REQUIEM: A WHITE WANDERER Luftwerk in Collaboration with Katherine Young, a Musical Performance and Immersive Art Installation Inspired by Seismic Data from an Ailing Iceberg

Taking place in Millennium Park from January 31st through February 2nd, all Programs are Free and Open to the Public and Registration is Recommended for the Concerts February 1st

CHICAGO, IL – Developed in partnership with Experimental Sound Studio and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Presented by the Millennium Park Foundation in collaboration with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events as part of the Year of Chicago Music.

Requiem: A White Wanderer is an ongoing art and sound project by Chicago-based collaborative Luftwerk. Inspired by Larsen-C, a 120-mile long crack that ran along the Antarctic ice shelf and broke into a trillion-ton iceberg named A 68 in 2017, Requiem: A White Wanderer translates seismic data from this ailing iceberg into an emotional experience, connecting the public to the urgency of climate change. The source data is based on the seismic recordings made by Douglas MacAyeal, a world-renowned glaciologist based out of the University of Chicago. MacAyeal has recorded seismic data over a multi-year time period, observing the movement of iceberg B15 from its first cracking to its disintegration across the globe. Seismic data is a low frequency sonic signal, inaudible to the human ear, but it can be perceived and felt throughout the ocean system, traveling through trenches and the SOFAR channel from the Antarctic to Haiti and beyond.

“The White Wanderer brings a unique and culturally meaningful experience to visitors to Millennium Park in the same artful tradition of the icons of the Park—Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. I can think of no better place to bring together an immersive audio and visual artistic experience, like The White Wanderer, than Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion,” said Scott Stewart, Ph.D., Executive Director, Millennium Park Foundation.

Over the course of 2019 as part of their Outer Ear Residency at Experimental Sound Studio, Luftwerk has been working in collaboration with composer Katherine Young to create a musical composition for orchestra and voice based on these sonic signals. This composition will premiere in two special concerts presented on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage in Millennium Park and be accompanied by a sound installation taking over the lattice work speakers during the first weekend of February 2020.

The project aims to harness the power of art, science and music to inspire a robust public dialogue about climate change here in Chicago and beyond.


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Jay Pritzker Pavilion Stage, enter the performance through the west stage door. Two concert times are available on Saturday, February 1, 2020. Registration recommended, as seating on the enclosed stage is limited. A limited number of tickets will be available on-site before each performance. Advance registration is available on Eventbrite:

5pm: family-oriented musical performance; preceded by a sound walk at 4pm around the Jay Pritzker Pavilion lawn.

7pm: all-ages musical performance and panel discussion with the artists and collaborators moderated by Kari Lydersen, Chicago-based reporter, author and lecturer in the journalism graduate program at Northwestern University; program followed by a sound walk at 8pm around the Jay Pritzker Pavilion lawn

Requiem: A White Wanderer is an original score composed by Katherine Young for eight musicians presented on the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Illuminated sculptural objects will fill the space with shadows and reflections creating a visual topography as if in a glacial landscape. Musicians include MYRA HINRICHS (violin); MIN PARK (violin); ALEXANDER ELLSWORTH (cello); LIA KOHL (cello); ANTON HATWICH (bass); JENNA LYLE (vocals); RYAN PACKARD (percussion).


Friday, January 31 – Sunday, February 2

Daily from 11am to 6pm

Jay Pritzker Pavilion Lawn

An immersive sound installation amplified from the latticed Jay Pritzker Pavilion sound system will bring audiences into the way that aquatic animals might experience a calving iceberg, with the sounds of its disintegration reverberating throughout the ocean.


Friday, January 31, 12:15pm Giovanni Aloi - Art Historian and Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Saturday, February 1, 4pm TBA, family-oriented

Saturday, February 1, 8pm Douglas MacAyeal - Professor, University of Chicago and a leading expert in glaciology

Sunday February 2, 12pm Sonal Aggarwal - artist and performer

Guided listening experiences around the Jay Pritzker Pavilion each with a different theme for 20-30 minutes. Experimental Sound Studio will offer sonic guidance for listening closely to the intricacies of the installation. Douglas MacAyeal, a glaciologist at the University of Chicago has recorded seismic data over a multi-year time period, observing the movement of iceberg B15—MacAyeal’s data was used as the source data for the project.


