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.
Index Filicum (2011)
Index Filicum borrows its name from two exhaustive catalogs of fern species published by botanists Thomas Moore and Carl Christensen during the Victorian Era, when a strange obsession with ferns—pteridomania—ran rampant. The work is derived from an inventory list of all of the species currently housed in the Lincoln Park Conservatory’s Fern Room. Peters conscripted four vocalists to improvise melodic lines over drones derived from the resonant frequencies of the space, using the Latin names of the pteridophytes present as lyrical content, while their common names are quietly whispered in the background.
Performed by Jeremiah Cawley, Amy Denio, Katherine Hanson, and Maria Mannisto with field recordings by Adam Vida and Alex Inglizian.
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.