Sunday, May 20, 2018

Recovering Soundscape - Big Marsh Saturday June 9 4pm-6pm








Recovering Soundscape

Soundwalk

Big Marsh

11555 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617

Saturday June 9 4pm-6pm

Soundwalk Lead by and Site Specific Peformance by:

Norman W. Long

Sara Zalek

What is a Soundwalk?

A soundwalk 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.

How do you do it?

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. What we will consider during our walk? 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?





Bio


Sara Zalek is an artist, choreographer, and curator rooted in Butoh and investigations of personal identity. She is obsessed with time travel, experimental science, hybrid animals, permaculture, and the intentional act of transformation.​


Norman W. Long 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 earned a Master’s Degree in “New Genres” while attending the San Francisco Art Institute and Master’s of Landscape Architecture degree from Cornell University. In 2008 Norman relocated to Chicago where he has performed and exhibited at 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.




About - Recovering Soundscape


Our partnering organization MWSAE was given a grant from the Chicago Park District to organize an event for the Night Out In The Parks program this summer at Big Marsh Saturday, June 9 from 4pm – 6pm. Our idea is to engage the community with a soundwalk. A soundwalk 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. 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. 

Norman W. Long has been following the revitalization of Big Marsh since 2015. He has done this by recording Big Marsh at several times during the year (when the City allows the public in to the area) and since it has opened as a Bike Park and Nature area. Listening is great tool to determine the health and resilience of this ecology.

Within the South Deering neighborhood lies a brownfield marsh area called “Big Marsh” at 11400 S Stony Island Ave that the Park District is in process of ecological restoration. 

Once the site of a waste and slag dumping ground from surrounding industrial operations since the late 1800s, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District teamed up in early 2000s to restore this area to a healthy habitat and eco-recreation park. The Chicago Park District acquired the site in 2011 and began the park planning, environmental assessment, and community input process. A Framework Plan for the park was completed in 2014. Design for the bike park feature in the southwest section of the park began in 2014 and the bike park opened in 2016. The northwest section of the park also opened to the public in 2016 with a new walking trail and parking lot. Big Marsh will be the site for the future Ford Calumet Environmental Center, expected to open in 2018. 
(https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks-facilities/big-marsh-park-no-564#locmap)

His interest lies in the progression of the ecological restoration of Big Marsh. The expectation, as the site is restored via soil remediation, removal of invasive plant species, and introduction of native species the soundscape will also change incrementally.

Our theme for this year is Recovering Soundscape, (title inspired by "Recovering Landscape" book of essays about restoring, designing and connecting to landscape by Landscape Architect James Corner. As we are walking we are listening to the landscape of Big Marsh recover from industry and abandonment. Our evening will be exploring our connective experience with Big Marsh as a way of being in the land and having it resonate within you. Culturally, we are conditioned to separate ourselves from our environment including the soundscape. But through the process of Deep Listening and soundwalks. Perhaps at the end of the walk we have to some degree connected ourselves to the recovery of Big Marsh. 


Soundscape 2015-2017 

September 2015





Acid Pond 

Sound: 


The Chicago Park District and Friends of Big Marsh are hosted public tour of Park 564 (Big Marsh) for a behind-the-scenes tour showcasing the environmental challenges and restoration potential for the planned natural area at BigMarsh. They provided an overview of the environmental, ecological, and industrial legacy issues at the site and share with you the details of the recently finished restoration plans. 

March 2016



Big Marsh Spring 2016




COMPOSITION
Radius

http://theradius.us/episode78 

Calumet Project 
38:29 

Statement: 


The three-part radio series Calumet Project invites us to contemplate how soundscapes define our sense of community. Each track exposes a complex matrix of networks that exist within the Lake Calumet region of the South Side of Chicago — specifically the South Deering community area’s “Big Marsh” and Van Vlissingen Prairie reserves — to focus our attention on a landscape’s diversity, restoration, and resilience. 


South Deering is a predominately Black and Latinx neighborhood. It is also the site of the first steel mill in the Calumet region (Wisconsin Steel Works, formerly the Joseph H. Brown Iron and Steel Company), which operated from 1875-1980. Since the closing of the plant, the neighborhood has gone through an economic depression. 


1. Big Marsh (After Burn)

 (20:06) 


“Big Marsh” is a brownfield-marsh area that is in the process of ecological restoration. Big Marsh (After Burn) sonically explores the site’s industrial remnants and its recovering biophony, after it underwent a controlled burn. Analog synths weave in and out of a field recording of the soundscape, sometimes tying the industrial soundscape and recovering soundscapes together, and sometimes acting as an element in and of itself. 


2. Van Vlissingen Prairie (After Burn) (07:06) 


3. Van Vlissingen Prairie (Summer) (11:16) 


Van Vlissingen Prairie is in the Jeffery Manor neighborhood of the South Deering Community. Through investigating the Van Vlissingen Prairie reserve at two different points in time, Van Vlissingen Prairie (After Burn) and Van Vlissingen Prairie (Summer) explore the incremental change of a soundscape as the site is restored by the Chicago Park District—via soil remediation, removal of invasive plant species, and introduction of native species. The two audio recordings are both sourced from contact microphones placed within the scorched earth, field recordings on location, and analog synthesizers that weave in and out of post-industrial noise—coming from the adjacent rail yard, local residences, and the local ecology of birds and singing insects. [These two tracks were originally conceived as a soundtrack for a single-channel video installation.] 






Big Marsh 2017 - Norman W. Long and Sara Zalek















Memory + Imagination + Presence 

How to be in a place that is new and old? 

How do I understand this place? 

How do we understand this place?

I.















