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14 sonic compositions that explore the natural soundtrack hidden in
our urban world

7.13  1 - 4 pm / 8.15  5 - 8pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Millennium Park


Hear the hidden this summer

Presenting the urban+nature sonic pavilion

Join us for two special events at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion,

where the soundtracks of nature and the city intersect


A 78 Minute Sonic Journey 

Bringing together 14 compositions from an international roster of sound artists, this auditory exhibition invites you to actively listen to the nature rooted in the urban, and consider how beautifully reciprocal and entwined the human and non-human can be.


Local + International Artists

Inspired by perspectives and experiences drawn from India, the UK, Moscow, Mexico, Canada, East Asia, the United States, and Chicago's own neighborhoods, this exhibition's artists explore how our cities pulse with a highly distinctive sound habitat — one that's accessible to everyone, and worthy of our attention.


Free To Everyone

This immersive experience will take place on Millennium Park’s Great Lawn beneath the unique latticed speaker system of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Interactive curatorial discussions will offer additional insights into the creative concepts of the artists.


World-Famous Sound System

The Pavilion's vast speaker array, a pioneer of audio engineering, was designed to replicate the acoustic properties of an enclosed performance hall. The compositions of this exhibition have been purpose-made to take advantage of the 24-channel system's dynamic capabilities.

This exhibition is presented by Experimental Sound Studio and Antennae Project and is made possible by a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events with funding from the Pritzker Foundation and Millennium Park Foundation.

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soundworks and artists


Take your time

Charlie Manion

Take Your Time is a composition that holds tonal and emotional tension over long silences to magnify the soundscape of Millennium Park. Charlie’s voice is stretched into deep, textured chords that emerge unexpectedly and periodically, invoking listeners to slow down and listen for the organic soundtrack that fills the open sound spaces in between.

Charlie Manion is a glass and sound artist from the American Midwest. He translates gestures across disciplines (sculptures that perform music, music that evokes machinery, instruments that play people). He has worked as a scientific lampworker, touring musician, and maker for hire. His work has been shown at the Hyde Park Art Center, Design Museum of Chicago, and Chrysler Museum Glass Studio. He was the public glass studio manager at Firebird Community Arts in Chicago before pursuing an MFA at the NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.

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Fanfare with singing insects 

Beth Bradfish

Fanfare With Singing Insects of South Pond, Lincoln Park  is a song of praise – of nature and of these summer neighbors who live among us, often unseen — often raucous, with voices seemingly rising from nowhere — then descending to stillness. This piece combines the sounds of the cicadas, katydids and crickets with a full orchestra accompaniment.

With an intention to bring her audience as close to sound as possible, Beth Bradfish composes for ensembles, orchestras as well as installations and sound objects she designs. Her work has been performed at Spectrum NYC, Constellation (Chicago), Issue Project Room (NYC) and she was selected as a featured composer in the Oscillations series of Experimental Sound Studio. Her sound installations have been featured at High Concept Labs, Internationales Musikinstitut Kunsthalle (Darmstadt, DE), and Kalamazoo Valley Museum. She has been awarded residencies at Ragdale, Chicago Artists Coalition, and Harvestworks (NYC), as well as grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago (DCASE).

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Patch and Corridor

Steve Reidell + Stacey Marquardt

Collecting and arranging sounds captured in Chicago's many parks and their adjacent spaces, the creators of Patch and Corridor reimagine each birdsong, ringtone, dog bark, and clanging baseball bat as components of a great urban orchestra, each with a part to play.

Steve Reidell and Stacey Marquardt are partners and artistic collaborators from Chicago. Reidell has worked in many facets of the city's music scene as a member of rap duo Air Credits, production team The Hood Internet, and experimental record label Volutus. Additionally he composes music for television and film. Reidell formerly worked as the visual art director for Chicago music venues Metro and Smartbar, where Marquardt has also worked in evolving roles centered around art and event curation.

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Cole Swanson, artist

Pedro Casas, sound engineer

Baoli explores the multispecies fabric of urban life and disrupts the characterization that cities in the Global South are merely zones of ecological desolation. Based in the sacred space of an ancient stepwell, the artwork forms a sonic bridge between two environmental sanctuaries – Millennium Park in Chicago, USA and Agrasen Ki Baoli in Delhi, India.

