Sound and Memory Soundwalk with Christophe Preissing

Sound and Memory Soundwalk with Christophe Preissing

Join Midwestern Society for Acoustic Ecology in our summer soundwalk series! Explore the beautiful nature of the Chicago Public parks in an experience led by faculty and alumni from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and other local teaching artists. Experience the sounds of Chicago from a new perspective! This series is in partnership with Chicago Park District and Night Out In the Parks which brings arts and culture to over 500 parks across the city, free and open for public participation.

Sound and Memory/Sound of Memory

Steelworkers Park

E. 87th at S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60617

August 19, 2023 – 5-7pm

Did you work at or grow up around U.S. Steel’s South Works steel mill? Are you new to the neighborhood? What do you hear? What do you remember? What is the sound of memory? Does memory conjure sound or sound evoke memory?

A community and its park consist of shared sounds, shared memories, and shared histories into which we individually tap. As a community changes, sound changes. What did the neighborhood and Steelworkers Park sound like 50, 100, or even 400 years ago? “Do you remember the sound of the ships docking or the blast furnaces at Steel Works?” “How about our Sunday afternoon family picnics?”

Years ago, the South Chicago community was home to the South Works steel mill. Before that the shallow Calumet River was home to several first nations including Potawatomi, Odawa, Sauk, Ojibwe, and Illinois and was an area for portages, for seasonal settlements, hunting and fishing. Now Steelworkers Park boasts nature trails, views of Lake Michigan, and a community rock climbing wall.

Join Christophe Preissing (sound composer and artistic director of NON:op Open Opera Works) and Roman Villarreal for a soundwalk reflecting on the history of Steelworkers Park and the surrounding community. Roman’s statue, Tribute to the Past, graces the entrance to the park and is where we will meet. Roman will provide us with an ear witness recount of working at South Works in the late 60’s.

We’ll be invited to consider: How has the South Chicago acoustic community and its soundscape changed? How does it remain the same?

Listen and share your memories of the now-shuttered South Works steel plant and Steelworkers Park. We will meet at the end of the driveway into the park, next to the statue.

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