Between Air and Electricity | The Springboard by Eric Leonardson

The Springboard invented by Eric Leonardson in 1994.

Today, Cathy Van Eck, author of the wonderful book, Between Air and Electricity: Microphones and Loudspeakers As Instruments, posted about the Springboard.

She describes my playing techniques, materials, and construction through the process of discovery. My new detailed drawings help describe its construction. Many links to a range of publications, audio, and videos are included, among them a 2013 concert with Birgit Ulher in Bond Chapel at the University of Chicago.

Sound in the Land – Music and the Environment

My article, “Acoustic Ecology and Ethical Listening” appears in Section I – The Silence of Stone: Perspectives of Sound of Sound in the Land – Music and the Environment, a special edition of The Conrad Grebel Review. Sound in the Land front & back cover

This book is both interdisciplinary and international, including essays about ecomusicology, soundscape aesthetics, ethnomusicology, silence, science, acoustic ecology, the natural environment, and worship/ritual practices. Leading essays include those by keynote speakers R. Murray Schafer (Canadian composer) and Gus Mills (South African wildlife scientist) as well as ethnomusicologists Maisie Sum, Doreen Klassen and Judith Klassen, and many more.

To order books contact

World Listening Day 2013: R. Murray Schafer Tribute at Stratford Summer Music Festival

July 18, 2013 Tribute dinner/concert for R Murray Schafer. Photo by Irene Miller

July 18 Tribute dinner/concert for R Murray Schafer. From l. to r. Eleanor , Sabine Breitsameter, Eric Leonardson, and Murray Schafer. Photo by Irene Miller 2013.

It was a sweltering evening at The Church Restaurant, in Stratford, Ontario on 2013 World Listening Day, where my friend Sabine Breitsameter and I had the honor of joining R. Murray Schafer, his wife Eleanor, and a large group of a hundred people in celebration of and tribute to Schafer on his 80th birthday, at the Stratford Summer Music Festival.

Following a moving concert of six pieces from Schafer’s aesthetically diverse musical oeuvre, interspersed with speeches by Eleanor his close friends and colleagues, and an exquisite dinner, Sabine and I addressed the appreciative and attentive audience with a few words about Schafer’s importance in establishing the World Soundscape Project in the early-70s, which culminated in his seminal book, The Tuning of the World, published in 1977. (This book sparked international interest in “acoustic ecology.” Simply defined, this multidisciplinary field of study and action is concerned with the relationship of living creatures with their sound environment. For many it draws attention to the dynamic relationship between sound, listener, and environment.)

My long-time colleague and a fellow member of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE), Sabine Breitsameter and I presented the book we co-edited. It is entitled, Ways of Listening, Figures of Thought: A Festschrift for R. Murray Schafer on the Occasion of his 80th Birthday. Along with Schafer’s Festschrift we presented him with the latest issue of Soundscape: The Journal for Acoustic Ecology, Volume 12, just hot off the presses in Carbondale, Illinois.

The evening’s program included performances of six pieces of music that Schafer has composed since the early 60s. Many of these were from his Patria cycle. Overall, I learned and was impressed by how aesthetically diverse this sample was. From five decades of composing I now understand a little better why he is considered one of Canada’s most respected composers, while I’m left wondering why, 20 years after the founding of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, the significance of acoustic ecology remains little known in his homeland.

On the following day, I attended an early morning performance of Schafer’s Wilderness Lake, performed by four groups of trombonists situated around the small lake of a nearby park in Stratford. Soprano Brooke Dufton performed from a canoe that navigated around the islands from which we listened and watched. Ms. Dufton also performed wonderfully in one of the wilder music theater pieces at the tribute the night before.


Book Party for Transmission Arts: Artists & Airwaves

transmissionarts_cover.jpgAmong the work of over 150 artists my early efforts in the field of radio, art, and radio art were cited in a new book, Transmission Arts: Artists & Airwaves (PAJ Publications, 2011) by Galen Joseph-Hunter, Penny Duff, and Maria Papadomanolaki.

On Saturday, July 23 Transmission Arts and WGXC: Hands-on Radio (90.7-FM) will hold a book launch with radio art performances. If you are in or near The Spotty Dog in Hudson, New York (I won’t be there myself, but feel free to drop in and tune in).

Visit free103point9 for complete details.

About the book:

Transmission Arts: Artists & Airwaves

(PAJ Publications)

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5-minute Springboard Video Added to Youtube

This evening I uploaded a 5-minute video about the springboard to my youtube account. I made it two years ago with Gretchen Hasse. Please use this link to view:

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Hardware Hacking book release party & concert at Quimby’s

The 2005 Springboard video interview by Gretchen Hasse, was re-edited to 0ne minute for inclusion on the new DVD accompanying the new, expanded edition of Handmade Electronic Music – The Art of Hardware Hacking, by Nicolas Collins.

Nic writes:

The new edition of my book, Handmade Electronic Music – The Art of Hardware Hacking, is out!  Lots of new circuits and illustrations, more examples of artists’ designs, and a DVD with 87 1-minute video clips by hackers from all over the globe, as well as a series of step-by-step video tutorials by me.

Here’s a little reminder: on Saturday, May 2, at 3PM Quimby’s Bookstore (1854 W. North Avenue) is hosting a book release party. I’ll screen some video, sign books, and the Chicago Symphacking Orchestra (CSO) will perform.

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