‘Our Sonic Playground’ Journal of Urban Cultural Studies

My research article on urban soundscape awareness for the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies is now available online. “‘Our Sonic Playground’: A model for active engagement in urban soundscapes” is part of special section that “…engages with the idea of activating a ‘sonic turn’ in urban cultural studies scholarship, in part through the evocation of the paradigm of critical and participatory citizenship, as well as through critical approaches to understanding how sound and music are implicated in the texture of a city….”
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Earth Day at Highland Park Public Library with Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology

Today I am leading a public soundwalk with the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology at Highland Park Public Library. You are welcome to join us. This event is open to all (ages 8 and up) and free to participants.

Saturday, April 18
2:00pm – 3:00pm

494 Laurel Ave, Highland Park, Illinois 60035

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What’s New For July 2014

Life and art continues to keep me busy well into the summer. This July, or what remains of it has me doing:

  • WFAE President’s Report
  • World Listening Day
  • Invisible Places | Sounding Cities
  • Sounding Out! Podcast #32: The World Listening Update – 2014 Edition
  • Articular Facet Residency at Ragdale
  • 25 Years In Wicker Park, Moving Out

WFAE President’s Report

Every three months, in my role as the President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology,  I write a report the organization’s online newsletter. Please have a look at the July-September issue of the WFAE Quarterly News.

World Listening Day

Friday, July 18 is 2014 World Listening Day. This annual event presents several exciting activities. In Chicago, the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) and World Listening Project (WLP) are happy to have Matthew Griffin, SAIC alum and with the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology, and MSAE member, Norman W. Long leading a soundwalk in Millennium Park. Join us at the south end of the Lurie Garden, at 6:00 pm. Following the soundwalk join us for a reception at ARU studio space, 625 N. Michigan Ave. Participation is free and open to the public. Info:

Saturday, July 19 at 1:00 pm Monica Ryan leads a soundwalk in Miller Woods in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, 15,000 acres of land maintained and protected by the National Park Service, who also observe World Listening Day. Meet us in the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education at 100 N Lake Street, in Gary, Indiana. Parking is conveniently located across the street. Participation is free and open to the public. Please visit the WLP’s World Listening Day post to learn more about what you can do.

Podcast for Sounding Out!

Also on World Listening Day, visit the Sounding Out! sound studies blog and listen to “Sounding Out! Podcast #32: The World Listening Update – 2014 Edition,” a new podcast exploring the themes, concepts, and history of World Listening Day and Acoustic Ecology. This collaboration with SAIC Sound Instructor Monica Ryan and audio producer, musician Tom Haigh presents two leading figures in the field: Professor Sabine Breitsameter from Hochschule Darmstadt (Germany), Professor Barry Truax from Simon Fraser University (Canada), and Raquel Castro co-organizer of Invisible Places | Sounding Cities (Portugal).

Invisible Places | Sounding Cities

You won’t see me in Chicago for World Listening Day because I am participating in Invisible Places | Sounding Cities in Viseu, Portugal, active as an artist and President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, chairing paper sessions. The symposium happens July 18–20. At its conclusion, I’m honored to perform solo on Sunday, July 20 at Misericórdia Church. Check the IPSC program to watch and listen to its live stream.

Dissecting Adam: Articular Facet Residency at Ragdale

I am performing in Julia A. Miller’s improvised opera project, Dissecting Adam on Saturday, July 26 at 4:00 pm. This one-of-a-kind opera work takes place at the Ragdale artists’ retreat in Lake Forest, Illinois.

25 Years In Wicker Park, Moving Out

I’ll try to get to this story a bit later.  🙂

The Arcade | Chicago Curates Columbia: Audio Arts and Acoustics

I recently helped students in Jesse Seay’s Sound Art Electronics class use piezo disc contact microphones to build amplified sound sculptures and instruments for public interaction at The Arcade, an exhibition space at Columbia College Chicago. Their handmade electroacoustic creations were very fun and effective. The show runs for one month and closes May 2, 2014.

In addition to piezo disc contact microphones, Jesse’s students made many simple light-sensitive oscillators grouped together in a wonderful installation room within the gallery, and in one playful—and soundful—sculptural object.

