HEAR BELOW: Listening to Chicago Underground

Self-Guided and Guided Soundwalks in Chicago’s Pedway System

This year’s installment of HEAR BELOW will take place during April and May. Register for a guided soundwalk on our google registration form!

Click HERE or in the menu on the right for this year’s Hear Below soundwalk route and sonic points of interest curated by Mallory Yanhan Qiu!

April and May 2023 • Self-Guided and Guided Soundwalks

NON:op Open Opera Works and Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology partner for the fifth consecutive year to offer “Hear Below,” a soundwalk through Chicago’s Pedway system. Guided soundwalks will be available from late April to early May and will be led by the Hear Below 2023 teaching artists cohort. This year’s self-guided edition, “My Pedway Soundwalk,” invites participants to rediscover the art of listening and share their experiences through audio, video, images, and text, which can be added to the Hear Below Community Archive.

Three people in the Chicago PedwayThe My Pedway Soundwalk webpage offers simple tools, such as the Pedway map, routes, and points of sonic interest, to help you create your own soundwalk. You can also record your personal experience using audio, video, images, and text and share it with non@nonopera to contribute to the developing archive.

Additionally, you can sign up for a guided soundwalk by clicking on “Guided Soundwalk” in the menu for more information.

HEAR BELOW: My Pedway Soundwalk is co-produced by NON:op Open Opera Works and the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology with support from Chicago Architecture Center.

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Guided Soundwalks with Teaching Artists

Throughout the month of April and May we will host several soundwalks with the teaching artists and soundwalk designers listed below. In order to follow Covid guidelines, all soundwalks will be limited to 6-8 participants. Stay tuned for more information on how to sign up!

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Land Acknowledgement

As you walk through the Chicago Pedway, keep in mind that the Pedway and the City of Chicago are located on the ancestral homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations. Many other tribes such as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac, and Fox also called this area home. This region has long been a center for Indigenous people to gather, trade, and maintain kinship ties. Today, one of the largest urban American Indian communities in the United States resides in Chicago. Members of this community continue to contribute to the life of Chicago and to celebrate their heritage, practice traditions, and care for the land and waterways. Try to imagine the natural features and characteristics of these geographies, and try to hear in your minds ear what this land might have sounded like 100, 300, or 500 years ago.

Teaching Artists and Soundwalk Designers

Portrait of Mallory Yanhan Qiu a young woman 
with medium-length brown hair, brown eyes, smiling softly paired with a red lip. Mallory is wearing a black collared button up.Mallory Yanhan Qiu
Mallory Yanhan Qiu (b. 2000, Chongqing, China) is a Chicago-based artist and curator who is deeply passionate about live sound performance, sonic studies, body movement, poetry, and digital visuals. She draws inspiration from physical sensations and biological movements, aiming to flip the familiar and discover memory-laden places that coexist both near and far. Qiu holds a BFA in Sound and Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has performed at Compound Yellow, Epiphany Center for the Arts, Elastic Arts, Mana Contemporary, {} () {} ∆ ‡ | () {} Nonation Art Lab, Research House for Asian Art, SAIC, and Tritriangle.

Jeanette DominguezJeanette Dominguez
Jeanette Dominguez, a Tejana originally from Odessa, TX, enjoys exploring, observing, and recording sound in the natural and built environment. Jeanette is a recent graduate student from the MA in Sound Arts and Industries program at Northwestern University, where she focused on expanding and utilizing her skillset to develop dynamic media in public programming. She is especially interested in using sound design and composition to amplify narratives via digital storytelling focused on family dynamics, placemaking, identity, and eco-identity formation. Jeanette was a former Hear Below intern in 2022 and is currently assisting with guided soundwalks and developing the Hear Below Community Archive.

Eric LeonardsonEric Leonardson
Eric Leonardson, a Chicago-based audio artist, serves as President of the World Listening Project, President of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, and President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. He is Associate Professor Adjunct in the Department of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). As a performer, composer, and sound designer, Leonardson created sound with the Chicago based physical theater company Plasticene (1995-2012). Leonardson performs internationally with the Springboard, a self-built instrument made in 1994 and often presents on acoustic ecology to new audiences beyond art world contexts; engaging and connecting communities in the interrelated aspects of sound, listening, and environment.

Christophe PreissingChristophe Preissing
Mr. Preissing is the founder and artistic director of NON:op Open Opera Works whose mission it is to engage and enable lost, neglected, and suppressed voices to be heard through participatory, immersive, and interactive programs that welcome creative contributions from all who choose to create. Christophe is a sound composer, intermedia artist, curator, and producer, who creates sound that focuses on the space between and among art forms and artists. His work investigates non-hierarchical relationships among materials, co-creators, and audiences. An avid field recordist, Christophe may be found audio spelunking in abandoned industrial buildings, collecting sound in field and vale, or dumpster diving for sound objects. He has produced shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center, Illinois Institute of Technology, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, among others. Recent sound installations include Blood Lines: Remembering the 1919 Chicago Race Riots at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, Chicago; Portrait of Carrie Sandahl with painter Riva Lehrer at the Evanston Art Center; SUS: the long thin wire, and Street Sheets in collaboration with Hugh Sato and Mario Gonzalez, Jr. at Columbia University in New York. With NON:op, Christophe was an Experimental Sound Studio ARP recipient in 2017 and a High Concept Labs artist 2019-2020.

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This program is partially supported by grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and
Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.