For the second summer in a row, MSAE participates in the Chicago Park District’s “Night Out in the Parks” summer program that brings “cultural events to neighborhood parks throughout the city”. This summer we had an array of thematic soundwalks led by our wonderfully talented team of teaching artists. All soundwalks were supported by fellow NOITP interns and Program & Event Facilitator, Sean Heaney of Inferno Mobile Recording Studio.
Amanda Gutiérrez led a bilingual (English and Spanish) “Sonic Taste of Chinatown” soundwalk on May 6th, in the near south side neighborhood where the sense of taste and hearing were activated through the personal narrative of Amanda, a Mexican immigrant whose family history is linked to Chinese culture.
Norman Long led “Many Sounds: Listening to Washington Park” at the DuSable Museum in commemoration of Gwendolyn Brooks and Margaret Burroughs’ centennial celebrations. Norman also recounted the significance this space once held for longtime Chicago jazz player, poet, and philosopher, Sun Ra.
Sara Zalek and Norman Long led “Between the Wind and the Ground” soundwalk at the newly opened Big Marsh park on July 29th. The soundwalk focused on movement that highlighted the space’s history as it has evolved from a former grey dump site to a natural area and recreational bike park. Each artist performed an improvisational piece that bore witness to the revitalization of the park’s natural areas.
Lindsey French led “Tangles and Flows” at Ping Tom Park on August 6th. Lindsey’s soundwalk focused on connective listening and plant communication. As mostly sessile beings, plants nevertheless actively express themselves through growth and position.
Anthony Janas led “A Prairie in the Lake” at Northerly Island on August 13th with two handmade hydrophone listening stations, which gave listeners an opportunity to eavesdrop on the unheard sounds of Lake Michigan. Attendees were also given the opportunity to record what they heard to share with friends and family.
In addition to the NOITP summer soundwalks, MSAE led other soundwalks around the Chicagoland area including a night soundwalk at Wauconda Area Library and a private soundwalk for SoHo House Chicago members. Planning is underway for MSAE’s third 2018 summer soundwalk series. Contact us with any of your ideas and suggestions for future programming in the parks!
As part of Balance-Unbalance 2017, MSAE founder and co-chair, Eric Leonardson led “The Advances In Eco-Sensing and the Soundscape: A Virtual Panel” discussion. The panel was made up of Linda Keane, Norman Long, Amanda Gutierrez, Lindsey French and Leah Barclay.
Advances In Eco-Sensing and the Soundscape: A Virtual Panel
Eric Leonardson, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, Chicago, USA.
Paraphrasing Tacita Dean and Jeremy Millar, it is surprising that our sense of place is so strong and yet it defies definition. Herein lies one of many paradoxes and conundrums that provide a kind of soil or spark for new ideas about how art and science attract constant appraisal and reappraisal of the questions: “Where am I, where do I belong?” as a state of being. Proposed is a panel discussion of several ongoing projects that intersected in 2015, under the name “Eco-Sensing and the Soundscape,” a course taught in the fall of 2015 by Eric Leonardson and Lindsey French, at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This studio course connected concepts and practices of acoustic ecology with the hacking aesthetic of art and technology to open up possibilities for transdisciplinary collaborations that offer new understandings of our environments and our boundaries, locations, and roles within them. Subsequently, numerous collaborations continue in new contexts and places with additional support for public engagement in the ecologies of sound, listening, and environment. The panelists, who join Leonardson on-site and online are sound and media artists Leah Barclay, Norman W. Long, Amanda Gutiérrez, and architect Linda Keane. Their individual and combined efforts engage and activate students and public communities in design of urban soundscapes using virtual environments, social codes of immigrant communities, river listening, soundwalking, plant communication, and new media.
The Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology presents Soundwalks – quiet events leading groups to explore their relationship as listeners in the acoustic environment. This soundwalk, “Tangles and Flows: Connective Listening” will be led by teaching artist, Lindsey French.
About the soundwalk:
You cannot move except to grow. With some exceptions, plants are immobile. As mostly sessile beings, plants nevertheless actively express themselves through growth and position, whether or not we detect these changes through human perception. Plants send promiscuous signs into the atmosphere by way of airborne chemicals. Communication often focuses on the sender, but what is possible when we consider our role as a receiver? What kind of communication is sense-based? Drawing on biological modes of communication, visitors will be invited to engage in practices of active and sensual listening. Alternating between motion and stillness, along the river and under a canopy of trees, we will attune to both sounds and sensation in practices of radical receptivity.
10:30am – 12pm
Ping Tom Memorial Park
1700 S. Wentworth Ave.*
Chicago, IL 60616
*Meet at the Pagoda located at the Chinatown Water Taxi stop. From 18th street, Turn south onto Wentworth and west onto 19th. Walk along the path from 19th under the El and past the Divvy station. The Pagoda is beside the river.
**Please bring sun protection, water and bug repellent if needed.
4pm – 5pm
DuSable Museum – sculpture garden* in Washington Park
740 E. 56th Place
Chicago, IL 60637
Join teaching sound artist Norman W. Long on a soundwalk. “Many Sounds: Listening to Washington Park” is dedicated to Gwendolyn Brooks and Margaret Burroughs as part of their centennial celebrations this year. This event is brought to you by MSAE and Night Out in the Parks programming.
DuSable Museum of African American History was founded in 1961 by teacher and art historian Dr. Margaret Burroughs and other leading Chicago citizens. It is one of the few independent institutions of its kind in the United States; developed to preserve and interpret experiences and achievements of people of African descent.
*Du Sable Museum Sculpture Garden is located midway between Payne Drive and South Cottage Grove Avenue on the north side of the museum.
**Please be mindful of weather, you may need to bring: water, sun protection and bug repellent.
The proposals should be focused on the following theme:
CATEGORY A: “Sea Level Rise”
CATEGORY B: “Zero poverty. Zero emissions. Within a generation”
Special opportunity: Even if the final deadline to submit sound miniatures for this contest is February 1st of 2015, among the submissions received by midnight November 16th of 2014 – Buenos Aires time, two pieces (one from each category) will be selected and then announced and shared on December 7, in the context of the upcoming UN Climate Conference (UNFCCC COP, Lima, Peru), during the Development and Climate Days event.
Mixage Fou and the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology invite you to participate in the
6th Annual Mixage Fou (Crazy Mix) Sound Bank and the 6th annual Mixage Fou International 80 Second Sound Competition.
This call is in two parts:
Mixage Fou Chicago Sound Bank: Urban Wilderness
What is “wild” about life in the city? How does nature in the city sound? What sounds define a city’s identity? The MSAE invites you to submit original field recordings that reflect and reveal the diverse soundscapes of Chicago and vicinity. Materials submitted to the Sound Bank must be covered by a Creative Commons license as they may be used by participants of the International Sound Competition part of the call (see below). Recordings should be as high quality as possible and suitable for processing as source materials. Deadline for submission is September 27. Download the complete call for additional details.
Mixage Fou International 80-Second Sound Competition
Beginning on October 4 all sounds in the Mixage Fou Sound Bank (sounds from Chicago and from around the world) will be available for the creation of original sound pieces in the following categories: stereo, binaural (headphone 3D sound), surround 5.1, surround Auro 3D 9.1 (height consideration). All creative digital and analog sound techniques are allowed, but only sounds from the Sound Bank may be used. Works may be music compositions, sound narration, soundscapes, crazy mixes, etc. The duration is limited to 80 seconds. Sound compositions should be uploaded directly to www.mixagefou.com. The deadline for submission of original sound pieces is November 16. Download the complete call for additional details.