When we do a soundwalk we prepare by noticing our breath, we listen to the closest things around us. Then we walk and listen to changes however slight. Acknowledge how we change the soundscape with each step and how the soundscape changes within Big Marsh. 


I started listening and recording as Big Marsh changed from a superfund “brownfield” site that was once home to “Slag and Ballast Company”, part of a network of factories, plants and mills for much of the 20th Century to a remediated natural area and bike park. I think the condition of the soundscape reflects the condition of the community. It was my goal to reintroduce people to a new soundscape that is of the south side of Chicago. Where industry, once the backbone of the economy is gone and the natural ecology being allowed to come back. There maybe a new future with the loss of industry. With these walks we open new paths.

II.















Photo by Sean Heaney 


Sara Zalek’s movement, a living breathing palimsest, to stand on old industry, existing between the wind and the ground. New life. Ghosts of Industry. Native ecology remixed. 


III.















Photo by Sean Heaney
















Sounds from battery powered hand-made synthesizer invoking the ghosts of industry and versioned nature. Improvised sounds navigating between the soundscape of the emerging ecology and the remnants of an existing industrial soundscape. 


untitled (big marsh) from normanwlong on Vimeo.


IV.













































Movement / Electronics. Two realities converge and then fall out of sync. Jellyfish leftover from the drosscape. Improvised movements and frequencies carried by the wind over the marshland ecologies. 


                     

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Environmental Dialogues || performance by Norman Long and Sara Zalek || January 27





Environmental Dialogues || performance by Norman Long and Sara Zalek || Saturday January 27


5:30pm
Ignition Project Space
3839 W. Grand Ave.
Chicago, Illinois

Environmental Dialogues

Inspired by Pauline Oliveros' Environmental Dialogue (1996 Revision) We offer an extension of this composition (2018 Revision Sara Zalek/Norman W. Long). Resonating the Ignition Project space with breath, rhythm and sublte sounds from little synths. We welcome the new year, reinforcing collective listening, preparing us for new paths and ideas, listening for the unknown and sharing our experience of time.

Artist Talk Jeffery Manor Branch, Chicago Public Library

Norman W. Long
Artist Talk
Jeffery Manor Branch, Chicago Public Library
2401 E. 100th St, Chicago, IL 60617
Saturday January 20, 2018
3:30 - 4:30 pm

You are invited to an artist talk with Norman W. Long, a local artist from the Jeffery Manor neighborhood.
This is the first in a series of community engagements with the SouthEast side community as part of his Threewalls RaD Lab Fellowship.


Norman W. Long is an artist who works with sound as his medium. His work involves recorded sounds from the Jeffery Manor neighborhood and the larger community of South Deering. Norman will explain how the neighborhood has inspired his work and discuss the many ways he produces his art, from organizing soundwalks, DJing, field recording, instrument making to composing with free software. Norman has received a 3Arts Award for Sound Art in 2012, 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 Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events grant.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Inferno’s Sound Re:Creation at Jackson Park [Garden of the Phoenix]



Inferno’s Sound Re:Creation at Jackson Park [Garden of the Phoenix]

November 25th, 2017 (1pm-3pm), hosted by Norman W Long:


This SoundWalk and workshop will explore focused listening and sound mapping with mobile phones and iPads in Jackson Park. Meet at Garden of the Phoenix at 1pm. Soundwalk and sound mapping will also explore Wooded Island and (hopefully!) the Bobolink Meadow.

1pm: Soundwalk
2pm: Sound mapping

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Long/Elmore Duo - September 23, 2017







Angel Elmore – Clarinet

Norman W. Long – Electronics, Field Recordings

Recorded at Ignition Project Space, September 23, 2017
Performance was part of the closing reception for Van Vlissingen Prairie (Video Album) Installation

Long/Elmore Duo improvised with soundscapes from Van Vlissingen Prairie, Jeffery Manor, Big Marsh and Humboldt Park.

Performance explores ways of understanding, being and connecting to ecology and the unknown. Through breath, space, memory, time and machines. How time collapses and folds in on itself and triggers new realities and roads to travel. Is it OK to have an imagination in these times?

This is a convergence of traditions, non-traditions, experiences and sound making to create other black music.  After listening we realize these convergences happen more than we think.


Thanks to Ignition Project Space, Mia Capodilupo and Doug Dewitt

Big Marsh Soundwalks and Performances







Memory + Imagination + Presence

How to be in a place that is new and old?

How do I understand this place?

How do we understand this place?

I.

When we do a soundwalk we prepare by noticing our breath, we listen to the closest things around us. Then we walk and listen to changes however slight. Acknowledge how we change the soundscape with each step and how the soundscape changes within Big Marsh.
I started listening and recording as Big Marsh changed from a superfund “brownfield” site that was once home to “Slag and Ballast Company”, part of a network of factories, plants and mills for much of the 20th Century to a remediated natural area and bike park. I think the condition of the soundscape reflects the condition of the community. It was my goal to reintroduce people to a new soundscape that is of the south side of Chicago. Where industry, once the backbone of the economy is gone and the natural ecology being allowed to come back. There maybe a new future with the loss of industry. With these walk we open new paths.

II.


Sara Zalek’s movement, a living breathing palimsest, to stand on old industry, existing between the wind and the ground. New life. Ghosts of Industry. Native ecology remixed.

III.


Sounds from battery powered hand-made synthesizer invoking the ghosts of industry and versioned nature. Improvised sounds navigating between the soundscape of the emerging ecology and the remnants of an existing industrial soundscape.



IV.





Movement / Electronics. Two realities converge and then fall out of synch. Jellyfish leftover from the drosscape. Improvised movements and frequencies carried by the wind over the marshland ecologies.