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.

Farm-to-Fork Dinner Waste Not, Want Not on May 18

image of sprouting seed

Ryan Griffis and Sarah Ross, Research photograph for A Great Green Desert, 2016.

I am serving up some sounds for a special dinner on Thursday, a part of the exhibition The Earth Will Not Abide. Nourish your body and feed your mind with conversation around the politics of sustainability. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017 – 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Gallery 400
400 S. Peoria St.
Chicago IL

Sorry, the RSVP has closed. Please see the exhibition and consider attending the upcoming forum, This Land/That Land Symposium.

The dinner will explore topics of food waste and our collective relationship to agriculture. Nourish your body with a farm-to-fork prepared meal by Chef Abra Berens and feed your mind with conversation around the politics of sustainability. More…

Quantum Monk II with Fujima Yoshinojo a.k.a. Rika Lin at Links Hall

Photo from a scene during “Quantum Monk II,” my performance collaboration with Fujima Yoshinojo, a.k.a. Rika Lin and company on Saturday, April 22 at Links Hall at Constellation Chicago.

Quantum Monk II with Eric Leonardson #linkshall #beyondthebox #quantummonkII

A post shared by Fujima Yoshinojo (@fujima.yoshinojo) on


Quantum Monk II was part of the Beyond the Box performance series curated by Rika Lin, Beyond the Box continues through May 2017.

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

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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Sound Performance with Softday at High Concept Labs

Tonight I am happy and honored to join the sound art duo Softday from Ireland in their first Chicago visit and live sound performance.

  • Friday, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
  • High Concept Labs
    2233 S. Throop Street, Chicago, IL
  • $10

The event is held in collaboration with High Concept Labs and will take place in their studios at Mana Contemporary (2233 S. Throop, Chicago, IL). Entrance and parking is on the east side of the building. For questions regarding accessibility, please call 312-850-0555.

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.

Share the Facebook Event

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!

Sudden Sound Concert | Krannert Art Museum

Eric Leonardson Springboard Trio performs a 7:30pm concert with two of Chicago’s most creative musical performers, Carol Genetti and Gregorio Gregorio on Thursday, October 20 in the Sudden Sound Concert Series at Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois. Facebook Event.

Artists’ Biographies

carol genetti photo by dan mohr

(photo by Dan Mohr)

Carol Genetti is a Chicago-based vocalist whose work extends to sound and visual art media. Her palette is primordial, existing in a space where language and music have yet to be formed and formulated into familiar cultural patterns. Genetti’s aesthetic is one of raw power, yet also delicate, subtle, and precise. An exquisite soloist, she is often also heard in the company of other improvising musicians. She has been performing in North America and Europe, mostly as a vocal improviser, mostly in collaborations with other musicians, including Jack Wright, Eric Leonardson, Bob Marsh, Peter Maunu, Olivia Block, Andrew Clinkman, Katherine Young, Jon Mueller, Albert Wildeman, and Jim Baker. Learn more at carolgenetti.com.

Guillermo Gregorio 2015

Guillermo Gregorio, 2015

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1941, American composer and clarinet player Guillermo Gregorio has lived variously in Europe and the United States since 1986. He has performed extensively, and his compositions have been recorded on numerous CDs by the Swiss label hatART and the American labels New World Records, Atavistic, and Nuscope, among others. His works have been played by noted New Music ensembles in the USA and Europe. In addition, as an instrumentalist, Gregorio has worked with many experimental and improvisational groups, including those that recorded the music of Cornelius Cardew, Anthony Braxton, and Philip Corner, among other contemporary composers. As a visual artist and designer painting and graphic design has a central influence in his music. Learn more at ggregorio.com.

Eric & springboard

(photo by Noé Cuéllar, 2010)

Eric Leonardson is an audio artist who performs with the Springboard, an instrument built by the artist to explore the sonic potential of coil springs and other materials and amplified by a piezo disc contact microphone.

An invitation to new music performances and explorations of Chicago park soundscapes.

I’m happy to share a bundle of news about my fall season events, starting this week!

These include debut performance of the Eric Leonardson Springboard Trio and soundwalks hosted by the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, Night Out in the Parks 2016 Partner. Here’s a list. I hope you will join us, listen, share, and enjoy.

Upcoming Performances and Events

This week and next, two concerts debut the new Eric Leonardson Springboard Trio featuring Guillermo Gregorio (b♭ clarinet) and Carol Genetti (voice, objects) with yours truly (springboard, electronics).

Friday, Oct 14 7-8:00 PM at William Harris Lee & Co. in the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 560. The entrance is to your right as you step out of the elevator. Following our set is another by Ampyre (Mimi Wallman and George Matt Bowles) at 8-9:00 PM. Admission free. Facebook Event

Thursday, Oct 20 7:30-8:30 PM Sudden Sound Concert at Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois. Admission free.

Friday, Oct 21 Leading soundwalks and listening exercises for public school children with Deirdre Harrison of The Lucky Trikes and Jason Finkelman. This is a prelude to the Sonified Sustainability Fest 2017 happening next spring in Champaign-Urbana.

Sunday, Oct 23 1:00 pm–2:00 PM Fusion at Hinsdale Public Library, “a signature event…to open eyes and minds,” finds me presenting the Springboard and handmade electronic instruments.

Soundwalks In The Parks

This year, Amanda Gutierrez, Norman W. Long, and I are leading lead soundwalks for Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) in Chicago parks across the city. With support of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out In The Parks program, MSAE is partnering with the World Listening Project, West Ridge Park Advisory Council, EleVarte Community Studio, and Yollocalli Arts Research, among others. Dates, times, instructors and/or programs are subject to change, please call 773-342-5012 for the most up-to-date information. Please use #MyChiParks and #InTheParks hashtags for social media sharing.
download & share NOITP 8.5x11 soundwalk flier (PDF)

Saturday, Oct 29 3:30–5:00 pm MSAE Soundwalk in Washington Park, 740 E. 56th Place. With Norman W. Long, meet in the Sculpture Garden at DuSable Museum.

Wednesday, Nov 2 7:00–8:00 pm MSAE Soundwalk in Dvorak Park, 1119 W. Cullerton St. With Amanda Gutiérrez*, meet at Fieldhouse. Celebrating Dia de Muertos with ElevArte Community Studio.

Sunday, Nov 20 MSAE Soundwalk Brushwood Center/Ryerson Woods. Details TBA.

Dec 11 1-2:00 PM MSAE Soundwalk West Ridge Nature Preserve, with Eric Leonardson. More info TBA.

Dec 17 MSAE Soundwalk Washington Park, with Norman W. Long. More info TBA.
In closing, I would also like to mention Norman’s post-World Listening Day, personal reflection on the importance of soundwalks, in soundscape awareness and placemaking.
I hope to see you some of the events. If you would like to book a performance by me or the trio, host a soundwalk, or subscribe to my newsletter, let me know. Thanks!

Kind regards,
Eric