Artist Development


Residencies & Exchanges


The OUTER EAR RESIDENCY is a week-long residency at ESS in which all of the Studio’s resources and platforms are made available to the artists. The goal of the residency is to facilitate experimentation and the creation of new work at any phase of the creative process. The Residency is purposefully open and flexible, allowing artists to work with ESS staff on an approach that best serves their present artistic goals.

Read more about our 2019 Outer Ear artists-in-residence, LUFTWERK in collaboration with KATIE YOUNG, and BEN LAMAR GAY, here.


We are pleased to announce Katie Wood (MFA, 2019) as the 2019 Alba Sonic Arts Artist-in-Residence.

The Alba Sonic Arts Residency is a three-month residency at ESS in which all of the organization’s resources and platforms are made available to a graduating MFA student from the Sound Department of the School of the Art Institute (SAIC). It is the only post-graduate sonic arts residency of its kind in the US. The goal of the residency is to create an immediate outlet for the skills and ideas the student has developed at SAIC, helping to launch them into the next phase of their artistic career.


The WAVEFRONT ARTIST RESIDENCY is an international artist residency exchange partnership between ESS and soundpocket, a sonic arts organization based in Hong Kong. Since the program began in 2015, soundpocket has sent four artists—DAVE CHOW, CHER NG CHUN-TUNG, MARK CHUNG, and SAMSON CHEUNG—to spend a month as artists-in-residence at ESS, and ESS has sent Chicago artists DAVID BOYKIN and SARA LUDY to spend a month in Hong Kong.

The 2019 Hong Kong artist-in-residence is Brian Chu Yin-woo.



Fiscal Sponsorship

ESS can act as a fiscal agent for individual artists or groups who require a 501c3 organization in order to receive funds for projects. Foundations and individual donors may want to assist an artist with a project, but either cannot legally give money to an artist (in the case of foundations), or would like to get a tax deduction (in the case of individual donors). In either case, ESS can accept the funding and then redistribute it to the artist. ESS typically retains ten percent of the total amount of the donation/grant for administration.
Please contact us for more information on how ESS can act as your fiscal sponsor.


Interns / Volunteers

Experimental Sound Studio is always on the lookout for talented interns and volunteers to assist with ESS events, recording sessions, and general studio maintenance. These positions are unpaid and are eligible for school credit programs. Many excellent interns have moved on to take the occasional paid job at ESS. Ideal candidates will be available for at least one day a week, flexible, reliable, self-motivated, and have a strong interest in the sonic arts. Please send a cover letter and resume to Managing Director ADAM VIDA:



ESS's expert staff and associates are available year-round to offer individual tutorials tailored to your needs. Whether you need technical support to complete a project, want to learn how to record and mix in your bedroom, have a piece of software or hardware you want to learn to use, or an effects pedal or electronic device you want to learn to mod or hack, we can customize a tutorial or curriculum suited to your interests.

Interested in setting up a tutorial? Click the button below and send us a message letting us know a) what you want to learn, and b) when you want to learn it. We'll get back to you as soon as we are able.

Possible Tutorial Topics:

Circuit Bending
Constructing a Contact Microphone
Mixing & Mastering in Pro Tools
Audio Archiving Techniques
Best Practices in Recording Drums
Podcasting 101
Preparing a Piano

...or whatever else you want to learn.

2-Hour Tutorials

$150 general

$120 for members and full-time students