Hundreds Gather for Live Performance of Sounds of the Chicago River

Visitors to the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum on May 30 were feted to an inspirational performance of Sounds of the Chicago River by the Fifth House Ensemble which included a special curated selection of works by the Red Line Drum Ensemble of the American Indian Center-Chicago (AIC).

Several hundred people gathered on the Chicago Riverwalk in front of the Bridgehouse Museum to watch the performance of a 10-piece ensemble from the Fifth House Ensemble plus a four-piece ensemble from the American Indian Center, incorporating sounds derived from nature and storytelling of the history of the Chicago River. The live performance was the culmination of a series of virtual workshops using deep listening as a tool for observation and increased awareness of our environment, integrated with Native practices. The workshops explored the interconnectedness of humans, wildlife, plants, and place.

You can watch a short video of the Red Line Drum Ensemble performance and view the first five workshops on Friends’ YouTube channel. Friends acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency for this performance, in partnership with the Fifth House Ensemble and the American Indian Center.

The five-story landmark Michigan Avenue Bridgehouse Museum explores the complicated history of the river from glacial formation through modern revitalization and the work that brought the river back to life. The Bridgehouse Museum also celebrates Chicago’s world-famous movable bridges and allows visitors an up-close look at the massive gears and inner-workings of the bridge.

The Bridgehouse Museum is open Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October. General admission is free for Friends of the Chicago River members, and $6 or less for non-members.