting: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc
My colleagues Gary Kolb, Dr. Peter Lemish and Megan Lotts and I have been busy over the past several months preparing a large scale initiative here in Carbondale centering on Antarctica. The initiative features lectures, films, panel discussions an installation and a concert event. Many of these events may be of special interest to MSAE members and friends as we will be hosting several presentations relating to Acoustic Ecology. We launch the initiative with a keynote lecture and book signing by Andrea Polli (see below) and will also be hosting a concert featuring works by Doug Quinn, Cheryl Leonard, Andrea Polli and myself on April 14th. If MSAE members or others have an interest in any of the programming and are interested in traveling to carbondale, please email me and I will be happy to provide more information. All the events are free and open to the public.