Received on the CHI-CRIT-MASS mailing list, here is a repost with my answers.
Call for submissions: Sound Artist Peter Cusack compiles a soundscape of Chicago in YOUR FAVOURITE CHICAGO SOUNDS
Chicago is world famous for its architecture. But what about its sounds? â€œYour Favourite Chicago Soundsâ€ aims to discover what Chicagoans think about their cityâ€™s soundscape and to reveal the Chicago of the ear. Please let us know your response to the questions below and contribute to a unique audio portrait of the city. The sounds will be recorded and used for a CD â€œYour Favourite Chicago Sounds.â€
The â€œFavourite Soundsâ€ project originated in London and has been carried out in Beijing and other world cities. The CD â€œYour Favourite London Soundsâ€ was released in 2001 and a CD for Beijing is planned for this year. The long-term aim is to build up an overall sonic idea of what people find positive about the ever-changing sound of their cities. Many thanks for your help.
What is your favourite Chicago sound? The clang of the bell of the Metra train from two blocks away.
Why? I used to live two blocks from the Metra station at 57th and Stony Island, and the trains’ bells as they entered and left the station were a subliminal part of my soundscape. Then I spent a summer in Rome, and calling home to talk to my girlfriend I heard the chime of the Metra bell and it reminded me so vividly of home. Now we live in Brooklyn and miss Chicago.
What is your favourite sounding place in Chicago? Promontory Point on a windy day: water and wind. A summertime jazz/blues group playing in the parking lot of the strip mall at 53rd and Woodlawn. Yes, unexpected parking-lot music and dancing: also when I rode my bike down past Chatham Park and came across a latin dance exhibition in a grocery store parking lot.
Why? I like the wind and water at the point because Chicago is right on the lake, and its moist breath does so much to the city: the lake effect that makes it cold, the famous wind, but also the feeling of being right on the edge of this apparently endless expanse of water. Before Chicago I lived in Denver, and the mountains to the west were the point by which I oriented (occidented) myself; in Chicago, of course, you orient by the lake. As for the parking-lot music and dancing, it’s the magical spontaneity of stumbling across music in unexpected places, the way community forces itself upon you so pleasantly, and the rich diversity of Chicago’s ethnic endowment.
What is your favourite Chicago sight? (view, building, object, etc.) Coming up the lakefront, a stony LSD overpass around the 40s (47th?) on the south side, and the downtown skyline beyond it. Knowing where I am by the relative positions of Sears Tower, Hancock Building and that curvy triangular building. The blingy gold D.C. French statue of the Republic at Hayes Dr. in Jackson Park. Lush thick green trees on every street.
Why? Nostalgia, familiarity, fetishizing the formerly mundane.
Your Name: Orion Montoya
Area of Chicago where you live: Hyde Park, now Brooklyn, NY.
Please send responses to aseay1 atch artic doth edu. If you’re interested in
participating in the sound recording, please contact Jesse Seay,
aseay1 that artic thod edu.
Peter Cusack is a sound artist/recordist and musician with a special interest in environmental sound and acoustic ecology. Project interests move from community arts to research on how sound contributes to our sense of place to recordings that document areas of special sonic interest, e.g. Lake Baikal, Siberia, Beijing, China. He initiated the ‘Your Favourite London Sound’ project that aims to discover what Londoners find positive in their city’s soundscape, an idea that has been repeated in other world cities including Beijing. He produces ‘Vermilion Sounds’ a monthly environmental sound program on ResonanceFM radio, London, and lectures on ‘Sound Arts & Design’ at the London College of Communication. As a musician he tours regularly at home and abroad. Available recordings include “Where is the Green Parrot?” (ReR PC1 – solo CD, “Your Favourite London Sounds” (Resonance) and “Baikal Ice” (ReR PC2).