Annie Feldmeier Adams with Steven Hess, Requiem DVD

Having kids makes it easy to lose things. Namely your mind.

But they can also make sure you lose things you never knew you had. I apparently got a promo copy of this wondrous DVD in the mail sometimes over the last two months, I assume, and upon finding it hidden behind the couch to the delight of two grinning and giggling little girls, popped it in the DVD player and watched a pretty striking video.

I will tell you first of all that I watched this without having any information on it. I didn't read the cover sheet, choosing to just let the video take me where it would. I'm not quite sure where I ended up going, but luckily enough, I arrived back at my home, my mind for the most part still intact. It's an interesting way to approach this, and after reading a bit about it, I had to watch the video again. I'm glad I approached it this way; not only was it something to behold, to witness - I also learned something. A few things, actually. I love it when art teaches me something. It's becoming a prerequisite of sorts, for me to listen to something, in fact. If I can't learn something from it, why engage it at all?

So I will provide some info on this, straight from the Flingco Sound System website. But I'd encourage you to drop the $25 for this beautifully packaged DVD that's limited to only 25 - most of which are presumably already sold - and experience it much like I did. Learn, and then unlearn. In any case, here's the spoiler:

Requiem was a four-channel sound installation in the Fern Room of Chicago's Lincoln Park Conservatory. It was an installment in Experimental Sound Studio's Florasonic series from Sept. 2010 to Jan. 2011.

Annie Feldmeier Adams (The Black Box) and Steven Hess (Haptic, Locrian Pan American, On, Ural Umbo) created a Requiem for those who still lie buried below the conservatory and the park. Joseph Mills from Haptic and Brendan Burke from Interbellum aided in the recording of the 21:11 minute piece. Annie Feldmeier Adams (who has made videos for Interbellum, Pan American, Cristal and Locrian) created a video for the Requiem, with visual material sourced exclusively from the Fern Room.

FSS is releasing a specially packaged, limited edition DVD with that video. Each DVD comes in a cardboard "scatterbox" with a 5x7 inch lambda print. Only twenty five copies will be sold.

In 1865 Chicago's Lincoln Park was named in honor of the late president (slain April 14, 1865). At the time, the park included an active cemetery. To expand and beautify the setting, and to quell health concerns, the city began to remove the interned bodies. In 1871 the Great Chicago Fire burned cemetery burial records along with wood and stone grave markers, leaving an unknown number of bodies forgotten under the site.

Requiem memorializes those underneath the conservatory and the park. It is intended to echo traditional wording of an Anglican burial service: In the midst of life we are in death. 

I'm left wondering what is found beneath my own home, and what other gems may be found in my home, hidden away by two mischievous little girls.


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