Sound Artist Connects People to the Little Calumet River

The Little Calumet River in the winter of 2021.

As we continue the observance of Black History Month, we reflect on the important connection of the Chicago-Calumet River system to remarkable contributions of African Americans.

´╗┐Chicago sound artist, designer, and composer Norman W. Long – who is a featured guest on our Inside, Out & About podcast – has an art installation called “Calumet in Dub,” on display through February 17 at Columbia College’s Glass Curtain Gallery in Chicago. An article about “Calumet in Dub” in the Daily Southtown reports, “The exhibit features an eight-channel speaker setup that gives voice to the ecology and soundscapes of the Little Calumet River.”

Long helps people listen to the landscape to breakdown the barriers between the natural world and ourselves. He leads sound walks with the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks program to help people quietly contemplate nature so they can see it and hear it more deeply.

On our Inside, Out and About episode about Big Marsh Park, Long discussed sound art production using field recording, electro-acoustic composition, and dub technique within the larger context of landscape. His work includes the Big Marsh Soundscape. Long is also a board member of the Midwest Society of Acoustic Ecology which is dedicated to exploring the role of sound in natural habitats and human societies. Follow Long and his work on Twitter.