Fourth of July Fireworks

DSCN3253-fireworkThroughout Chicago our soundscape will be filled explosions in celebration of the founding of the United States of America. The excitement of sparkling lights and loud noises is bring back fond memories, signals an annual cycle of American summertime. However, for some who are sensitive to sounds, especially of warfare, people and pets are highly disturbed. Veterans with battlefield experience, including trauma, are among them.

On another note, National Public Radio’s Ari Shapiro spoke with a pyrotechnics specialist about how firework sounds are designed.

Sounds, images and stories from The 606

There is a wealth of written texts about soundscape studies on the web. Among some online resources for learning to enjoy or balance the acoustic ecology of Chicago.

“Are the sounds of city living a blessing or a curse to you?” Last October, Moss Design published this blog post about summer soundscapes of Chicago, including The 606.

Affordable materials for our simple musical instrument workshop were found or purchased at local businesses, including The Wasteshed, located at 914 N California Ave.

Artists aren’t just in museums and schools, they’re in the parks (this Saturday)!

Hal Rammel will be helping Eric on the 606 this Saturday, and leading the instrument-making workshop together. Everyday materials will be used to create original musical instruments.

To read more on the specific artwork Rammel creates, read his “biography & news” or to see examples of his work: (click). Find excerpts below on a other projects and art practices-from digital, graphic, experimental to illustrative.

Find more of his work here:
Hal Rammel, Amplified palette, 2008.
Aero: An Unfolding Adventure
Aero: An Unfolding Adventure (Milwaukee: Woodland Pattern, 2011)






In addition, you may want to see the artwork and Rammel in practice!

Visual artist and musician Hal Rammel has been involved in the creative arts for the past 45 years.  His work as a visual artist encompasses drawing, sculpture and collage, cartooning, and photography (pinhole and alternative cameraless processes).  His work has been shown at the National Music Museum (Vermillion, SD), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL), the Wustum Museum of Fine Art (Racine, WI),  Gallery 1926 (Chicago), Woodland Pattern Book Center (Milwaukee), Corbett vs. Dempsey (Chicago), and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, WI).  His photographs have been reproduced on the covers of compact discs released by Hat Art (Zurich), Penumbra Music (Grafton, WI), and Long Arms (Moscow).  His work as a cartoonist has appeared in several volumes including, most recently, Conversations in the Aether (Penumbra Music, 2014).

As a composer and improviser he utilizes musical instruments of his own design and construction, releasing many recordings on his own label Penumbra Music.  During the 1980s he was an active member of Chicago's experimental and improvised music scene performing frequently with Gene Coleman, Michael Zerang, John Corbett, Terri Kapsalis, Lou Mallozzi, Jim Baker, Don Meckley and others. In the 1990s he performed at numerous music festivals in the United States and Canada including the Newfoundland Sound Symposium (in 1996 in duo with Johannes Bergmark), the No Music Festival (in 1998 with the Nihilist Spasm Band), and several others.
In 2013, fourteen instruments designed and built by Hal Rammel were included in the permanent collection of the National Music Museum in Vermillion, SD.  These acquisitions include many acoustic instruments built in the early 1990s that figured prominently in his work with Chicago improvisers and in his early recordings on Penumbra Music label.  The National Music Museum also acquired four amplified palettes dating from 1997 to 2010.

As an author Hal Rammel has written on musical instrument invention for Experimental Musical Instruments, Rubberneck, and Musical Traditions.  His full-length study of surrealism and American folklore, Nowhere in America: The Big Rock Candy Mountain and Other Comic Utopias (including discussion of ‘Haywire Mac’ McClintock, Blind Blake, Bo Diddley, Al Capp and the Shmoo, Jack Benny, and Spike Jones and Red Ingle), was published by University of Illinois Press in 1991.  His liner note essays may be found on recordings released by Atavistic Records and CRI, most recently for the Unheard Music series reissue of Sun Ra's Strange Strings.

As a graphic artist, Hal Rammel has published numerous books of comix and cartoons along with, in the later 70s and early 80s, two chapbooks of pen and ink drawings.  His most recent publication is Conversations in the Aether, an Aeolian melodrama and exploration of the visual worlds of 20th century artists such as Paul Klee, Toyen, and Victor Brauner.  


The 606 Soundscape continues this Saturday, June 18!

Soundwalks and Instrument Making Workshops featuring Hal Rammel and led by Eric Leonardson:

2016 Open AIR (Artist in Residence)


Everyday materials to transform!





The 606 & Bloomingdale Trail
June 18, 2016

● 10-11 am Meet at Julia de Burgos Park, Albany Access Point
Soundwalk with Amanda Gutierrez & Eric (Spanish) 

● 1-2 pm Meet at Exelon Observatory at Ridgeway, the West Trailhead
Soundwalk with Norman W. Long & Eric (English)

● 4-5:20 pm at lawn over St. Louis Ave & Bloomingdale Trail 
Instrument Making Workshop with Hal Rammel & Eric 

● 6-7 pm Meet at Wood Street Access Ramp
Soundwalk with Anna Orlikowska (Polish)
The Bloomingdale Trail Murals
View from Exelon Observatory
View from Exelon Observatory, West Entrance to the 606 Bloomingdale Trail






Details on all 606 Soundscape events held throughout June and July will be regularly posted here and through Facebook events. 

Download the updated 606 Soundscape flier. In case you need a “reminder notification” click here to “attend on” Facebook!

In other news, you might want more information on Eric Leonardson’s art practices and other organizations he is involved in directing; accessed by clicking “the link”! 

Stay active and up-to-date this summer by keeping track of other innovative, public and free events led by Eric Leonardson, made possible and with the help of organizations such as the Chicago Public Park systems and the Trust for Public Land. The 606 Soundscape is a project for the broader one, Open AIR, and Leonardson has devised this especially for The 606 artist residency program.

Saturday, May 28 Soundwalks and Instrument Making Workshops

606-logoThe 606 SOUNDSCAPE

Soundwalks and Instrument Making Workshops
Eric Leonardson: 2016 Open AIR (Artist in Residence)
The 606 & Bloomingdale Trail
Saturday, May 28

  • 10-11 am

Meet at Park 567, Leavitt Access Point
Soundwalk with Eric (English)

  • 1-2 pm

Meet at Julia de Burgos Park, Albany Access Point
Soundwalk with Amanda Gutierrez & Eric (Spanish)

  • 4-5:30 pm

Meet at McCormick Tribune YMCA, Active Green Space
Instrument Making Workshop with Eric

  • 6-7 pm

Meet at Exelon Observatory, west end of the trail
Soundwalk with Monica Ryan & Eric (English)

Click here to download the May 28 flier (PDF). Continue reading “Saturday, May 28 Soundwalks and Instrument Making Workshops”

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