Archive Dive: SOUNDS FROM CHICAGO

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As a part of the ongoing work of The Creative Audio Archive at ESS, we present Archive Dive - a regular newsletter featuring unheard recordings and ephemera related to the collections housed in the CAA. For more information on the recordings and/or collections included below, please contact matt@ess.org or visit: http://www.creativeaudioarchive.org.



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Beginning late last Fall, I have been programming Sunday Sessions, a series of listening events at the Ace Hotel Chicago where we ask a guest to curate a playlist of recordings or excerpts from the various collections of the Creative Audio Archive. The first featured Steve Krakow aka Plastic Crimewave and recordings of the Million Tongues Festival found in the Malachi Ritscher Collection. My interview with Steve will be published in the upcoming print edition of Sound American, released in May and edited by Nate Wooley - and the playlist will be available for streaming via DRAM - the Database of Recorded American Music. More on that next month.


The second of these events featured ESS founder Lou Mallozzi, who curated a selection of sound and performance art recordings found in the ESS Collection of the CAA, which too will be made available via DRAM later this year.


Two of Lou’s selections were from a series of recordings in the archive called Sounds From Chicago, which in the words of the print program of the series, found in the archive, was  “...a series of radio programs featuring audio works by Chicago artists from diverse cultural and aesthetic backgrounds. Experimental Sound Studio provide[d] production facilities and distribution for the series [which were engineered by]: Lew Baldwin, Greg Booth, Bill Close, Adam Jordan, Lou Mallozzi, John McEntire, Jim O’Rourke, [and] Lalitha Waldren.”


ESS founders Eric Leonardson, Lou Mallozzi, and Dawn Mallozzi “...sought out individual artists, ensembles, and community organizations to produce radio programs that highlight outstanding artists in their respective fields… [SFC} is both a challenge and a forum for artists to examine the expressive possibilities of radio...” wrote Leonardson.

With our fantastic CAA volunteer Brock Stuessi (who hunted down and scanned the print materials shared here) - we have been prototyping new ideas around making available these Sounds From Chicago radio programs, as well as imagining new initiatives for engaging artists in a similar manner. We hope to share more in the coming months.


For now, here are the two excerpts that Lou featured in his Sunday Sessions playlist, via private streaming links, for our newsletter subscribers. If you click the images below, you will be able to view the original program of the series.


The first is a piece by Rita Warford - performer, composer, member of the AACM and American Women Composers - from her episode of SFC: Program 28 - Vocal Art Rituals.

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The second is an excerpt of John Corbett’s Program 13: Radio Dada.

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All of the Sounds From Chicago programs can be heard by appointment at the Creative Audio Archive. Please do be in touch with any questions, comments, corrections, ideas, interests.


-Matt Mehlan

Archives & Media Manager, Experimental Sound Studio