Oct 6th 2018

Norman Long, sound artist and member of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, will lead a sound walk of the immediate neighborhood, connecting William Hill’s multiple green spaces with Experimental Station, as part of our Environmental Concerns project. Our 61st St. Farmers Market will be going on get a bite to eat or some delicious produce before the walk!

What is a soundwalk? It is a guided exploration of a site using listening focused skills. We will listen to how the site sounds, as we are moving through it. I believe that through listening we have a tool to define communities and ourselves. We also can use those tools to shape who we are and where we live. We will be listening for changes, interactions, conditions, weather, traffic, animals, insects, people, vehicles and other factors in what makes a place what it is. We start by listening in our own silence. Being mindful of our own consciousness. Then we focus on how we sound as we move throughout the site. We then expand our listening to what is near to us, what just passed us and then what is ahead.

At the end of the walk we should be able to answer the following questions:

How do these sounds define where you are on the site? What sounds are constant? What sounds change the site? What moves through it? What are the durations? What do you expect to hear? What did you remember hearing? What sounds do you like? What sounds don’t you like?

Norman W. Long (Chicago, IL) is an artist/composer. His practice involves walking, collecting, performing and recording to create objects, environments and situations in which he and the audience are engaged in dialogues about memory space, value, silence and the invisible. He has performed and exhibited at the Hyde Park Art Center (1998), Experimental Sound Studio, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Hungryman Gallery, Harold Washington College, Chicago Artists Coalition Gallery, Links Hall, Elastic, and the Arts Club for the 2015 Chicago Humanities Festival. Norman has received 3Arts Award for Sound Art in 2012, 3Arts Djerassi (Woodside, CA) Artists Residency Fellowship in 2014, BOLT Artist in Residence at the Chicago Artists Coalition in 2014-2015, 3Arts Fellowship at AS220 (Providence, RI) 2017 Artist in Residence program, 3Walls RaD Lab Fellow for 2017-2018 and Guest Composer at EMS Elektronmusikstudion, Stockholm, Sweden made possible in part by the City of Chicago’s DCASE grant.

My practice involves walking, collecting, performing and recording to create, objects, environments and situations in which the audience and myself are engaged in an open-ended dialogue about memory, space, value, silence and the invisible. I have found inspiration with emerging practices and thinking of 1970s artists, musicians, critics and designers regarding landscape and sound- specifically Rosalind Krauss’ article “Sculpture in the Expanded Field”, the advent of dub reggae, and the development of the acoustic ecology by R. Murray Schafer.

The processes involved in my practice lie within the area of field recording, sound walks, electro-acoustic composition, mapping, data bending, video and installation. These pieces reflect culture, ecology and history of the places I record. It is my desire that my practice offer us a space to consider our relationship to sound via social, political, economic, historical and ecological structures, our interiority and to affirm our existence.

The Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE), established in 2009, is a membership organization dedicated to exploring the role of sound in natural habitats and human societies, while promoting public dialogue concerning the identification, preservation, and restoration of natural and cultural sound environments.

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