Illinois News: Soundwalks in Urbana parks put participants in touch with sonic environments

photo

Chicago-based audio artist Eric Leonardson will lead soundwalks in two Urbana parks this week as part of the Sonified Sustainability Festival, to celebrate sustainable practices in the arts. The soundwalks aim to make people more aware of the sounds around them, both natural and man-made. Photo by David Zuchowski

On April 26, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign news posted this well-written online article by Jodi Heckel about my public soundwalks in Urbana parks, all part of the Sonified Sustainability Festival. Thanks go to Jason Finkelman and the Student Sustainability Committee for their interest and support. In coming months look for a video documenting the festival’s artists and their performances. Portion of this will include the Springboard and my concert at Krannert Art Museum with Carol Genetti and Guillermo Gregorio last October.

 

Video: What is a soundwalk?

Amanda Gutierrez produced this short video document of our soundwalks in Chicago parks, to help answer a frequently asked question, “What is a soundwalk?”

What is a soundwalk? from amanda gutierrez on Vimeo.

The Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology’s Soundwalks In The Parks Series continues through October, November, and December. Please join us. These soundwalks are free, open to the public and for all ages; led by teaching artists Amanda Gutierrez, Norman W. Long, and me with support from the Chicago Park District’s Night Out In The Parks program.

We hope you can join us, experience your own Chicago soundscapes, and help answer the frequently asked question, “What is a soundwalk?”

Artist residency program to start along 606 Trail | abc7chicago.com

606 trail ABC7

April 26, 2016: Chicago local ABC Channel 7 News announce artist residency program The 606 Bloomingdale Trail.

Tuesday, April 26: Chicago local ABC Channel 7 News announced I am one of the artists creating cultural programming in the landscape of The 606 park system along the Bloomingdale Trail. My series of events will invite communities to explore urban soundscape awareness through a series of soundwalks, original instrument-making classes, beginning in May and culminating with participation in World Listening Day on the weekend of July 16–18. A schedule will be announced soon through the Chicago Park District’s Night Out In The Parks app.
Continue reading

The GREAT 606 Challenge, April 2

606-logoJoin us for The GREAT 606 Challenge

Walsh Park, 1800 N. Ashland Avenue, Chicago IL

The 606 Trail

The Great 606 Challenge sign and other scenes on The Bloomingdale Trail.

I will be one among many people hosting outdoor activities for all ages The 606 Bloomingdale Trail. My activity is a “sound scavenger hunt.” Register on The GREAT 606 Challenge page to win a collectible prize for completing the challenge. My station is at Park 567, near Milwaukee Ave. and Leavitt St.

Sign up for my mailing list to receive news of future events I will organize on The 606 this year, through the spring and summer, as one of the two inaugural 606 Open Artists-In-Residence.

“The 606” is the system of parks that includes the Bloomingdale Trail and its four access parks. Formerly, the trail was an elevated freight railway line. It was re-purposed into a public park with support from the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Park District and The Trust for Public Land.

‘Our Sonic Playground’ Journal of Urban Cultural Studies

My research article on urban soundscape awareness for the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies is now available online. “‘Our Sonic Playground’: A model for active engagement in urban soundscapes” is part of special section that “…engages with the idea of activating a ‘sonic turn’ in urban cultural studies scholarship, in part through the evocation of the paradigm of critical and participatory citizenship, as well as through critical approaches to understanding how sound and music are implicated in the texture of a city….”
Continue reading

Earth Day at Highland Park Public Library with Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology

Today I am leading a public soundwalk with the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology at Highland Park Public Library. You are welcome to join us. This event is open to all (ages 8 and up) and free to participants.

Saturday, April 18
2:00pm – 3:00pm

494 Laurel Ave, Highland Park, Illinois 60035

Show Map

What’s New For July 2014

Life and art continues to keep me busy well into the summer. This July, or what remains of it has me doing:

  • WFAE President’s Report
  • World Listening Day
  • Invisible Places | Sounding Cities
  • Sounding Out! Podcast #32: The World Listening Update – 2014 Edition
  • Articular Facet Residency at Ragdale
  • 25 Years In Wicker Park, Moving Out

WFAE President’s Report

Every three months, in my role as the President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology,  I write a report the organization’s online newsletter. Please have a look at the July-September issue of the WFAE Quarterly News.

