The sheer pleasure of this unexpected symphony of crickets chirping, insects buzzing and rain gently falling swept away all vestiges of the urban landscape that had brought me to this Minimalist moment. The walkway running through the middle of the soundscape invited participation; I slowly made my way through the grid of four-foot brass rods, each independently programmed to vibrate with sound reminiscent of a more natural landscape.
I stopped walking and closed my eyes to block out the ambiguity between artist Shawn Decker’s meandering artifice of sight and sound and the skyscrapers vying for attention just beyond the huge bank of windows lining the football-field size room atop Chicago’s Cultural
My heartbeat slowed to match that of the artificial eco-system called Prairie. Time always slows when nature speaks; this was not the tall prairie grass of the Midwest teeming with life while swaying beneath a gentle summer wind; but when I closed my eyes, the sound carried me there.
It was a moment of serene beauty made all the more impressive by the magic of man's imagination.