Cole Swanson is a Toronto-based artist and educator. His interdisciplinary practice explores emergent relations between creatures living in the so-called Anthropocene. For over twenty years, Swanson has maintained educational, artistic, and personal relationships in India and is a two-time Arts Research Fellow with The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. Wielding multi-sensory approaches, which include complex sight and sound installations, his work opens to numerous ways of knowing, learning with scientists, conservationists, community members, and more-than-human partners. In 2023, Swanson was awarded the prestigious Vanier Scholarship for his ongoing PhD research in Environmental Studies at York University, Toronto.

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Echoes of Brood XIII 

Bob Drake

A multichannel immersive soundscape based on field recordings of 17-year periodical cicadas, Echoes of Brood XIII is an attempt to momentarily restore a historical sound mark that has been lost in this space due to urbanization and human activity. 

Bob Drake is a sound artist, musician, and electro-acoustic luthier from Cleveland Ohio. His performance work spans free and structured improvisation, new music composition, and noise; he also creates sound sculptures, installations, and soundtracks. He is an adjunct faculty member at Cleveland Institute of Art, as well as teaching/mentoring independently. Most recently, he has been working as a pipe organ technician, repairing and tuning pipe organs across at various northern Ohio churches, while incorporating old pipe organ technology into new instruments and installations.

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Thundering Glitch

Giovanni Aloi 

Is thunder a glitch in the matrix? Every thunder has its character, its unique way to engage in a dialogue with urban space and time. Thundering Glitch re-envisions and glitches recordings of Chicago thunders, further evidencing this acoustic fluidity while also questioning the true essence of what we call natural sounds.  

Giovanni Aloi’s creative practice encompasses multiple media and forms of expression. His work addresses the complex interconnectedness that binds human-non-human relations to lands and power systems. Aloi is the founder and editor in chief of Antennae: the journal of nature in visual culture. He has contributed to BBC radio, PBS TV, worked at London’s Tate Galleries, and is USA correspondent for Esse Magazine. He has curated exhibitions in the US and Europe and is co-editor of the University of Minnesota Press series ‘Art after Nature’.

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Harrison Gill

Islands confronts listeners with sounds sourced from organic and artificial materials, structures, and behaviors. These sounds themselves are treated as material and sculpted into abstractions of colossal ocean waves, declaring urbanism as an extension of nature, and portraying life’s holism.

Harrison Gill is an artist from Chicago working on narrative short and feature films, commercial projects, electronic music, and visual art. Having grown up a deep listener and musically inclined, he gravitated toward the exploding field of sound design and application shortly after studying graphic design. He is passionate about creative storytelling and believes in a wealth of incredible art still untapped from sound as a medium.

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Interior Biome

Felix Bell, artist

Nuno Lobo, composer

By looking closer at contemporary architecture, a microscale of more-than-human life can be discovered — insects, fungi, and bacteria that have concealed themselves within the clean aesthetics of contemporary design. Interior Biome delves into the indoors as a landscape of diverse relationships for both humans and more-than-humans. This sound exploration explores the rich abundance of the indoor environment and unearths entangled, often overlooked, relationships interacting at various scales of size and sound.

Felix Bell’s research-based practice reflects on the tensions between modern life and our inherent animality. He explores how modern design shapes our exterior world in the name of purity and progress: sterile and isolated from ‘nature’. Yet, living beings find agency and design their own ways throughout contemporary human-centered cities. His work embraces trans-disciplinary and trans-species collaboration as a tool to notice the joint world-building that is happening between humans and other beings.

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Life is Never Quiet

Evgenia Emets + Mileece

Life is Never Quiet is an immersive sound experience of spoken and sonic poetry, featuring the inspired words of Evgenia Emets interlaced with a live botanical and bioacoustic improvisation, designed by Mileece. It questions the relationship between humans and the land, the thin and floating boundary created by culture and the blurring of this boundary once we start perceiving the continuity of being that embraces all the beings without sharp separation between them.

