Soundwalk for “Ethics of Recovery and Loss” at Chicago Botanical Garden

6:45am, Friday, May 2, 2014

Forum on Ethics & Nature: A Cascade of Loss, An Ethics of Recoverycenter for humans and nature

I lead a soundwalk for the upcoming Forum on Ethics and Nature, a symposium co-hosted by the Center for Humans and Nature and the Chicago Botanic Garden. The walk will be the first (6:45am) one of two with a special focus on birds in in Mary Mix McDonald Woods.

For the pre-forum workshop, from 12pm-6:30pm, I will lead a prairie soundwalk from 3pm to 4pm at Windblown Hill, Libertyville, IL (former home of Center founder, Strachen Donnelly).

2014 is the centennial year of the death of “Martha” the last passenger pigeon, a species that flourished here in the billions. “The 2014 Forum on Ethics and Nature will mark this occasion by exploring the topic of extinction in non-obvious ways, balancing information and personal stories with ethical reflection about the possibilities of social and ecological recovery.”


Avatar for the Center for Humans and Nature by Ansell Bray


Columbia College Chicago : Chicago Curates Columbia: Audio Arts and Acoustics

I recently helped students in Jesse Seay‘s class use piezo disc contact microphones they had made to build amplified sound sculptures and instruments for public interaction in this gallery exhibition at Columbia College’s Glass Curtain Gallery. The show is open until May 2, 2014. gallery photo

April 2014 WFAE President’s Report

My President’s Report for April-June issue of the online World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) Quarterly News has been published. This issue includes a research report by E. Sirin Özgün on political street action in Istanbul, and a feature article by Carmen Braden entitled, “Ice As Instrument: Using Natural Forms Of Ice For Sound Production.”

My report notes two upcoming WFAE-endorsed conferences, Sound In the Land and
Invisible Places | Sounding Cities.

Saturday, March 22 – 3WDS14 – New York


I have a new electroacoustic composition premiering in the “Hydrosonics” program, part of the World Water Wheel on Saturday, March 22 in New York.
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February 5, Concert With CPA Trio at Beat Kitchen

CPA Trio logo8:00pm Wednesday, February 5
Beat Kitchen
2100 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60618
(773) 281-4444

I will be a special guest performing with the CPA Trio, an improvised music group consisting of Christopher Preissing (flute, percussion), Peter Maunu (guitar, mandolin, violin), Albert Wildeman (bass).

Facebook Event:

Listen to the CPA Trio on Soundcloud:

Invisible Places | Sounding Cities Symposium

poster invisible placesI am working on the international programming committee for Invisible Places | Sounding Cities, a symposium on sound, urbanism, and sense of place happening 18––20 July, 2014 in Viseu, Portugal. The call for submissions was announced January 13. Please visit the website for deadlines and details:

Three sections will be featured with a keynote by Jean-Paul Thibaud from CRNS at CRESSON for the section on Architecture and Urban Planning. Keynote speaker Brandon Labelle heads the section on Urban Sounds, Identity and Sense of Place, and Salomé Voegelin is our keynote speaker for Sound Art As Public Art. The symposium enjoys the support of a large arts festival called Jardins Efémeros in association with several other institutions and organizations, including Binaural/Nodar and the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. The conference includes a concert and workshop by Francisco López, plus others, and soundwalks.

Urban Soundscapes & Critical Citizenship


I will be giving a presentation in Urban Soundscapes & Critical Citizenship, March 27th and 28th, at the University of Limerick. Titled “Our Sonic Playground: A Model For Active Engagement in Urban Soundscape,” my focus will be on recent events that engage public participation actively in the urban soundscape.

Urban Soundscapes and Critical Citizenship poster (PDF)

In particular, I plan to talk about last October’s event at the Museum of Contemporary Art, in partnership with the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) and students from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). I will review MSAE partnerships and public engagements with the Gropius in Chicago Coalition and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

“Our Sonic Playground” may serve as a model for much needed future active engagements, and help to define acoustic ecology as an applied practice. These activities suggest ways to partner with like-minded organizations, including public agencies and the public at-large; as well as artists, students, activists, and other constituencies and disciplines.

Janaury 2014 WFAE President’s Report

My President’s Report for the year-end issue of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) Quarterly News has been published. This issue includes “Teaching Sound and Listening: Auditory Experiments”, a feature article by Leonardo Cardoso and a research/project report “Mapping the Sounds of Collections: Listening to Museums and Archives” By John Kannenberg. My report provides a updates on this year’s WFAE conference in Canada and Portugal and the next issue the WFAE’s annual Soundscape: The Journal for Acoustic Ecology.

The WFAE Quarterly News is a supplement to Soundscape: The Journal for Acoustic Ecology, the annual print journal the WFAE publishes, and serves as a way to make available in a timely manner, news, events, opportunities, and announcements from the WFAE Board, WFAE Affiliates, and other sources of interest to those in the field of acoustic ecology. Please visit to learn what this diverse community and field of artistic, scientific, and educational activity is about.

Saturday, December 7, Performance by Jay Needham and Report on Acoustic Ecology

3PM Saturday, December 7
Experimental Sound Studio
5925 North Ravenswood Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60660

Admission free, more details at

The Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) hosts a performance by sound artist and President of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology (ASAE), Jay Needham, entitled This is a Recording, a work for radio and video.

I will provide a brief report on national and international activities in the field of acoustic ecology, with respect to the ASAE and World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) in my introduction. I have been serving as WFAE President since 2012. Jay and I have collaborated on sound performances since 2011, and work together as board members of the ASAE.

The program will conclude with ample time for questions and answers with Needham and anyone interested the activities of the MSAE.

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