Balance-Unbalance 2018 New Value Systems | September 20-21

Advances In Eco-sensing and Soundscape: A Virtual Panel 2018 with Eric Leonardson, Dr. Leah Barclay, Alex Braidwood, Lindsey French, Amanda Gutiérrez, and Linda Keane.
15:30-17:00 CEST / 8:30-10:00 CST (Online real time viewing and listening link from Chicago, IL; Brisbane, QLD; Brooklyn, NY; Ames, IA and Milwaukee, WI to be posted.)

Balance-Unbalance 2018 New Value Systems is hosted September 20th and 21st 2018 by The Patching Zone, the City of Rotterdam and partners in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

This online panel discusses several ongoing projects that began under the name “Eco-Sensing and the Soundscape,” a course taught in the fall of 2015 by Eric Leonardson and Lindsey French, at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This studio course connected concepts and applied practices at the intersections of acoustic ecology and the hacking aesthetic of art and technology; opening possibilities for transdisciplinary collaborations and offering new understandings of our environments and our boundaries, locations, and roles within them. Subsequently, numerous collaborations and opportunities have flowed in new contexts and localities. These have grown with support for public engagement in the ecologies of sound, listening, and environment, demonstrating the importance of students and teachers who engage each other as partners in play and learning together, mentoring and activating local communities in the core value of listening. Recognition of this is shifting though it remains if this will be a lasting change with the dynamic and complex circumstances operative now. The panelists joining Leonardson and French are sound and media artists Leah Barclay, Alex Braidwood, Amanda Gutiérrez, and architect Linda Keane. Their individual and combined efforts engage and activate students and public communities in design of urban soundscapes using virtual environments, social codes of immigrant communities, river listening, soundwalking, plant communication, art-science collaborations, and human computer interaction.

The Balance-Unbalance conference brings together artists, designers, scientists, economists, philosophers, politicians, policymakers, sociologists, entrepreneurs and technologists from the world, based on the conviction that greater ecological awareness can be created through joint efforts. The conference focuses on debate, new insights and finding innovative solutions for issues arising from the global climate crisis.

The 2018 theme revolves around New Value Systems. We specifically think of sustainability and social impact as important value indicators. Of course, we will also reflect on the practical, economic and philosophical issues that such new value systems entail. As practical applications, one can think of sustainable retail innovation; social value creation and revitalization of cities; revenue models for creative place makers; the ecological aspects of cryptocurrencies and how to interface new value systems with the current monetary system.

Find the full conference Programme and Proceedings here.

Moving Between Two or More Places | Broadcast Sunday, September 2

Moving Between Two Or More Places, a work for radio airs on Radiokunst – Kunstradio

Sunday, September 2. 11:03 pm – 11:59 pm (CEST) / 4:03 pm – 4:59 pm (CDT)

Listen to the stream online at ÖRF (Austrian Public Radio)

This work for Kunstradio reimagines and reflects the diversity and relationships of acoustic communications I personally hear and create in urban and suburban soundscapes. My recent travels and residencies in Chicago, Austria, and Germany serve both as a theme and a source of sounds. These tones and noises come from simple handheld and handmade electronic instruments, field recordings, and computer-based audio manipulation.

Over a month-long residency at AIR Krems, a week in Augsburg, and early this year, at the Ragdale artists community, I experimented with many physical and digital objects and materials, and even a piano. Featuring prominently are resynthesized sounds of a public address announcement and passing trains in Vienna, fireworks in Krems, and my tabletop experiments with voice, inductors and electromagnetic fields, and a self-built light-sensing oscillator. Piezoelectric vibration sensors on my larynx and pencil amplified the bodily movements of writing and speech. A friend’s accidental cell phone call and long recorded message, made while she walked steadily at 120 bpm, provided a rhythmic, noisy and humorous artifact of everyday experiences in mobility and wireless transmission.

Some sounds conceal their origins once recorded. The idling boat engine on the Danube River could be a low note on contra bass. Cold winter wind blowing through brittle dried burdock in the prairie, with a faraway train horn, offers an odd perspective; such extremes of distal and proximal sounds, recorded in one place at one time, make it seem artificial.

Two summer outdoor soundscapes also appear. Now in Chicago, different species of cicadas produce a whine very similar to electrical transformers and my digital processes. They mix with the flyovers of air traffic approaching O’Hare International Airport. While both are relentless, soon the cicadas will pass. Outdoors in Augsburg, trams, cars, and lawnmowers dominated while I played my oscillators harmonized with the machinery. My newly invented instrument, the Schaschliktstäben Violin leads us out at this piece’s conclusion.

Singing Insects Monitoring Program – Night Out In The Parks 2018

Eric Leonardson's face with Night Out In the Parks text, images, logo Become a citizen scientist with naturalist and insect tracker, Dr. Carl Strang, musician, Rob Frye on birdsongs, and a soundwalk led by me.

Wednesday, July 25 at 7 PM9 PM CDT

Legion Park
3100 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue
Chicago IL 60659

Free and open to the public! All welcome!

Meet at the prairie plant garden south of Bryn Mawr Avenue located between the driveway to Northside College Preparatory High School and the river. Google Map.

