music and the everyday sounds that Black chicagoans produce narrate Black life across chicagoland in deeply complex ways. our goal was to keep the music and sonic identity of Black chicagoland at the center of our work by naming each of the images we selected for our exhibition after a song by a Black artist from the chicago metropolitan area. highlighting the geographic richness between the music and sounds of our city-region and its Black artists and residents offers another way to understand Black chicagoans beyond what you see. check out the playlists below to hear the songs | image titles that we selected. please note: you must have access to spotify to hear the full songs. to learn more about the geography in our sound recordings, click here.
we also collaborated with the Black house kids to name all of the images for still sweatin'––a curated room highlighting the placemaking practices of the Black house music and cultural community of chicago and how they use house music, culture, and sound to claim space AND place across chicagoland–after songs and tracks that represent house as they hear, understand, and define it. our collaborators included braxton holmes, miss priss–the grand dame of house, duane e. powell, and todd mccurry.
this sound installation is a mashup of various neighborhoods, suburbs, and scenes of Black life across Black chicagoland, including:
this sound installation features Black chicagoans from across the city-region discussing "summertime chi" mixed over "on the beach" by phil cohran-a jazz musician and Black chicagoan-who performed several concerts at 63rd street beach also known as bongo beach on the southeast side of the city.
summertime chi is when chicagoans become activated for the official end to the brutal winter months and joyfully attend an abundance of summer festivals, concerts, block parties, and backyard bbqs. we also bask in the sun shining on our faces, run into folk we haven't seen since last summer, cruise down lake shore drive, and go to the beach. the city-region becomes our playground and we soak up every inch of summertime chi while it lasts.
we invite you to listen to the ways Black chicagoans describe what summertime chi means to them, the memories it conjures, and where the pursuit of summertime chi takes them across Black chicagoland.
Stacy Patrice | stacypatrice.com
Kee Humphrey | writer/cultural motivator
the sound recording below was taken during a house party for miss priss-the grand dame of house and the Black house kids at the underground wonder bar in the river north neighborhood - near north side community area (08). during the party, there was a moment when the music skipped so when you play the audio, listen to the ways the Black house kids respond with sound. the music is important, but we encourage listeners to explore the sonic imprints of the place to sit with the ways Black chicagoans use sound and rely on what is audible to and for them in house parties across chicagoland. we invite you into a place many are not allowed to enter to listen to the sonic exchanges between the dj and dancers and the Black chicagoness in the club, which was produced by the Black chicagoans in it.
the dj spinning is dj, music historian, and Black house kid duane e. powell.
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