The Experimental Sound Studio collection

Inclusive Dates: 
Survey Repository: 

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

480 sound recordings on various formats (310 cassette, DAT, mini-disc, analog open-reel tape and 170 born digital files) recording artistic, educational, and public programs initiated and developed by Experimental Sound Studio, recorded and collected by staff since the inception of ESS in 1986. As an organizational archive, the collection will continue to grow as new programs are added. Archived programs include The Sound Show (1986), the first exhibition in a new program at Randolph Street Gallery devoted to sound art and new music; works by Elliot Sharp, Brigid Murphy, Blair Thomas, Robert Metrick, Lawrence Steger and Suzie Silver, and others; and productions by the Center for New Television and by MoMing Dance and Arts Center.

Biographical Historical Note

Experimental Sound Studio is a Chicago non-profit, artist-run organization focused on sound in all its exploratory cultural manifestations, including music, sound art, installation, cinema, performing arts, sound poetry, broadcast, new media, and more. ESS integrates production, presentation, education, and preservation, often in partnership with other organizations, constituencies, artists, and individuals. ESS’s Creative Audio Archive is a Chicago-based center for the preservation and investigation of innovative and experimental sonic arts and music.