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.

Artist Statement and Work Plan submitted May 2017

I was awarded a paid semester leave from my adjunct teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in the first half of 2018, followed by a month in the late spring and early summer, in Krems, Austria, to continue my work performing, touring, publishing, and participation in conferences. My creative work and teaching concerns experimental improvised music and transmission art, with invented instruments, live performance, soundwalking, informed by acoustic ecology and soundscape approaches to sound, listening, and environment.

One work sample submitted is an excerpt from a 14-minute piece created for the GO exhibition, currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, a fixed media audio work embodying the exhibition’s thematic focus, reflecting speed and technology in the 20th Century art. It is the latest among a body of works I have been making since I began working in sound more than 30 years ago. My other sample is a commentary published in the Journal of Radio and Audio Media (2015) about environmental sound and the annual World Listening Day event I have been promoting since 2010.

My work plan at Ragdale will be well served in January and February, the early stages of my leave from SAIC to research, with time to rehearse, write, compose, record, build, and prepare for the subsequent months of production and travel in 2018. My past residency experience at Ragdale have been immensely helpful in this regard. Dorothy’s Studio provides an excellent physical workspace to accomplish this. Ragdale’s prairie landscape offers a reinvigorating environment, ideal for soundwalking, a research method as well as a form of public engagement in the ecological awareness of listening and sound making that has been a major focus of my teaching and creative work. Ragdale’s social and creative community spirit, with its engaged, supportive staff have made past residency experiences positive ones, and so I anticipate this opportunity will be no less than an excellent launch for a year of new growth and development.

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