Sonic Seasonal at Skyspace With Steve Gunn - Atlas Obscura

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sonic Seasonal at Skyspace With Steve Gunn

Take in sunset at Chestnut Hill Meetinghouse with a James Turrell installation and improvised set by guitar player Steve Gunn.

Atlas Obscura Society Philadelphia presents the Fall 2018 Sonic Seasonal at Skyspace featuring Steve Gunn, the second in the Sonic Seasonal at Skyspace series.

In 2013, Chestnut Hill Friends completed work on a new meetinghouse to fit their growing community. The end result is part meetinghouse, part art installation. Drawing inspiration from a Houston Quaker meetinghouse, Chestnut Hill Friends approached Quaker-raised artist James Turrell about incorporating his art into the space.

The space features traditional Quaker minimalism and benches but is augmented by a retractable section of the roof, which is opened during select dawns and dusks. James Turrell's "Greet the Light" consists of programmed hues of lighting on the cove ceiling, which interact with the natural light offered by the changing hues of the sky. Visitors experience a constantly shifting perception of light and space that's perfect for "quiet contemplation" or in this case, inspired sounds. 

Conceived by John Pettit and Jeff Zeigler, "Sonic Seasonal at Skyspace" builds on the Chestnut Hill Meetinghouse experience by featuring a different musician or sound artist to build on the "Greet the Light" experience. Our first installment in the summer of 2018, featured harpist Mary Lattimore. Attendees will also receive a digital download keepsake of the set recorded by Jeff Zeigler/Uniform Recording.


  • The set lasts 50 minutes and begins at dusk. Please arrive promptly at the listed start time to allow for seating. Late arrivals will be admitted in limited intervals. 
  • Visitors are welcome to lie down on the floor or benches. Guests should remove shoes and avoid having footwear on the benches. Visitors are encouraged to bring a yoga mat, and a pillow to cushion their heads and support their shoulders.
  • The Skyspace is open to the elements so attendees should dress appropriately for the season.
  • In the event of inclement weather, the retractable roof will remain closed and a loop of an alternate light piece of James Turrell's will play.
  • Out of respect for the artists, venue, and attendees, please refrain from taking pictures or using a cell phone.
  • There is limited site and on-street parking. The venue is close to a few modes of public transit. Directions here.


Email John Pettit at

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