Aural Neighborhoods: OHC Soundwalks, October 16-25

The economic disparities between different Chicago neighborhoods have been clearly identified and displayed in community activist and photographer Tonika Johnson’s Folded Map Project. From the perspective of sound and the field of acoustics, are these inequalities also apparent? For example, is the soundscape different in Lincoln Park and Englewood; Austin and the Gold Coast? How is it different and why? How does economic investment or de-investment affect the sound of a neighborhood? NON:op Open Opera Works’ Christophe Preissing and artist Allen Moore partner with Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago to consider these questions.

Aural Neighborhoods is adapted for social distancing with self-guided outdoor soundwalks in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood and southeast Evanston. These communities were selected because they are approximately the same distance from Chicago’s loop, and they include sonic points of interest that roughly mirror each other in geography and content. The OHC2020 app—available on October 14—includes clearly marked sound trails, and information and brief recordings to learn more about the unique sound markers in each neighborhood.


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If you would like to comment on Aural Neighborhoods you may do so below. If you would like to find out more about each sound trail or the individual sites, click HERE. If you would like share your experience of either sound trail—in words, audio, video, or still images—please contact non [at] nonopera [dot] org. We look forward to hearing from you.