Outer Ear Residency

Outer Ear Residency

The Outer Ear Residency (OER) is a flexible residency at Experimental Sound Studio (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.

For more information about Outer Ear Residency click here.


OE Artists-in-Residence Spring 2019


This year ESS will host two residency sessions for LUFTWERK + KATHERINE YOUNG and BEN LAMAR GAY. Through out the year, both artists will develop new bodies of work supported by a week in the ESS studios creating and recording the respective projects. More detailed information regarding the artist’s projects forth coming.

Light, color and sound are primary elements in work by LUFTWERK – the artistic collaborative of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero. Luftwerk´s art installations use light and sound to transform experiences of space and site. With immersive artwork at venues such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Fallingwater” in Pennsylvania, Mies van der Rohes “Farnsworth House” in Illinois, Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory, Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper to name a few, their work blends history and contemporary media to open new aesthetic conversations within public spaces. Luftwerk takes an interdisciplinary approach, experimenting with a spectrum of materials and techniques to advance their artistic medium. Their work intends to shift viewer’s perceptions of space and site through light, color and sound opening new conversations by inviting the public to experience the familiar transformed.

Katherine Young makes electroacoustic music using expressive noises, curious timbres, and kinetic structures to explore the dramatic physicality of sound, shifting interpersonal dynamics, and tensions between the familiar and the strange. As an improviser, Katherine amplifies and processes her bassoon. She has led her own groups, such as Architeuthis Walks on Land with violist Amy Cimini and sludge improv quartet Pretty Monsters, while also working with Anthony Braxton, Hans Joachim Irmler of Faust, Sam Pluta, Birgit Uhler, Tomeka Reid, and many others. The LA Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Ensemble Dal Niente, Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Weston Olencki, and Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, are among those who have commissioned her music. She’s excited about recent and coming-soon projects with Bludenz Festival, Luftwerk, WasteLAnd and RAGE Thormbones, Lucy Dehgrae for Resonant Bodies Festival, Distractfold Ensemble’s Linda Jankowska, Callithumpian, Yarn/Wire, and about making a site-specific installation for the University of Chicago for fall 2019. This year she’s releasing new music with Michael Foster & Michael Zerang, Dal Niente, and Wet Ink.

Requiem: A White Wanderer will be an evening length presentation of new music for a full orchestra and choir. This musical score will be developed in collaboration with composer Katherine Young with live work-in-progress public performances beginning in Fall 2019. Inspired by Larsen-C, a 120-mile long crack that was along the Antarctic ice shelf and broke into a trillion-ton iceberg in 2017, White Wanderer translates seismic data from an ailing iceberg into an emotional experience, connecting the public to the urgency of climate change. The source data is based on the seismic recordings made by Douglas MacAyeal, a glaciologist at the University of Chicago. MacAyeal has recorded seismic data over a multi-year time period, observing the movement of iceberg B15. Seismic data is a low frequency sonic signal, inaudible to the human ear, but can be perceived and felt throughout the ocean system, traveling through trenches and the SOFAR channel from the Antarctic to Haiti and beyond.

BEN LAMAR GAY is a composer/cornetist who moves components of sound, color, and space through folkloric filters to produce brilliant electro-acoustic collages. The unification of various styles is always in service of the narrative and never solely a display of technique. The Chicago native’s true technique is giving life to an idea while exploring and expanding on the term “Americana”.

His musical influences derive from his collection of experiences in all of the Americas and the gathered data channeled by technology and its amplifying accessibility. The fact that the world is closer via technology and that everyone has access to the possibility of exploring different ideas makes his avant-garde version of “Americana” very global. Embracing global vision while remaining true to his roots, Ben Lamar Gay’s creative output aligns with the honest notion that he only knows how to be a man from the South side of Chicago.

The 2019 Outer Ear Residency is supported by