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.


Annie Feldmeier-Adams w/ Steven Hess:
Requiem (2010)

What you'll hear in the Fern Room is Requiem, a composition by Chicago artist Annie Feldmeier-Adams, with assistance from composer Steven Hess. The piece is an homage to a little known bit of the history of Lincoln Park: in the nineteenth century, this land was the city cemetery, but in subsequent years, many of the bodies were removed to new locations. This work was never completed, however, and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed burial records and grave markers, so a number of bodies still lay under Lincoln Park to this day. Requiem is a tribute to those still buried. Its sparse and ephemeral sounds conjure a sense of absence, while its slow beat is like a pulse that continues unabated, reminding us that life—even in its most lush and fertile manifestations as we see in the Fern Room—is ultimately nourished by the death of organisms, and that each living thing passes on but nourishes future generations.


Exhibition hours: 
DAILY, 9:00AM-5:00PM
Fern Room, Lincoln Park Conservatory 
2391 N. Stockton Drive



Hal Rammel:
Calls and Songs (2005)

A composition based on the delicate textures of Hal’s unique self-made wooden instruments.



Olivia Block:
Transgenesis (2003)

A synthesized interplay of the natural and the artificial.



Douglas Ewart:
Bira (2003)

A musical homage to Shona artists and their ancestors.



Shawn Decker:
Chorus (2006)

A playful interaction between real and synthetic insects.



Norman W. Long:
Electro-Acoustic Dubcology III (2009)

Remixing the sounds of the local neighborhood.



Steve Peters:
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:
Requiem (2010)

A memorial to Lincoln Park’s former life as a cemetery.



Ernst Karel:
Fern Room (2001)

Imaginary friends for the crickets.




About Florasonic

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.