Winter 2018 News Update

I hope the start of 2018 has felt full of potential for you.

It is my pleasure to announce a performance featuring Hamburg-based trumpet player Birgit Ulher. Please join Birgit and myself with vocal artist, Carol Genetti at Elastic Arts. Katherine Young (bassoon, electronics) and Birgit will open with a duo set.

Thursday, February 8
9 PM
3429 W Diversey Ave, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60647

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Birgit also visits SAIC’s Department of Sound that week with support from Goethe Institut Chicago.

Upcoming in 2018

As spring semester begins at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where I teach, I eagerly embark on a sabbatical term to focus my own projects. Here are some of the events and travels I look forward to:

  • Starting January 29, I’m honored to be invited back to the artists’ retreat at Ragdale, until February 23.
  • On February 24, I join SAIC Professor Linda Keane and students from her Eco Design course at SAIC to give river ecology workshops for the Chicago River Student Congress 2018 at Bryn Mawr High School, a Chicago Public School.
  • A tribute for my friend Nigel Frayne, who passed away on January 8, 2018, was posted the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) News. He was a great friend and supporter of the WFAE, and for me personally, as its president. Please stay tuned we as we remember and honor his many achievements and quiet gifts through the year.

I invite you to subscribe and read past issues of my newsletter.

Best wishes for a healthy and productive 2018.

Sincerely Yours,

Ragdale Residency | February 2018

trees, snow, house

The Ragdale House at sunset, photo by Eric Leonardson © 2018

The start of this new year brings a special time for peaceful reflection, planning, performing, production, and fellowship during my 25-day residency at Ragdale. This is my third residency here since 2015. Ragdale is an interdisciplinary artists’ community established in 1976 in Lake Forest, Illinois by poet Alice Judson Hayes, the granddaughter of architect Howard Van Doren Shaw.

Continue reading

Sound + Environment University of Hull | The Frequent Listener

I am excited to be at University of Hull, UK for the Sound + Environment 2017 conference taking place from 29 June to 2 July. It brings together “artists and scientists to examine the ways that sound can deepen our understanding of environments.” On Saturday, 1 July it is my privilege and honor to premiere a new work titled The Frequent Listener.

I look forward to meeting many World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) members at the conference, and its two internationally renowned keynote speakers, Chris Watson and Leah Barclay. Continue reading

Invisible Places 2017

On Friday, April 8 Amanda Gutierrez and I led a workshop entitled How do soundwalks engage urban communities in soundscape awareness? for Invisible Places: Sound, Urbanism and Sense of Place in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal. With Norman W. Long in Chicago, fellow teaching artist who led soundwalks in our Soundwalks In the Parks last year, contributing, Amanda and I provided ideas and, of course, a soundwalk. A productive discussion discussion concluded the workshop. My colleague from Berlin, Antonella Radicchi posted an excellent text and images about the overall conference experience, including our workshop, and her presentation on the Hush City app, “…developed to empower local communities to identify, map and evaluate quietness on their neighborhoods.”

soundwalk workshop listening

Eric Leonardson leads workshop participants in “Ear Cleaning” exercise in preparation for the soundwalk. Photo by Amanda Gutierrez, 2017

Amanda and I will post our own workshop report for the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology.

Soundwalk In Ryerson Woods | Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology

Brushwood Logo.smallAn invitation to Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology’s next soundwalk in the Ryerson Woods Conservation Area.

1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Sunday, November 20

Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods
21850 N. Riverwoods Rd.
Riverwoods, IL 60015

$3/person. Register here or call 224.633.2426 to register by phone.

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On this soundwalk I will be engage participants in their experience of the wooded soundscape, and making a sound map of the place, bounded by the Des Plaines River and River Woods Road. A soundwalk, as I offered in this piece, may be conducted in many different ways.

The short “What is a soundwalk?” video offers a media introduction on this practice.

Listening ahead, the final three soundwalks in Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology’s 2016 Night Out In the Parks series happen in December, in these parks on these dates, with these teaching artists:

  • Washington Park, Saturday, December 11 led by Norman W. Long
  • West Ridge Nature Preserve, Saturday, December 18 led by Eric Leonardson
  • Garfield Park Conservatory, Wednesday, December 21 led by Amanda Gutierrez

Please visit Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology exact times, details. To receive email updates, subscribe to my newsletter. Thanks!

Invisible Places 2017 Call For Submissions

The deadline for the 2017 Invisible Places is November 30, 2016. Its focus is sound, urbanism, sense of place, and acoustic ecology. Submit your papers, proposals for artistic residencies, workshops and soundwalks via EasyChair.

The conference dates are April 7–9, and location is Sao Miguel Island, Azores.

Keynote speakers are Hildegard Westerkamp and Sam Auinger.

Along with meeting wonderful artists and architects, engaging science and society, in the first iteration of Invisible Places in 2014, I served on the international scientific committee and performed solo in the medieval cathedral in Viseu, Portugal, itself a charming place. It was an moving experience and expect the same next year. I hope you will come and participate, too!

