Tag Archive | Eric Leonardson

Sounding Out! Podcast #32: The World Listening Update – 2014 Edition

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Listen in as Eric Leonardson and Monica Ryan celebrate World Listening Day 2014 by reflecting on the work of R. Murray Schafer and the World Soundscape Project. Interviewees Professor Sabine Breitsameter of Hochschule Darmstadt (Germany) and Professor Barry Truax of Simon Fraser University (Canada) discuss the impact of Schafer’s ideas and offer commentary on contemporary threads within the field of Acoustic Ecology. How does does Acoustic Ecology help us to think through today’s complex environments and how can listeners like you make a difference?

Co-Authors of this podcast:

Eric Leonardson is a Chicago-based audio artist and teacher. He has devoted a majority of his professional career to unorthodox approaches to sound and its instrumentation with a broad understanding of texture, atmosphere and microtones. He is President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology and founder of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, and Executive Director of the World Listening Project. Leonardson is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Monica Ryan is an instructor and audio artist from Chicago. Currently her work explores spatialized sound recording and playback techniques along with interactive sound environments. She teaches in several institutions in Chicago, including The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College.

Tom Haigh is a British post production sound mixer, composer, and phonography enthusiast, now residing in Chicago. As a staff engineer at ARU Chicago, he works with clients in advertising, media, and independent film.

Featured image: Used through a CC BY license. Originally posted by Ky @Flickr.

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Sounding Out! Podcast #7: Celebrate World Listening Day with the World Listening Project– Eric Leonardon, Monica Ryan, and Tom Haigh

SO! Amplifies: Eric Leonardson and World Listening Day 18 July 2014– Eric Leonardson

Sounding Out! Podcast (#18): Listening to the Tuned City of Brussels, Day 3: “Ephemeral Atmospheres” Felicity Ford and Valeria Merlini

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SO! Amplifies: Eric Leonardson and World Listening Day 18 July 2014

Document3SO! Amplifies. . .a highly-curated, rolling mini-post series by which we editors hip you to cultural makers and organizations doing work we really really dig.  You’re welcome!

On July 18, 2014 all are invited to participate, observe, engage, and celebrate ways of listening with care for our sonic environment in the annual World Listening Day. This year’s theme is “Listen to you!”  But first, listen to Eric Leonardson as he reveals the history of World Listening Day and more to kick off SO!’s third annual World Listening Month.

"Noisolation Headphones" by Flickr user Machine Project, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“Noisolation Headphones” by Flickr user Machine Project, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Five years ago Dan Godston came up with the idea for World Listening Day, inspired by the pioneering work of the World Soundscape Project from the 1970s, and its founder, author, and composer R. Murray Schafer. With a group of Chicago-based sound artists and phonographers we started the World Listening Project, a non-profit organization “devoted to understanding the world and its natural environment, societies and cultures through the practices of listening and field recording.” The impetus for the WLP came from Dan as well; he connected us with Bernie Krause, the musician-turned-bio-acoustician now a global advocate for preserving the disappearing natural soundscapes and the species that make them. The World Listening Project began with a confluence of people interested in field recording, media art, experimental music, and ecology with the potential benefits in using the web to present a global soundmap and recorded archive of the world. Connecting with people like Krause who are concerned with sound in the environment continues to lead to new connections and an expanding network of people from many different disciplines and attitudes.

Dan first broached the idea of World Listening Day as a question. He wrote that it “…might be a good occasion to draw attention to listening practices, acoustic ecology, soundscape awareness, and so on.” He noted that there was already a World Listening Awareness Month. But, its focus didn’t include soundscape awareness. As seems to have happened with Earth Day, we were concerned World Listening Day may be no more than a symbolic gesture for what really needs to be a daily effort.

"Listen" by Flickr user Alper Tecer, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“Listen” by Flickr user Alper Tecer, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

With that unanswerable question hanging, Dan Godston announced the first World Listening Day in June 2010, setting the date as July 18, R. Murray Schafer’s birthday. Through email, the World Listening Project website, and social media, Dan made sure as many people as could were informed. The idea resonated and caught on. At the time I was visiting in Berlin and enjoyed meeting with young artists at their sound art gallery, Berg 26, and their esteemed teacher, Martin Supper. World Listening Day was a perfect vehicle for a project they were already planning. Udo Noll jumped on the idea, too. His radio aporee online soundmap fit right in.