Mileece is a sonicartist, interactive ecological environment designer and 'biophilic energy’ ambassador devoted to ‘promoting ecology through technology and the arts’. Since she was 19, she has hand-built custom technologies to drive immersive, interactive, experiential hybrid-organic environments and performances designed to “illuminate our innate and hidden connections within the biosphere”. In tandem, Mileece has worked alongside her father and colleagues on nature-driven, community-led, ‘MoonCell’ energy systems. In 2022 she founded ReWorld Fair, a collaborative, eco-citizenry initiative serving to enfranchiselocal communities with durable, ‘biophilic infrastructure’ and biodiversityconservation tools through cultural events and programs across the world. Evgenia Emets is an international artist and poet, and the Founder of Eternal Forest. She works with forest ecology and community creating visual art, films, artist’s books, performances, forest art trails and large-scale ecological artworks in the form of forest sanctuaries. Eternal Forest launched in 2018, is creating a network of 1,000 forest sanctuaries to be protected for 1,000 years through art and community.

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Chicago’s beguiling skyline is a fatal seduction for the legions of migratory birds who are killed when they collide with its glass monoliths. More than any other American city, Chicago's skyline is the deadliest. Awe/struck proposes a ‘public hearing’ that captures the invisible death toll of birdstrikes as a way to confront the literal impact of our built environment.

Spaulder is a one-person collective founded in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago in 2009, whose practice focuses on refuting the paradigm that works must be constructed, created, or exhibited to the public to be valid. With thousands of imagined concepts successfully unrealized, Spaulder on rare occasions will answer the call to merge their speculative works with the tangible dimensions of time, space, and sound, responding currently to the urgent need for decentering humans as the gatekeepers and underachieving stewards of the environment.


The River Within

David Vélez

Underwater and subterranean recordings from the River Calder and its basin in Northern England draw attention and concern towards the sewage leaks that make it England's second most polluted river. The sounds evidence the diversity of amphibians, fishes and plants in rural areas, which is diminished in urban zones, a possible effect of pollution.

David Vélez is a Colombian sonic artist living in the UK, investigating the relations between humans and plants in horticulture, emphasizing the sensibility of edible plants and their ecosystems to sonic stimuli. His work is interdisciplinary, implementing technologies from bioacoustics, geoacoustics, ethnography and food anthropology to advance ecologically and politically engaged projects. David incorporates musical synthesis, transduction and field recording to investigate how sound mediates the relationship between humans, soil, water, and edible plants in underground and subaquatic habitats. His installations take the form of sonic farming experiments where the plasticity of the growth of plants and the vitality of soil are central elements.

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Gabi Kinlock (PANTY)

Highlighting harmonies of coexistence between the natural and the so-called manufactured, 44.5B-Fps is a time capsule that echoes our particularly curious moment in time. Sound design elements sampled and recorded in the field evoke the familiarity of the everyday, trouble the distinction between digital and analog sounds, and disrupt the distance between these seemingly unrelated elements.

Brought up on transmissions from the underground, Gabi Kinlock is happy to report that hardcore will never die. With a running head start as a singer, dancer, photographer, and spacemaker in queer, DIY contexts, they were called to create music under the moniker PANTY just last year, after taking a spatial audio intro class with artist David Bird. Playfully peeling back the expansive layers of bass and club music across spacetime, their interdisciplinary approach to 3D sound design consists of film scores, soundbaths, mixtapes, audiovisual collage, poetry, and emceeing, and, of course, soundtracking your local ecstatic rave. Their visual and sonic work is memory-informed, texture-based, and concerned with the potential for collective release that can be found through movement and making.

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Floating Nest (Future Birdsounds)

Milad Mozari + Peter Speer

Conceptually situated a century from today, Floating Nest is a sound piece based on the imprint of humans and industrialization in collision with nature. Specifically, how global warming will increase Lake Michigan’s waterline, transforming the Pritzker Pavilion into a semi-submerged bird nest. Through synthesis, field recording, and custom circuits, this ornithological speculation will roll across the array of speakers like waves.

Milad Mozari is an artist and researcher working in sonic investigations that draw connections to surfaces and social layers. His projects travel through concepts of music, language, and absence. Exhibitions and performances include the Hong Kong Arts Centre, International Symposium of Electronic Arts, Chicago International Film Festival, IndieLisboa, and the Studebaker Theater. Fellowships and residencies include Asian Cultural Council Grant to Individuals, Wave Farm, Pioneer Works, Incheon Art Platform, Taipei Artist Village, Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, and MIT Open Documentary Lab. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Utah. Peter Speer is an Asheville-based artist working primarily with paper-based collage and synthesized soundscapes. His work investigates the quiet stillness at the center of loud, fast things and celebrates the endlessly evolving symphony of the everyday. Speer received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 and has been creating daily videos for the synthesizer manufacturer Make Noise since 2017.