World Listening Day

Friday, July 18 is 2014 World Listening Day. This annual event presents several exciting activities. In Chicago, the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) and World Listening Project (WLP) are happy to have Matthew Griffin, SAIC alum and with the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology, and MSAE member, Norman W. Long leading a soundwalk in Millennium Park. Join us at the south end of the Lurie Garden, at 6:00 pm. Following the soundwalk join us for a reception at ARU studio space, 625 N. Michigan Ave. Participation is free and open to the public. Info:

Saturday, July 19 at 1:00 pm Monica Ryan leads a soundwalk in Miller Woods in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, 15,000 acres of land maintained and protected by the National Park Service, who also observe World Listening Day. Meet us in the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education at 100 N Lake Street, in Gary, Indiana. Parking is conveniently located across the street. Participation is free and open to the public. Please visit the WLP’s World Listening Day post to learn more about what you can do.

Podcast for Sounding Out!

Also on World Listening Day, visit the Sounding Out! sound studies blog and listen to “Sounding Out! Podcast #32: The World Listening Update – 2014 Edition,” a new podcast exploring the themes, concepts, and history of World Listening Day and Acoustic Ecology. This collaboration with SAIC Sound Instructor Monica Ryan and audio producer, musician Tom Haigh presents two leading figures in the field: Professor Sabine Breitsameter from Hochschule Darmstadt (Germany), Professor Barry Truax from Simon Fraser University (Canada), and Raquel Castro co-organizer of Invisible Places | Sounding Cities (Portugal).

Invisible Places | Sounding Cities

You won’t see me in Chicago for World Listening Day because I am participating in Invisible Places | Sounding Cities in Viseu, Portugal, active as an artist and President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, chairing paper sessions. The symposium happens July 18–20. At its conclusion, I’m honored to perform solo on Sunday, July 20 at Misericórdia Church. Check the IPSC program to watch and listen to its live stream.

Dissecting Adam: Articular Facet Residency at Ragdale

I am performing in Julia A. Miller’s improvised opera project, Dissecting Adam on Saturday, July 26 at 4:00 pm. This one-of-a-kind opera work takes place at the Ragdale artists’ retreat in Lake Forest, Illinois.

25 Years In Wicker Park, Moving Out

I’ll try to get to this story a bit later.  🙂

The Arcade | Chicago Curates Columbia: Audio Arts and Acoustics

I recently helped students in Jesse Seay’s sound class use piezo disc contact microphones to build amplified sound sculptures and instruments for public interaction at The Arcade, an exhibition space at Columbia College Chicago. Their handmade electroacoustic creations were very fun and effective. The show runs for one month and closes May 2, 2014.

gallery photo In addition to piezo disc contact microphones, Jesse’s students made many simple light-sensitive oscillators grouped together in a wonderful installation room within the gallery, and in one playful—and soundful—sculptural object.

Urban Soundscapes & Critical Citizenship

LimerickSoundscapes-poster-ForWebUse-900px.jpg

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.

Photos From AUDIOPARC Launch In Laval, Québec

Launch of a series of sonic art events curated by Magali Babin and hosted by Galerie Verticale in Laval, Québec. On Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29 Natalia Petkova performed, with amplified horns transmitting their sounds to handheld, portable FM radios. Jen Reimer and Max Stein collaboratively performed a multi-channel sound composition. Douglas Moffat installed a sound and video work. Following the soundwalks Andra McCartney and I each led on Saturday afternoon, Andra and I discussed our history, ideas, and current activities in soundwalking. Andra McCartney wrote about our soundwalks on her Soundwalking Interactions blog. My talk described the efforts of the World Listening Project and World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.

AUDIOPARC took place around the Métro de la Concorde. AUDIOPARC continues through 2013, and AUDIOPARC is meant to present new and captivating projects with the bold idea to make Laval a playground for the ears. Featured artists in 2013 are Patrice Coulombe and Kathy Kennedy. Photos by Alexis Bellavance and Eric Leonardson. Production: Galerie Verticale

Link to the AUDIOPARC Flickr photo set at http://flic.kr/s/aHsjCSJKtu