Urban Soundscapes & Critical Citizenship

LimerickSoundscapes-poster-ForWebUse-900px.jpg

I will be giving a presentation in Urban Soundscapes & Critical Citizenship, March 27th and 28th, at the University of Limerick. Titled “Our Sonic Playground: A Model For Active Engagement in Urban Soundscape,” my focus will be on recent events that engage public participation actively in the urban soundscape.

Urban Soundscapes and Critical Citizenship poster (PDF)

In particular, I plan to talk about last October’s event at the Museum of Contemporary Art, in partnership with the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) and students from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). I will review MSAE partnerships and public engagements with the Gropius in Chicago Coalition and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

“Our Sonic Playground” may serve as a model for much needed future active engagements, and help to define acoustic ecology as an applied practice. These activities suggest ways to partner with like-minded organizations, including public agencies and the public at-large; as well as artists, students, activists, and other constituencies and disciplines.

Photos From AUDIOPARC Launch In Laval, Québec

Launch of a series of sonic art events curated by Magali Babin and hosted by Galerie Verticale in Laval, Québec. On Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29 Natalia Petkova performed, with amplified horns transmitting their sounds to handheld, portable FM radios. Jen Reimer and Max Stein collaboratively performed a multi-channel sound composition. Douglas Moffat installed a sound and video work. Following the soundwalks Andra McCartney and I each led on Saturday afternoon, Andra and I discussed our history, ideas, and current activities in soundwalking. Andra McCartney wrote about our soundwalks on her Soundwalking Interactions blog. My talk described the efforts of the World Listening Project and World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.

AUDIOPARC took place around the Métro de la Concorde. AUDIOPARC continues through 2013, and AUDIOPARC is meant to present new and captivating projects with the bold idea to make Laval a playground for the ears. Featured artists in 2013 are Patrice Coulombe and Kathy Kennedy. Photos by Alexis Bellavance and Eric Leonardson. Production: Galerie Verticale

Link to the AUDIOPARC Flickr photo set at http://flic.kr/s/aHsjCSJKtu

Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology 2011 Winter/Spring Schedule

I have organized a monthly series of meetings for the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, featuring three public presentations by Jay Needham, Viv Corringham, and Steve Jones. Please bookmark and return to the 2011 Winter/Spring Schedule page as I will update it when more details become available: https://mwsae.org/?p=1198

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Alt_tech: CEC—eContact! 12.3 – Instrument – Interface

Handheld Audio Art Devices, article published in June at http://cec.concordia.ca/econtact/12_3/

eContact! is the Canadian Electroacoustic Community’s (CEC) online journal of electroacoustics launched in May 1998 as the successor to its print journal, Contact! …published four times a year in French and English. Guest editors have been invited to coordinate one issue per year. Articles, reviews, interviews, commentaries and analyses are featured in the journal, supported by audio and video files. All freely available to the public.

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Invitation to WFAE Conference in Koli, Finland

Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology website imageI’m happy to announce that I have been invited to present in the International Conference of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, “Ideologies and Ethics in the Uses and Abuses of Sound”, hosted by the University of Eastern Finland, Cultural Studies Department and the Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology (FSAE). The conference will happen on June 16-19, in Koli, Finland.

My presentation proposal concerns the recent activities of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE).

Confirmed invited and keynote speakers are (in alphabetical order):
Steven Feld, Charles Hirschkind, Bruce Johnson, Anahid Kassabian, Andra McCartney, R. Murray Schafer, Barry Truax and Hildegard Westerkamp. Continue reading

Sonic Playground, August 25

Sonic Playground with Eric Leonardson

An interactive music performance using the new Lake Crescent playground. Curated by Inferno Mobile Recording Studio.

Tuesday, August 25
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Admission Free
Location :

Lake Crescent #532
1061 E. 41st Street
Chicago, IL 60653
Phone: 312-747-6446


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About the Park District’s Concerts in the Parks series:

Join Eric Leonardson in sonically activating the Lake Crescent Playground. This event is a part of the Park District’s “Concerts in the Parks” series, offering Chicago families a fun, affordable way to spend an evening in their own community. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, but prepare to play and listen to the playground in a totally different way. All concerts are FREE!

playground 532

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