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


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.


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 2015 Taylor & Francis Offer

WORLD LISTENING DAY 2015Until the end of August, for World Listening Day 2015 the publisher, Taylor & Francis offers free downloads of my article, “Sound and Listening: Beyond the Wall of Broadcast Sound” in the Journal of Radio & Audio Media.

To share your World Listening Day 2015 info use Twitter hashtag #WLD2015.


Sound and Listening: Beyond the Wall of Broadcast Sound

On April 15 my article for Volume 22, Issue 1 of the Journal of Radio and Audio Media was published. “Sound and Listening: Beyond the Wall of Broadcast Sound” describes how World Listening Day engages and educates individuals and groups in soundscape awareness, and the socio-aesthetic potential of radio and audio media for communicating and engaging local and global awareness.

The Journal of Radio and Audio Media is published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

In the Media | Sound experts make art of the noise all around

On January 19 Chicago Tribune, columnist Barbara Brotman published this interview with me.

We discussed urban soundscape awareness, the upcoming soundwalk in Ryerson Woods and concert by Chicago Phonography, on Sunday, January 25, 2015 organized in partnership with the Brushwood Center, Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE), and World Listening Project. If you can pass the pay wall with a digital subscription to the Chicago Tribune, I’m told there is a video interview with me in the online version of the article. The soundwalk and performance was free for public participation. MSAE will report on the event in late February.

Ragdale Residency | January 2015

In January I am honored to be an artist-in-residence at Ragdale, a non-profit artists’ community in Lake Forest, Illinois. The estate includes live-in studios and a 50-acre prairie. My 25-day residency will provide time for many interests. This includes studio work, writing, class preparation, tour planning, and acoustic ecology. I will lead a public soundwalk for the World Listening Project and Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology at the Brushwood Center in Ryerson Woods on Sunday, January 25.

Ragdale 2015

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July 2014 WFAE President’s Report

One of my regular tasks as President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) is reporting for its online newsletter, the WFAE Quarterly News.

Contents of my July-September 2014 President’s Report:

  1. Update on publication of the annual Soundscape: The Journal for Acoustic Ecology
  2. Recent and upcoming conferences
  3. WFAE leadership update and information on operations

In addition to my report, I encourage you to visit the newsletter’s sections on WFAE member’s news, “sound bites” from afield, the feature article, the events and opportunities calendar, and research and projects. As the newsletter is a static web page, please refresh your browser to be sure you are viewing the current newsletter. Past issues are saved and available online, in the WFAE News Archive.

New article published in Leonardo Music Journal 23

Jay Needham and Eric Leonardson performing 'Chronography: animal,' world premiere at the 46th Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, Germany. (Photo ©2012 Katharina Szmidt)

Jay Needham and Eric Leonardson performing ‘Chronography: animal,’ world premiere at the 46th Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, Germany. (Photo © Katharina Szmidt)

Leonardo Music Journal 23 has published “Instruments of Tension: Gramophones, Springs and the Performance of Place,” an article co-authored with Jay Needham. In it, we describe the process and metaphors of our 2012 performance of “Chronography:animal.” This work is based on Jay’s 2009 field recordings from Antarctica and Herbert Ponting’s 1911 photograph of Chris the dog, with sounds produced on Springboard, gramophone horns, and clock mechanisms. Notions of sound in relation to place and history are explored in this work and the article, available to LMJ and Leonardo subscribers.


My New Role In World Forum for Acoustic Ecology

Following “Crossing Listening Paths,” the 2011 World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) Conference on Corfu Island, I became Vice President of the WFAE itself. In late July 2012, I became WFAE President. You can read my reports in the WFAE Quarterly News published online at To read past issues of the newsletter please visit the News Archives.

You can also read about our efforts on our global network of affiliate organizations, by subscribing to the WFAE’s annual print journal, Soundscape: The Journal for Acoustic Ecology.

I participated in the founding conference of the WFAE in August, 1993 at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and co-wrote an article about it with fellow sound artist, Lou Mallozzi. It was published in the since defunct, New Art Examiner in 1994.

The Tuning of the World, NAE article 1994

In August 1993 I attended Tuning of the World, the First International Conference on Acoustic Ecology at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. With around 150 other people I played a very small part in starting the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.

Lou Mallozzi and I wrote an article about the conference published in the New Art Examiner. Here is scan in PDF format for download.

New Art Examiner was based in Chicago, the Midwest’s premiere regional arts journal, publishing from 1973 to 2002.

In October, I began serving as the Vice President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. In 2012 I expect to become President replacing fellow WFAE members Nigel Frayne and Hill Kobayashi.

Visit my Articles & Reviews page to find other writings of mine.