Aural NeighborhoodsNON:op Open Opera Works

Two Self-Guided Neighborhood Sound Trails for Open House Chicago 2021

Chicago’s Logan Square and Back of the Yards neighborhoods • October 1–31, 2021

The economic disparities between different Chicago neighborhoods have been clearly identified and publicly displayed in community activist and photographer Tonika Johnson’s Folded Map Project. Are these inequalities equally perceivable in the world of sound? What are the sonic characteristics of different neighborhoods? How are they the same, how do they differ, and how can these questions help understand matters of difference, agency, and power?

NON:op Open Opera Works and Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology partner with Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago to present a second season of Aural Neighborhoods—two soundwalks that reveal the aural characteristics within the built environment of diverse Chicago neighborhoods. Teaching artists Allen Moore and Paige Alice Naylor encounter Logan Square and Back of the Yards, disposed on two sides of the south/north divide that bisects Chicago. Like last year, a sound trail will be drawn in each neighborhood—with a complete audio recording and sonic points of interest clearly identified on a map. Each point of interest will include one or more photos, background and listening cues, and a brief audio sample.

Aural Neighborhoods is part of the OHC2021 app available for download on October 1 from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The OHC2021 app uses geolocation in both neighborhoods to identify Sound Trails and Sonic Points of Interest. Sound Trails and additional content, including the complete audio recording and information on our teaching artists, is available on this page and on the pages for Back of the Yards and Logan Square. Audiences may interact on site or virtually with one or both sound trails, and they may submit their own recordings, photos, and written responses to be included in our Aural Neighborhoods blog.

Guided Soundwalk on October 17 with Paige Alice Naylor

Join Paige Alice Naylor for a guided soundwalk in the historic Logan Square neighborhood at 9am on Sunday, October 17.

Meet at the Illinois Centennial Monument in Logan Square Park just before 9am. Paige will provide an orientation, breathing exercise, and lead the soundwalk. The walk follows the Logan Square Sound Trail south to Palmer Square Park, along Palmer Street to Sacramento Ave, and then north to Milwaukee Ave and back to Logan Square where Paige will lead a discussion.

Limited to 20 participants. Click HERE to signup.

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Do you have a FAVORITE SOUND in Logan Square or Back of the Yards?
Would you like to share it with us?
Text short recordings to 872-253-9956 and let us know which neighborhood it’s from.
Or upload longer audio files to either BACK OF THE YARDS or LOGAN SQUARE

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Aural Neighborhoods 2021

Walk one or both trails using the OHC2021 app with or without headphones, listen to complete recordings of each soundwalk below, and respond to prompts on our Aural Neighborhoods blog. Finally, should you wish to share longer audio clips, video, or images of your soundwalk experience, contact us for a link to upload your documentation so that we may share it with the world.

Both Aural Neighborhoods Sound Trails are wheelchair accessible.

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GO TO Back of the Yards Sound Trail

GO TO Logan Square Sound Trail

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NON:op Open Opera Works and Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology are excited to be Community Partners with Open House Chicago (OHC) 2021! OHC is a free annual architecture festival presented by the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CAC transformed Open House Chicago in 2020 to prioritize the community’s health and safety by creating an online and outdoor festival. To access OHC 2021 events, programs and tours, visit the Open House Chicago website or download the OHC2021 app, which will be available on October 1.

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Land Acknowledgement

As you walk through Back of the Yards and Logan Square neighborhoods, keep in mind that these soundwalks take place 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.

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Aural Neighborhoods Sound Trail Designers

Allen MooreAllen Moore
Allen Moore is a Black American Interdisciplinary Painter, Experimental Sound Artist, Educator, Youth Mentor and Curator born and raised in the Historic Village of Robbins IL. Moore holds a Bachelors of Arts from Chicago State University, a Masters in Arts from Governors State University and a Masters of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University in 2016. His work examines both visual and experimental music, emphasizing the importance of nurturing the Black Imagination with social representation. His educational and curatorial practices focus on building spaces for advocacy, creative representation and healing. His work converses with the signifiers of African American and popular culture, bringing to view the underlying themes of racial, emotional and socioeconomic conditions. Moore has exhibited and performed across Chicago and the greater Midwest, including exhibitions at Heaven Gallery, Compound Yellow, Experimental Sound Studio, Elastic Arts, Threewalls, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Roots & Culture Gallery, Lula Cafe, The Star Media Group, Union Street Gallery, The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, etc. He is a volunteer staff member for A.C.R.E. Artist Residency and Comfort Station. His recent curatorial projects include GATHER and the P.O.W.E.R. Project. His work has been featured in publications including Sixty Inches From the Center, (Gather), Movement Matters, Bad at Sports Contemporary Art Talk (ANX 2015 Roots and Culture) and featured work in the Netflix Original Series “ Easy ” Seasons 1 and 2.

Paige Alice NaylorPaige Alice Naylor
Paige Naylor is a Chicago-based artist and educator working within the realms of sound, performance, video, and writing. She is an MFA candidate in the Sound Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago specializing in voice and electronics. Paige is currently interested in self-regulating systems, participatory performance, social intervention, installation, real-time song de/reconstruction, auditory illusions, movement & text scores, aesthetics of joy, death, ephemerality, loss, and facilitations of healing. She holds a certificate in Deep Listening from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is composer-performer & co-producer of the experimental pop opera The Near Misses. Paige has exhibited work and performed at Experimental Sound Studio, Elastic Arts, IMPACT Performance Festival, ADDS Donna, School of the Art Institute, Links Hall, No Nation Tangential Unspace Art Lab, Vox Populi, Black Iris, Baltimore Theatre Project, D.C. Arts Center, Open Signal as well as through programs such as The Quarantine Concerts, Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks, Lumpen Radio Twitch, and Telemetry Music Series.

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. Christophe has been Artist-in-Residence and Fellow at Beloit College, Indiana University, Millay Colony, Ragdale, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Djerrassi, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and has received support and recognition from the Pritzker Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer, Illinois Arts Council, and Illinois Humanities. 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.

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