Visit Singing Insects Monitoring Program prior to the program to learn some of the calls we’ll be listening for!

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Eric Leonardson, Chris Reilly, Ben Miller at Light Box, Saturday April 28

Saturday April 28 I am honored to perform with local sound artists and instrument makers, Chris Reilly and Ben Miller.

Light Box
8641 Linwood St.
Detroit MI 48206
Facebook Event

This will be our first public performance for us three together. Chris Reilly works with similar devices to my Springboard plus software-based instruments and visual projections. Ben Miller’s estimable achievements in the Detroit/Ann Arbor post-punk scene, and current performance with his self-deconstructed multi-phonic guitar promises to fill out the sonic splendor of this evening. Continue reading

Workshop: Eco-sensing and the Soundscape at Light Box

Eco-sensing and the Soundscape Workshop

Saturday, April 28 at 10 AM – 1 PM EDT

Light Box, 8641 Linwood St, Detroit, Michigan 48206

Facebook Event

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Soundscapes with Stephen McCauley | Interview on World Listening Day

Soundscapes With Stephen McCauley delivers a mix of contemporary classical, electronica, ambient and acoustic music.

12 July 2017 Stephen McCauley interviewed me about World Listening Day 2017 and its theme, “Listening to the ground.” Listen online at until August 9, 2017

“Soundscapes with Stephen McCauley” is broadcast on weeknights on BBC Radio Ulster / Radio Foyle (Northern Ireland). It features various genres of popular music with a brief interlude featuring a field recording mixed in with music.

“Listening to the ground” is the theme devised by Pauline Oliveros who passed away November 24, 2016 at age 84. As a well-known woman pioneer of electronic music composition, improviser, teacher, and founder of Deep Listening, she was a friend and inspiration to many of us. Learn how to participate in World Listening Day 2017.

My interview appear approximately 10 minutes into the show. It includes a field recording I made in Bremen, Germany in 2015. Stephen invites listeners to contact him about sending your soundscape recordings to air on a future show.

Framework Radio #561 the World Listening Day Episode

framework radio #561 WLD 2016So much was happening on World Listening Day last week I couldn’t find time to mention that extracts of one my field recordings are included in framework radio episode #561. Below are words about framework and my recording.

Framework radio is a weekly internationally broadcast program on phonography and field recording. It has been produced by Patrick McGinley since 2002 and is available for listening online as well as downloadable podcast. As World Listening Day is on R. Murray Schafer’s birthday, this episode features parts of his “Winter Diary” broadcast on Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (WDR) and the Vancouver Soundscape recordings. Among other recordings are those by eminent nature sound recordists and arts, including Dan Dugan, Jeremy Hegge, and Ricardo Huisman. Some of these recordings are on Udo Noll’s annual “audio snapshot” of the world specially made of field recordings uploaded on the at the aporee soundmap for World Listening Day. Continue reading

World Listening Day 2016 | Sounds Lost & Found | The 606 Soundscape

606soundscapeFor World Listening Day 2016, I have organized a cohort of teaching artists and musicians who will transform our experience of The 606 & Bloomingdale Trail soundscape in Chicago this Saturday, Sunday and Monday, July 16–18. Events will actively engage in new ways of outdoor listening and sound making. Please visit the 606 Soundscape blog and Facebook Events for the full schedule. Attendance is free and open to all ages.

Along with performances and soundwalks, a global virtual symposium hosted through #SoundCon and the World Listening Project, celebrates World Listening Day 2016 “Sounds Lost and Found.” I give my brief keynote at 8:00 PM (Central time), following Sunday evening’s Sound Treasure Hunt. Watch the live stream via YouTube LIVE.

The 606 Soundscape project is made possible, in part, with support of the Chicago Park District and Trust for Public Lands.

Report from Balance-Unbalance 2016 in Manizales, Colombia

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Jardín Botánica in Manizales, Colombia on Thursday, May 12, 2016

Greetings! Here is some news from Balance-Unbalance in Manizales. Following my “Eco-sensing” talk on Monday, I presented briefly in a large global Live Audio Streaming Panel with Grant Smith on Wednesday. Video of the panel stream is now archived here on YouTube.

We enjoyed discussing our experiences and ideas about real time location-based audio and environmental listening with a large host of brilliant artists and researchers. It was genuinely a global panel with participants from Australia, Estonia, Korea, Japan, England, and USA.

BunB2015data-scienceThursday and Friday at the Universidad de Caldas, adjacent to the Jardín Botánica, we’re having the “Sounding Colombia” workshop led by members of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology: Scott Smallwood and Stephan Moore of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology, and Emmanuel Galvan of the Foro Mexicano de Ecología Acústica (Mexican Forum for Acoustic Ecology), with Grant Smith of the UK-based SoundCamp.

Balance-Unbalance 2016 helps convene people with a great body of knowledge and ideas. We can come together again for World Listening Day: Sounds Lost and Found on Monday, July 18, and through the week of July 16th-22nd, to explore one of most important ways we have to understand and design our world, through soundscape awareness and listening.

All the best,
Eric