The 2020 presentation of Requiem: White Wanderer at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is the latest iteration in the ongoing White Wanderer project by Luftwerk. Below is a timeline of the project’s progression over the past several years:

October 2017: White Wanderer launched in two iterations: an installation at Two Riverside Plaza and at EXPO Chicago. These projects received broad coverage, including as one of nine “...sounds that defined 2017” according to The New Yorker ‘Year in Review.’

Earth Day 2018: The project continued to evolve with a public presentation of the White Wanderer soundtrack at Rockefeller Chapel. Experiencing the sound in that context, alongside the continual news of warming ocean temperatures, set the impetus for the expansion of the project’s ambition.

2019: Throughout the year Luftwerk worked with Katherine Young in-residence at Experimental Sound Studio (ESS) to further explore the seismic data and begin developing a musical score.

November 22, 2019-January 26, 2020: As part of their residency Luftwerk presents an immersive installation in Audible Gallery at ESS that offers an artistic interpretation of the low frequency seismic recordings including representations of the source data and a light installation using mirrored plinths.

February 1, 2020: Taking the work done in-residence at ESS, Luftwerk premieres the first Requiem: A White Wanderer composition by Katherine Young alongside immersive light and sound installations at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Future: In the long term, Requiem: A White Wanderer will ultimately culminate as an evening length multimedia presentation of light-based installation and new music for a full orchestra and choir.White Wanderer aims to create a new audience experience by taking real policy and environmental data as the foundation for bringing a highly innovative contemporary art approach to the traditional environment of the symphony hall.



LUFTWERK, the artistic collaboration of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero, explores light, color, and sound in immersive, experience-based installations. Focused on the context of a site, Luftwerk applies their own interpretive layer, integrating the physical structure, historical context, and embedded information into each piece. Using various modalities—projecting videos, casting shadows, creating custom sculpture—they integrate light into every project to explore its ephemeral and shifting nature. Since its founding in 2007, Luftwerk has amassed a significant body of work ranging from site-specific interventions at places like AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park, Garfield Park Conservatory, to iconic architecture by architects including Renzo Piano, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, to experimental projects that interpret data sourced from Antarctica, like White Wanderer.

KATHERINE YOUNG makes electroacoustic music using expressive noises, curious timbres, and kinetic structures to explore the dramatic physicality of sound, shifting interpersonal dynamics, and tensions between the familiar and the strange. As an improviser, Katherine amplifies and processes her bassoon. She has led her own groups, such as Architeuthis Walks on Land with violist Amy Cimini and sludge improv quartet Pretty Monsters, while also working with Anthony Braxton, Hans Joachim Irmler of Faust, Sam Pluta, Birgit Uhler, Tomeka Reid, and many others. The LA Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Ensemble Dal Niente, Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Weston Olencki, and Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, are among those who have commissioned her music. She’s excited about recent and coming-soon projects with Bludenz Festival, Luftwerk, WasteLAnd and RAGE Thormbones, Lucy Dehgrae for Resonant Bodies Festival, Distractfold Ensemble’s Linda Jankowska, Callithumpian, Yarn/Wire, and about making a site-specific installation for the University of Chicago for fall 2019. This year she’s releasing new music with Michael Foster & Michael Zerang, Dal Niente, and Wet Ink.

DOUGLAS MACAYEAL: project partner - Douglas R. MacAyeal is a professor at the University of Chicago and a leading expert in glaciology, studying the behavior of the large ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland using the tools of fluid dynamics, seismology, remote sensing, and computational methods. He recorded the seismic data that forms the foundation of the White Wanderer project.

NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL(NRDC): content advisor - The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) works to safeguard the Earth – its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. At the core of its mission is a simple idea: a healthy environment should be a basic right for all of us— regardless of where we live or what we look like. NRDC creates solutions for lasting environmental change by combining the power of more than 3 million members and online activists with the expertise of over 600 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates. The organization engages in a variety of arts and cultural partnerships to engage the public on critical environmental issues. Visit and follow them on Twitter @NRDC.

EXPERIMENTAL SOUND STUDIO (ESS): production partner - Founded in 1986, ESS is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization dedicated to artistic evolution and the creative exploration of sound through production, presentation, education, and preservation. Visit and follow them on Instagram @ESSChicago for upcoming shows and the latest projects.

Requiem: White Wanderer is developed in partnership with Experimental Sound Studio and Natural Resource Defense Council and is presented by the Millennium Park Foundation in collaboration with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events as part of the Year of Chicago Music.
This project is partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, as state agency, through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. It is partially supported by an IAS artist project grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and made possible with contributions from 3Arts and individual donors as part of a 3AP (3Arts Projects) campaign.


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