What you'll hear in the Fern Room is Abeyance by Haptic (Steven Hess, Joseph Clayton Mills, and Adam Sonderberg). Originally recorded in 2013, Abeyance has been reconfigured into a surround-sound installation that explores issues of spatial scale, temporal stasis, and the limits of awareness. Recordings of empty rooms—their near-silences magnified to reveal a hidden profusion of detail—are overlaid with one another and interwoven with the ambient sounds of the Fern Room to create a composition that, like the shifting light and atmosphere over the course of a day, unfolds almost imperceptibly in time. Subtle traces of electronics and distant piano melodies evoke indistinct presences and palpable absences.
Fern Room, Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N. Stockton Drive
Dispersed throughout the Fern Room, the musicians of Haptic will manipulate and augment sounds native to the space (pipes, water, visitors to the Conservatory) using contact mics, cassette recordings of empty rooms, and light percussion. Playing as quietly and unobtrusively as possible, they plan to engage in a semi-improvisational call-and-response, "exploring the liminal space between sound and silence, presence and absence, and activity and stillness—all in hopes of creating an atmosphere of contemplation, interiority, and intimacy in the midst of a public space."
Friday, September 18, 3:30pm
About the Artists
For the past ten years, Chicago-based experimentalists Haptic (Steven Hess, Joseph Clayton Mills, and Adam Sonderberg) have explored the intersection between composition and improvisation in concerts, installations, and a string of critically acclaimed recordings. They often work with filmmakers, dancers, and other artists in projects that cross traditional boundaries between music, sound, literature, visual art, performance, and everyday life.
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.