Since 2001, Experimental Sound Studio has been commissioning composers and artists to create sound pieces for the Fern Room through its unique Florasonic sound installation series. This year, we are revisiting some of the past projects with a nine-month retrospective. Each month, you can hear a different artist’s work enlivening the soundscape of the Fern Room.
What you'll hear in the Fern Room is Chorus, a sound composition by Chicago composer and artist Shawn Decker. It reflects his fascination with the abundant and subtle sounds of nature—in particular, the sounds of insects. The composition is made from recordings of real insects and electronically synthesized sounds inspired by them. Working with these simple small sounds, Decker builds rich layers and rhythms that swell and dissipate—a collection of many individual voices coming together like a chorus. It is also inspired by the dense visual layers of green in the Fern Room, with its many parts growing together to create a coherent environment.
Fern Room, Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N. Stockton Drive
Calls and Songs (2005)
A composition based on the delicate textures of Hal’s unique self-made wooden instruments.
A synthesized interplay of the natural and the artificial.
A musical homage to Shona artists and their ancestors.
A playful interaction between real and synthetic insects.
Norman W. Long:
Electro-Acoustic Dubcology III (2009)
Remixing the sounds of the local neighborhood.
Index Filicum (2011)
A catalog of plants transformed for the ear.
Michael Zerang & Mazen Kerbaj:
Fifth Pythia of Deir el Qamar (2006)
An exploration of the inner mysteries of musical instruments.
Annie Feldmeier-Adams w/ Steven Hess:
A memorial to Lincoln Park’s former life as a cemetery.
Fern Room (2001)
Using the forms of the ferns as diagrams to transform electronic sounds.
Florasonic is a unique program that commissions composers and artists to make new site-specific music and audio art installations for the Fern Room of the Lincoln Park Conservatory, a turn-of-the-century greenhouse. Curated by ESS Executive Director Lou Mallozzi, Florasonic presents each project for three to five months, visited by an estimated 500 to 1,000 people each day.