After I returned to the states, the first national conference of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology was held in Chicago. A week afterward, July 18 arrived. Much to our relief and surprise, hundreds of people had responded to Dan’s call for participation, locally, nationally, and internationally. The Nature Sounds and Night Skies Division of the U.S. National Park Service at Fort Collins, Colorado observed it and produced this excellent World Listening Day web page. Each year, Udo Noll creates a special “sonic snapshot of the world” on the aporee.org soundmap site. From Portugal, Luis Antero produces a World Listening Day show on Radio Zero. Public, institutional, and media interest increased in subsequent years. The BBC Radio reported about World Listening Day last year, when I also celebrated with Murray Schafer for his 80th birthday at the Stratford Summer Music Festival, in Ontario.

"Listening" by Flickr user Rare Frequency, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“Listening” by Flickr user Rare Frequency, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In our first World Listening Day podcast for Sounding Out!—SO! has joined in observing WLD by hosting a yearly “World Listening Month” Forum since 2012–  we learned from Pauline Oliveros, the pioneering composer and founder of Deep Listening, that most folks, including cognitive scientists, still don’t know what listening is. We also highlighted how technologies of recording and concern for environments undisturbed by human activity are bundled together in interesting, divergent ways. Tom, Monica, and I are working on a second podcast to debut here on Sounding Out! on World Listening Day on July 18th 2014, that digs into such concepts as “acoustic identity,” “soundscape composition,” and “listener recognizability,” among others we rarely encounter in everyday conversation.

We hope WLD 2014 will involve even more people and organizations who will notice and spread the word on into the future. Most importantly, we work toward the shared realization that everyday should be World Listening Day.

Toward that end, we reprint the WLD 2014 “official” instructions below. Participation in the past four World Listening Days exceeded our expectations. In this fifth year we anticipate even greater activity and interest. here are 15 days remaining to plan a World Listening Day activity—whether individual, group, or social-media oriented—so jump right into the 2014 World Listening Day activities by emailing worldlistening@gmail.com about your plans. Please be sure to include “World Listening Day” in the subject line or download the 2013 World Listening Day participation form here. Thanks!

"His Master's Voice" by Flickr user Beverly & Pack, CC BY 2.0

“His Master’s Voice” by Flickr user Beverly & Pack, CC BY 2.0

You are invited to participate in the 2014 World Listening Day an annual global event held on July 18. The purposes of World Listening Day are to:

This year’s theme for World Listening Day is “Listen To You!” Some questions to consider:

  • How do you make yourself heard by others?
  • How do you listen and what do you hear when you want to be unseen?
  • How might the sounds you produce adapt to your nearby environment?
  • What might a “listening ethic” be?
  • How might such an ethic apply particularly to understanding the relationship between humans and other living creatures?

World Listening Day is co-organized by the World Listening Project (WLP) and the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE). July 18 was chosen because it is the birthday of Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, founder of the World Soundscape Project and author of the seminal book, The Tuning of the World.

WLP and MSAE invite you to participate in the 2014 World Listening Day, on Friday, July 18 and also through the week of July 14th-20th.

Some suggestions on how you can participate and organize may be:

  • A soundwalk or a listening party with people who make, listen, and discuss field recordings.
  • A performance event that explores your soundscape and how we can listen to our sonic environment.
  • A private / solitary way, by listening attentively to your soundscape.
  • An educational event that relates to acoustic ecology, field recordings, or a similar topic.
  • Contact local groups participating in World Listening Day and get involved.

Eric Leonardson is a Chicago-based audio artist and teacher. He has devoted a majority of his professional career to unorthodox approaches to sound and its instrumentation with a broad understanding of texture, atmosphere and microtones. He is President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology and founder of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, and Executive Director of the World Listening Project. Leonardson is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

[Editor’s Note: Both Eric Leonardson and Jennifer Stoever will be speaking at the  Invisible Places Sounding Cities: Sound, Urbanism, and a Sense of Place conference in Viseu, Portugal on World Listening Day 2014.  Here is the website: http://invisibleplaces.org/.]

Featured image: “Dancing Mania @ Mlbk” by Flickr user Lieven Soete, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


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Wayback Sound Machine: Sound Through Time, Space, and Place– Maile Colbert

A Listening Mind: Sound Learning in a Literature Classroom– Nicole Furlonge

Sounding Out! Podcast Episode #7: Celebrate World Listening Day with the World Listening Project

“Press to listen” by SO! Managing Editor Liana Silva

To commemorate this year’s World Listening Day, Sounding Out! is hosting  a forum on different aspects of listening throughout the month of July. (For the full introduction to Sounding Out!‘s Forum on Listening click here.  To read the previous posts in the series, click here.) Our latest podcast introduces readers to an organization that is close to the hearts of the folks at SO!: the World Listening Project, creators of World Listening Day. WLP has chosen July 18th as the day to celebrate listening practices and create awareness of the soundscapes we inhabit because it is also the birthday of composer and acoustic ecologist R. Murray Schafer. You may be familiar with Schafer for his World Soundscape Project. After you listen to our podcast, you can go to worldlisteningproject.org to find out more about how others are celebrating World Listening Week/Day, sign up to show your support, and discover ways you can celebrate WLD. You can also follow along on Twitter via the hashtag #wld2012, follow the official Twitter account of the World Listening Project @world_listening, or like their Facebook page. Listening will never be the same… –-LMS

