Archive: Sounds from chicago

Sounds From Chicago was a series of radio programs featuring audio works by Chicago artists commissioned by ESS between 1989 and 1992. The programs ran locally on WNUR-FM, WHPK and WZRD and were distributed for national syndication through independent broadcast cassette channels. In the words of Eric Leonardson, chairman of the ESS Radio Committee in 1991:

“Over the past two years ESS has selected a large and diverse group of artists to create and produce work for Sounds From Chicago. ESS has sought out individual artists, ensembles and community organizations to produce radio programs that highlight outstanding artists in their respective fields. The result is an eclectic radio series by over 100 Chicago artists that includes computer music, jazz, world music, improvisational and non­improvisational music, performance art, poetry and more. Through Sounds From Chicago, ESS also encourages artists to explore radio as a distinct medium of expression. Radio lends itself to the private experience, creating a space for the play of imagination. Sounds From Chicago is both a challenge and a forum for artists to examine the expressive possibilities of radio. “

Below, we present publicly, for the second time, the Sounds From Chicago series. We hope this work provokes thought about how the “sounds of Chicago” have changed in the almost 20 years since the initial airing of these shows and inspires a reevaluation of the power and creative platform of radio/transmission arts.