Fusion | Art + Technology | Hinsdale Public Library

FUSION | art + technology

Sunday, October 23
Noon-4:00 pm

At 1:00–2:00 pm I perform on the Springboard, then show everyone simple handmade ways to create electronic sound and music.


Enjoy an all-day, all-ages program at the Library exploring a variety of activities that show what can be created when art and technology are blended together. Check out the poster for full details.
Noon–4:00 pm Northern IL University STEM Lab
Noon–4:00 pm International Drone Racing Association – Chicago
Noon–1:30 pm Babycakes Gourmet Pancakes
1:00 pm–2:00 pm  Springboard performance by Eric Leonardson
2:00 pm–3:00 pm Paint with Light with Ashley Vimont


Facebook Event

Hinsdale Public Library
20 East Maple Street
Hinsdale, IL 60521
Map & Directions

An invitation to new music performances and explorations of Chicago park soundscapes.

I’m happy to share a bundle of news about my fall season events, starting this week!

These include debut performance of the Eric Leonardson Springboard Trio and soundwalks hosted by the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, Night Out in the Parks 2016 Partner. Here’s a list. I hope you will join us, listen, share, and enjoy.

Upcoming Performances and Events

This week and next, two concerts debut the new Eric Leonardson Springboard Trio featuring Guillermo Gregorio (b♭ clarinet) and Carol Genetti (voice, objects) with yours truly (springboard, electronics).

Friday, Oct 14 7-8:00 PM at William Harris Lee & Co. in the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 560. The entrance is to your right as you step out of the elevator. Following our set is another by Ampyre (Mimi Wallman and George Matt Bowles) at 8-9:00 PM. Admission free. Facebook Event

Thursday, Oct 20 7:30-8:30 PM Sudden Sound Concert at Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois. Admission free.

Friday, Oct 21 Leading soundwalks and listening exercises for public school children with Deirdre Harrison of The Lucky Trikes and Jason Finkelman. This is a prelude to the Sonified Sustainability Fest 2017 happening next spring in Champaign-Urbana.

Sunday, Oct 23 1:00 pm–2:00 PM Fusion at Hinsdale Public Library, “a signature event…to open eyes and minds,” finds me presenting the Springboard and handmade electronic instruments.

Soundwalks In The Parks

This year, Amanda Gutierrez, Norman W. Long, and I are leading lead soundwalks for Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) in Chicago parks across the city. With support of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out In The Parks program, MSAE is partnering with the World Listening Project, West Ridge Park Advisory Council, EleVarte Community Studio, and Yollocalli Arts Research, among others. Dates, times, instructors and/or programs are subject to change, please call 773-342-5012 for the most up-to-date information. Please use #MyChiParks and #InTheParks hashtags for social media sharing.
download & share NOITP 8.5x11 soundwalk flier (PDF)

Saturday, Oct 29 3:30–5:00 pm MSAE Soundwalk in Washington Park, 740 E. 56th Place. With Norman W. Long, meet in the Sculpture Garden at DuSable Museum.

Wednesday, Nov 2 7:00–8:00 pm MSAE Soundwalk in Dvorak Park, 1119 W. Cullerton St. With Amanda Gutiérrez*, meet at Fieldhouse. Celebrating Dia de Muertos with ElevArte Community Studio.

Sunday, Nov 20 MSAE Soundwalk Brushwood Center/Ryerson Woods. Details TBA.

Dec 11 1-2:00 PM MSAE Soundwalk West Ridge Nature Preserve, with Eric Leonardson. More info TBA.

Dec 17 MSAE Soundwalk Washington Park, with Norman W. Long. More info TBA.
In closing, I would also like to mention Norman’s post-World Listening Day, personal reflection on the importance of soundwalks, in soundscape awareness and placemaking.
I hope to see you some of the events. If you would like to book a performance by me or the trio, host a soundwalk, or subscribe to my newsletter, let me know. Thanks!

Kind regards,

World Listening Day 2016 | Sounds Lost & Found | The 606 Soundscape

606soundscapeFor World Listening Day 2016, I have organized a cohort of teaching artists and musicians who will transform our experience of The 606 & Bloomingdale Trail soundscape in Chicago this Saturday, Sunday and Monday, July 16–18. Events will actively engage in new ways of outdoor listening and sound making. Please visit the 606 Soundscape blog and Facebook Events for the full schedule. Attendance is free and open to all ages.

Along with performances and soundwalks, a global virtual symposium hosted through #SoundCon and the World Listening Project, celebrates World Listening Day 2016 “Sounds Lost and Found.” I give my brief keynote at 8:00 PM (Central time), following Sunday evening’s Sound Treasure Hunt. Watch the live stream via YouTube LIVE.

The 606 Soundscape project is made possible, in part, with support of the Chicago Park District and Trust for Public Lands.