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TimeLapse : Chicago Acoustic Collage 

Void: Ambience

Joel Ong + Michael Palumbo

+ Ilze Briede [Kavi]

Concerned with the intersection of the digital + analog/urban + natural, TimeLapse: Chicago Acoustic Collage presents an auditory theatre that alternately condenses and stretches recognizable, rhythmic sound sources recorded across Chicago as part of strategies for modified field recordings and glitched ambiences developed through previous void* ambience performances. 

Void: Ambience is an improvisational audiovisual collective based in Toronto, Canada, whose members are Joel Ong, Michael Palumbo and Ilze Briede [Kavi]. Ong is a media artist whose works connect scientific and artistic approaches to the environment, particularly with respect to sound and physical space. Palumbo is a musician, teacher, and concert promoter. His approach to microsound on modular synthesis involves filter pinging, delays, and stereo panning, and he improvises often as a soloist and in ensembles. He produces Exit Points, a monthly series of free-improvised music, and runs the Exit Points record label, which releases mixes of these concerts in Dolby Atmos. Ilze Briede [a.k.a. Kavi] is a Latvian/Canadian artist and researcher working across multiple disciplines, including visual art, interactive installation, and live performance. Her creative practice and academic research encompass working with live data sets and designing systems to turn data into visceral experiences.

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DR. GIOVANNI ALOI is an author, educator, and curator specializing in the representation of nature and the environment in art. He is the Editor in Chief of Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture and the author of many books on the subject of animals and plants in art. Aloi has contributed to BBC and NPR programs, worked at Whitechapel Art Gallery and Tate Galleries in London, as well as the Art Institute of Chicago. He has curated exhibitions in the US and Europe and is co-editor of the University of Minnesota Press series Art after Nature.

CHRIS HUNTER is a Creative Director and Integrated Brand Strategist with over 20 years experience in shaping human insights to create multi-channel experiences for some of  America’s biggest brands and causes. Leading development and production for countless initiatives, he has helped draw and preside over half a billion dollars in marketing business to date, winning awards from competitions including Cannes, London International, Mercury Radio, and the Effies, and has been an ongoing contributor to AntennaeProject since 2007.

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curatorial statement

The sonic dimension of the urban environment is a rich tapestry: nowhere else are the noises of animals, machines, people, trees, and the elements interwoven so incidentally, and yet so vividly. 


This more-than-human soundtrack is produced by every neighborhood, street corner, parkway, and back alley. And it can reveal the earthly voices embedded in the sonance of the city, if only we stop to listen.   

Taken together, the sonic works of this exhibition will help deconstruct urban and natural dichotomies and subvert hierarchies to explore how the city pulses with a highly distinctive sound habitat, accessible to everyone, and worthy of our attention.

Experimental Sound Studio Engineers

ALEX INGLIZIAN Lead Sound Engineer and Technical Supervisor

KATE IN and TROY CRUZ Additional Sound Engineering

As part of the Millennium Park Residency program the artists of this exhibition worked closely with ESS sound engineers to calibrate their works to the unique specifications of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion’s speaker array.



AntennaeProject (founded in 2006) is an independent publishing and curatorial initiative best known for the publication of Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, a hybrid, peer reviewed journal. Free to the public, non-funded by institutions, and not supported by grants or philanthropists, the Journal’s format and contents are informed by the concepts of ‘knowledge transfer’ and ‘widening participation’. Independent publications share histories of originality, irreverence, and innovation and Antennae has certainly been an important contributor to what will be remembered as the non-human turn in the humanities.


Experimental Sound Studio

The Experimental Sound Studio is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization dedicated to artistic evolution and the creative exploration of sound. As an international hub for sonic experimentation, ESS nurtures artists, heralds new works, and builds a broad, supportive community of makers, enthusiasts, and creative partners through production, presentation, education, and preservation.

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