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.
Fern Room (2001)
Ernst Karel's quadraphonic sound installation uses electronic sounds to complement and shift the lush, primitive atmosphere of the Fern Room at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Like the ferns themselves, the textures of the electronic sounds are also somehow primal and organic, and refer directly to their environment. In one section, the shapes of fern leaves determine the shapes of sounds. In another, intermittent tones evoke imaginary friends for the crickets living in the room. For the third section, Karel recorded sounds of the room itself in order to extract the dominant frequencies—or 'sound colors'—of the space. The composition is thus connected to the acoustic properties of the room and the plants that fill it.
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)
Imaginary friends for the crickets.
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.