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A Soundwalk from Artemisia to the River

Photos on this page were taken by Andrea Polli. She created a performance piece based on this soundwalk, called Shadow Walk.

The Artemisia Gallery is located at 700 N. Carpenter in Chicago's River West district, a confluence of transportation systems: freeway, railway, waterway. Immediately to the south of the gallery are the I90 and I94 freeways, which are a dominant sonic presence in the area. Walking north two blocks leads across Milwaukee and past a church with a copper-roofed cupola (on the right of the photo, the gallery building is on the left). This church released a veritable torrent of bell peals as we walked towards it. Just past the church is a factory which seems mostly abandoned. The grounds of this factory are home to many birds, singing as we passed. A tiny residential pocket is next to this factory site. We stopped to listen to the Metra train pass on the nearby track. Here, some residents stopped their car to ask us what we were doing. We emerged from this neighbourhood onto Elston, a busier street that led eventually to the Chicago River. Approaching the bridge at Elston and Division, there is a large building on the far side of the road from the river, which reflects and intensifies sounds from the riggings of boats in a marina next to the river (the photo showing the marina and city skyline is taken from the bridge at Elston and Division). When I did a soundwalk along this same route two days before the workshop, the wind was tugging at these masts and riggings, producing beautiful rhythmic melodies. However, the day of the recording, the Windy City was calm. The metal ramps on the bridge played a different tune for each passing car.

listening * acoustic ecology * andra * composing * dialogue
main soundwalk website
Metra train * birds * freeway * churchbells

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