Founded in 1986 by Dawn and Lou Mallozzi, Eric Leonardson, and Perry Venson, Experimental Sound Studio (ESS) has occupied its Edgewater location since 2006. The facility is home to a full-service recording, mixing, and mastering studio for hire; Audible Gallery, a small public space for exhibitions, meetings, workshops, performances, and artists' projects; and the Creative Audio Archive—an invaluable collection of recordings, print, and visual ephemera related to avant-garde and exploratory sound and music of the last five decades. ESS presents eclectic performance and installation programming, workshops, and artist talks year round—both in the various spaces around the studio (including its beautiful garden) and at various partner venues around Chicago.
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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.
The artist is at the center of the creative process
The past informs and inspires invention and innovation
Experimentation requires both artistic rigor and risk
Sonic-based expression has no boundaries and requires an inclusive environment that welcomes and values diverse perspectives and voices
Collaboration activates growth
Adam Vida: Managing Director
Adam Vida has been Studio Manager/Events Coordinator at ESS since 2008. In addition to running the day-to-day operations of the recording studio, he is instrumental in scheduling and executing ESS' events programming at ESS—developing, curating, and coordinating many concerts, workshops, and performance series—including Sunday Solos, SummerSonic, the Benefit Concert for Frank Rosaly, and Drone for the End of Time. Adam also works as a producer for recording sessions and an in-house composer for film and video projects.
Adam is also a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, and producer. After attending the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Adam moved to Chicago in 1997 where he has performed and recorded in various rock, jazz, improvised, and experimental music projects (U.S. Maple, Singer, Dhalgren, DRMWPN, Azita, Redmoon Theater, Central Falls, Ken Vandermark). He has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe with various projects.
Alex Inglizian: Technical Director, Chief Engineer
Alex Inglizian has been with ESS since 2007, shortly after he received a BA in Sound from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A seasoned engineer, he has over 10 years of experience in both live and recorded sound. In addition to managing the upkeep of the studio's soft- and hardware and engineering most of our recording sessions, he co-curates the SummerSonic series, and runs location sound and does post-production mixing for many independent film and video projects. Inglizian is a technical wiz, exhibiting prodigious skill in sound design, circuit bending, programming, and as an educator. He is an active musician and improviser around Chicago, playing in bands such as Dhalgren and El is a Sound of Joy.
Olivia Junell: Development & Outreach Director
Olivia Junell's role as Development & Outreach Director focuses primarily on reaching out within and beyond ESS's already strong support bases, developing opportunities for deeper involvement with the organization for a wide range of individuals, and continuing to grow community partnerships.
A native Texan, Olivia moved to Chicago in 2013 to pursue a dual Masters in Arts Administration and Public Policy and Modern Art History and Critical Writing at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. Before moving Olivia worked in development for over 8 years, most recently as Development Manager at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
Olivia is also Managing Director of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival and serves on the board of Honey Pot Performance.
Matt Mehlan: Media and Archives Manager
Matt Mehlan is a Chicagoland-native artist, musician, educator and arts organizer. Matt makes music, video, and images in his Stuudio and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Based in Brooklyn for 10 years before returning to Chicago, he fronts the band Skeletons, the multimedia project Uumans, runs the record label Shinkoyo, co-founded the original Silent Barn art space, and worked for nine years at the experimental music institution Roulette, where he produced concerts, managed the archive, and made documentaries about musicians and artists for Roulette TV. Matt has performed around the world and released music on Shinkoyo, Ghostly International, Tomlab, Crammed Discs, The Social Registry, Sockets, Altin Village and Mine, and others.
Meg T. Noe: Marketing Manager
Meg T. Noe, is the newest member to the ESS Team. As Marketing Manager, Meg focuses on all external communications and public relations, including social media, newsletters, updating the website and keeping in touch with the press. Meg is dedicated to enriching dialogue between ESS and it’s community, strengthening the work of artists through sharing their vision and developing media content to expand the viewership of the artists and programs ESS celebrates.
Meg joins ESS with six years of experience in arts administration, an independent curatorial practice and a growing media arts business. In 2013, Meg received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Photography from Columbia College Chicago, and quickly thereafter began curating exhibitions focused on issues of social justice. She is an interdisciplinary artist, working predominantly as an image-maker and video-taker, and provides documentation for the arts community in Chicago, including Radius, an experimental radio broadcast platform. Meg is also proud to currently work for the Hyde Park Art Center.
Lou Mallozzi: Founder / Director Emeritus
Founder Lou Mallozzi is an artist, arts administrator, and educator. He is a founding member of ESS and was Associate Director since its inception in 1986 until 1999, when he became Executive Director. His duties include developing programming and organizational partnerships, and overseeing administrative and financial operations. During his time at ESS he has facilitated the presentation of work by several hundred artists and ensembles to Chicago audiences by curating, organizing, or co-producing scores of performances, exhibitions, broadcasts, roundtable discussions, and other cultural programs. These include the ESS Florasonic sound installation series, the Outer Ear Festival of Sound (now the Outer Ear Series), the Sounds From Chicago radio series (1988-1996), the Artist Residency Program, and others. He oversaw ESS’s studio renovations in 2001 and 2006, the initiation of the Creative Audio Archive in 2003, and the establishment of Audible Gallery in 2006. He has been invited to speak on numerous panels concerning sound as art, public art practice, and historic and theoretical topics in contemporary art practice. His own practice as an artist engaged primarily with sound has received considerable attention, including performances and exhibitions in the US, Canada, and Europe, as well as grants and residencies from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, the Chicago-Lucerne Sister Cities Program, and others. He is on the faculty of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he teaches in the Sound Department with an emphasis on sound art, sound installation, creative production techniques, and interdisciplinary art practice. Lou retired from his position of Executive Director in July of 2016.
Drew Roulo: President And Chair
Director of Asset Servicing, Guggenheim Partners Investment Management
Expertise: financial planning and fiscal management.
Ed Herrmann: Treasurer
Freelance audio producer and composer
Affiliations: Association of Independents in Radio, Public Radio Exchange, Guild of Carillonneurs in North America
Expertise: Small business finance, programming.
Founder, Make Amazing; Artist
Expertise: Experience based immersion, design, interactive architecture, new and emerging media concepts and technologies, event production
Partner & Chief People Officer, Dark Matter Coffee
Affiliations: Ithaca Underground, Ithaca, NY, Board Member; The Chicago Outfit Roller Derby, Chicago; Hope for the Day, Chicago (Dark Matter Coffee Partner Organization); Garfield Park Garden Network, Chicago, (Dark Matter Coffee Partner Organization); Hyde Park Art Center, Volunteer (formerly Finance & Operations Manager & Art Instructor).
Expertise: community partnerships; events organization; financial management.
Adjunct Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Sound Department, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Artist, curator, and educator. Co-founder and former executive director – now director emeritus – Experimental Sound Studio.
Expertise: Contemporary interdisciplinary arts; arts administration, curating, cultural events organizing, cultural organization partnerships, post-secondary arts education.
Sr. Manager, Product Content, Shure Incorporated.
Affiliations: Trustee, DEW Foundation.
Expertise: Management, content technology, community access to culture and social services
5925 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60660. USA
ESS programs & services are made possible through the generosity of our members and donors, including significant contributions from anonymous donors. Major support is provided by the DEW Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Black Cinema House
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Park District
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago Cultural Center
Morton Feldman Chamber Players
Chicago Artists Coalition
The Poetry Foundation
Dark Matter Coffee
Chicago Archictecture Biennial
Amundsen High School
High Concept Labs