Soundwalking & Acoustic Ecology | Chicago Parks Foundation

I thank the Chicago Parks Foundation for the interview and post on June 1st, “Soundwalking in Chicago Parks,” highlighting the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology’s Night Out In the Parks soundwalk series, employing local teaching artists with support of the Chicago Park District.

I describe how our thematically-focused soundwalks can serve as immersive, mindful ways to entertain, research, and discover a rich variety of meanings and interrelationships in one’s soundscape.

Soundwalks are free events, held across Chicago by various artists who have relationships with music, dance, socially engaged art and technology, black history, citizen science, nature, and landscape architecture. Teaching artists, many who are alumni of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago,  have their own relationships with the residents of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, and with local staff and volunteers, actively engage residents in the care and use of these parks. Given our focus on the ecological practice of soundwalking and listening, residents gain a unique and enhanced understanding of their soundscape that builds deeper relationships with individuals and community.

Soundwalks In The Parks Series, Summer 2017

It is my pleasure to announce the next set of soundwalks led by Chicago teaching artists, alum of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology. The Summer Soundwalks In The Parks Series kicks off at 5:00 PM on Saturday, May 8 at Ping Tom Park with “A Sonic Taste of Chinatown” led by Amanda Gutierrez. Address: 1700 S. Wentworth Ave. (meet at the Pagoda)

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

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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.

 

Sonified Sustainability: Six Soundwalks on April 27 & 28

Ecology and the arts are focus of Sonified Sustainability Festival

Sonified Sustainability Festival starts April 20 at University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. On April 27 I will lead three soundwalks in Meadowbrook Park and three on April 28 at Busey Woods.

For Illinois News Bureau Arts blog Jodi Heckel wrote:

The festival will conclude with soundwalks in two Urbana parks. Eric Leonardson, a Chicago-based audio artist, will lead walks at Meadowbrook Park and Busey Woods to encourage participants to listen more deeply to the soundscapes of their environments. Leonardson is a performer, composer and sound designer, and a professor of sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The soundwalks will take place at 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. April 27-28. The April 27 walks are at Meadowbrook Park and the April 28 walks are at Busey Woods. They are free, but tickets are required and the walks are limited to 25 people each.

Read the full article. Among the festival’s featured artists are Cooper-Moore, Terry Dame, Geoff Gersh, Bradford Reed who all perform on unique, handmade instruments.

Sonified Sustainability events are open to the public, free admission, and suitable for all ages. Check out the full list of programs.

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.

Chicago ‘Soundwalks’ Ask You To Stop Talking And Listen To Your City | DNAinfo

WFAE, New Journal, New Website

On February 1, 2017 it was my great pleasure to introduce the new issue of a newly formatted WFAE Quarterly News announcing the launch of the organization’s rebuilt website, an active blog, and the publication of the WFAE’s first digital journal, Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology, Volume 15.

Unsilent Night Public Sound Procession Thursday, December 22

Unsilent Night logoJoin us for a community procession of Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night. All ages are welcome.

Thursday, December 22
6-7 pm
End at Cloud Gate
Get sparkly and shimmery and bring your old boom boxes or other devices for playing cassettes or sound files (click the link above for download options).  We will have 10 cassettes for each of the four parts thanks to Parlour Tapes.
Listen and download the mobile app.

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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
847.968.3343
info@brushwoodcenter.org

$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!