Creative Audio Archive

The Creative Audio Archive (CAA) is a Chicago based center for the preservation and investigation of innovative and experimental sonic arts and music. CAA was formed in response to growing concerns over the general state of historical preservation of non-mainstream audio, in particular, recordings, print, and visual ephemera related to avant-garde and exploratory sound and music of the last five decades.


CAA is therefore conceived as a center to safeguard volatile materials, to transfer them to accessible and stable media, to catalogue and cross-reference these materials, and to make them accessible for study and, where feasible, presentation to the public at large. CAA seeks to bring together various existing collections and, where appropriate, to keep these collections intact as autonomous “sub-archives".


Currently, CAA houses the ESS Collection, the Links Hall Collection, the Sun Ra/El Saturn Collection, and the Malachi Ritscher Collection. As each archive is processed, transferred, cataloged and encoded, their respective finding aid is updated at Access to the collection is open to the public by appointment. To schedule an appointment, please email:


ESS Collection

ESS Collection >

The ESS Collection is a continually expanding collection of all of ESS’s programs and projects since its inception in 1986. These include audio art, music, radio art, installation, sound poetry, cinema, performing arts, and other projects.

Sun Ra/El Saturn Collection

Sun Ra/El Saturn Collection >

The Sun Ra/El Saturn Collection consists of approximately 600 tapes dating from the 1950s-1980s that represent the work of iconoclastic composer and bandleader Sun Ra. Tapes include rehearsals, live recordings, and recitations.

1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29
FLORASONIC: Deborah Stratman / Rob Ray: 'Susurrati'
Nov 3, 2015 - Feb 29, 2016
Marc Dilet: FORCE - opening reception
Feb 12, 2016 - Feb 12, 2016
Marc Dilet: FORCE - gallery hours
Feb 13, 2016 - Feb 14, 2016
View All Events