The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

A Festival For Your Ears

By Lauri Apple in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 4, 2009 8:40PM

melissa-st-pierre.jpg If you're sick of looking at paintings and sculptures all the danged time, for god's sake already, then maybe it's time to give your eardrums a work-out. And here's the perfect venue to do so: the 10th annual Outer Ear Festival of Sound, a celebration of the sonic arts in Chicago presented by the Experimental Sound Studio, the Sound Department of the School of the Art Institute and several other local cultural organizations. The Festival begins today and stretches over the next few months, with poetry, installations and more. Here's what's on the menu:

  • Today through Nov. 25, get a whoppin' dose of audio-experimentation by visiting the Sullivan Galleries, where you'll find 25 Acres of Coins: a sound installation by more than 10 students from the Sound Department of the School of the Art Institute. The opening reception is Thursday, Nov. 5 (that's tomorrow) from 4:30-6 p.m. The installation will be open to the public from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. 33 S. State St.
  • On November 8, the sound travels to ESS's HQ in Ravenswood, where Pittsburgh-based composer Melissa St. Pierre presents an hour-long set and piano workshop from 2-3 p.m. The suggested donation is $10, with all proceeds benefiting ESS as part of its Sunday Solo performance series. The workshop from 4-6 p.m. is $30 ($25 for students and ESS members). 5925 N. Ravenswood.
    • Reactor and Countdown: two sound installations by MW Burns. Monday, Nov. 9-Wednesday, Dec. 9. Opening reception Friday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St.
    • Alessandro Bosetti collaborates with SAIC sound students for Gesualdo Translations/The Chicago Version, in which various Chicagoans will be asked to sing madrigals by composer Gesualdo Da Vinrosa; Bosetti and Co. will record the performances and then do interesting things with them. Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St.
    • The Gene Siskel Film Center presents Variable Area: Hearing and Seeing Sound, 1966-78 — an exploration of 16mm optical audio, curated by film scholar Michelle Puetz. Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. 164 N. State St.
    • On Friday, Nov. 13, Brett Ian Balogh hosts the opening reception to Chora, an environment of sound and video controlled by computer algorithms. 6-9 p.m. Through Sunday, Dec. 13. Audible Gallery at ESS, 5925 N. Ravenswood. Gallery hours are Saturdays-Sundays from 1-5 p.m. (Closed November 26-29).
    • Finally, on Sunday, Dec. 6 the Fern Room at Lincoln Park Conservatory hosts Tremendous Ferntuity, a four-channel sound installation by Jeff Kowalkowski 3-5 p.m. Through Tuesday, March 31, 2010. 2491 N. Stockton Dr. Exhibition hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

    Photo of Melissa St. Pierre provided by Experimental Sound Studio