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD: Celebrate World Listening Day with the World Listening Project

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Co-Authors of this podcast:

Eric Leonardson is a Chicago-based audio artist and teacher. He has devoted a majority of his professional career to unorthodox approaches to sound and its instrumentation with a broad understanding of texture, atmosphere and microtones. He is President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology and founder of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, and Executive Director of the World Listening Project. Leonardson is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Monica Ryan is an instructor and audio artist from Chicago. Currently
her work explores spatialized sound recording and playback techniques
along with interactive sound environments. She teaches in several
institutions in Chicago, including The School of the Art Institute of
Chicago and Columbia College.

Tom Haigh is a British post production sound mixer, composer, and
phonography enthusiast, now residing in Chicago. As a staff engineer
at ARU Chicago, he works with clients in advertising, media, and
independent film.

List of interviewees, in order of appearance:

Dan Godston http://www.worldlisteningproject.org

Jed Speare http://www.studiosoto.org/

Darren Copeland http://www.naisa.ca/

Glenn Weyant http://www.sonicanta.com/

Pauline Oliveros http://deeplistening.org

Viv Corringham http://www.vivcorringham.org/shadow-walks

Hildegard Westerkamp http://www.sfu.ca/~westerka/index.html

Jay Needham http://www.jayneedham.net/

Bryan Pijanowski http://soundscapenetwork.org/

Bernie Krause http://www.wildsanctuary.com/

Udo Noll http://aporee.org/maps/projects/worldlisteningday2012

Luis Antero http://ocoleccionadordesons.yolasite.com/2012.php

Sounding Out! Podcast Episode #4: Within a Grain of Sand

Borrowed from farm5.static.flickr.com .

Today’s entry in the Sounding Out! podcast series is a collection of interviews with sound artists from around the world. Compiled by Maile Colbert, these interviews show as much as they tell, often featuring the artists speaking in tandem with a recorded soundscape. At other moments, however; the soundscapes take on a life of their own as the artist pauses and the sonic landscape breathes.  Although Maile had discussed some of these artists’ work previously in a blog post for Sounding Out! Within a Grain of Sand, this recording seeks to investigate their work in a unique and true-to-form manner. So, listen and learn – about the practice of creating sound art.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD: Within a Grain of Sand

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Here are some brief biographic notes on the contributing artists:

Jen Boyd

“Under the Golden Gate”
Jen Boyd is a sound artist living in Northern CA. She spends time recording sounds in her environment and then arranges them into layered soundscapes. In these pieces, some sounds unfold naturally while others are processed. Although her work mostly relies on ‘natural’ sounds she uses a wide variety of sound sources to paint sonic pictures for the listener. Jen hopes to spark the interest in people of all ages to listen more closely to the environment they live in everyday. If you listen, you can hear some of her recordings on touchradio.org.

Eric Leonardson

“Interview” (feat: recording artists from the World Listening Day)

Eric Leonardson is a Chicago-based composer, radio artist, sound designer, instrument inventor, improvisor, visual artist, and teacher. He has devoted a majority of his professional career to unorthodox approaches to sound and its instrumentation with a broad understanding of texture, atmosphere and microtones. If you are interested in learning more about Eric and his project, the World Listening Project, click this link.

Rui Costa

“Sightseeing for the Blind”

Rui Costa is a sound artist from Lisbon, Portugal. He has been publicly presenting his work since 1998. He is a founding member and artistic director of Binaural. He has performed in many venues and sound art festivals in Portugal, Spain, Italy and the United States.

and the podcast producer, compiler, and contributing artist

Maile Colbert

“Debaixo da Ponte 25 de Abril”

Maile Colbert  is an intermedia artist with a concentration on sound and video, relocated from Los Angeles and living and working between New York and Lisbon, Portugal, and teaching at Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto. She spent the last two years collaborating with the art organization Binaural, and is currently director of Cross the Pond, an organization based on arts and cultural exchange between the U.S. and Portugal. She holds a BFA in The Studio for Interrelated Media from Massachusetts College of Art, and MFA in Integrated Media/Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts. She is currently in production on an interdisciplinary experimental opera based on Portuguese Maritime history, and will release two albums this year.


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