The Nature of Music: Polar Soundscapes with Cheryl Leonard, 6 of 6

Digital Moving Image

Event Type
Other Minds
Program Series
The Nature of Music
Program Length
94 min
6 of 6
| broadcast
| 2016-05-11 | created
The Nature of Music: Polar Soundscapes, featuring Cheryl E. Leonard with Phillip Greenlief. Wednesday, May 11, 2016 7:30pm. Goldman Theater, David Brower Center, Berkeley, CA . This is a 6 part program with 5 compositions by Leonard and a post-performance conversation led by Paul Dresher.

Presented by Other Minds and the David Brower Center as a closing event for the exhibit: Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art 1775-2012.

1. Meltwater, with Phillip Greenlief
2. Sila, with video by Genevieve Swifte
3. Fluxes, with video by Oona Stern
4. Ablation Zone, with video by Oona Stern
5. Glugge, with Phillip Greenlief, video by Oona Stern
6. Post-Performance Q & A with Cheryl Leonard and Paul Dresher

Paul Dresher, (filling in for Charles Amirkhanian) moderates a discussion with Cheryl Leonard and invites questions from the audience. The discussion ranged from working with the natural world while using highly technical resources, to identifying some of the self-made instruments on the stage. Many questions revolved around the field recordings and the process of capturing sounds in nature. Leonard also talks about her musical background and compositional methods, as well as her experiences in the Arctic.

About The Nature of Music:
From the music of Haydn, Dvorak and Messiaen, classical composers have long been using the sounds of the natural world as source material. With the advent of reel-to-reel tape recorders that inspired composers of the musique concrete movement, we could hear sounds slowed down or speeded up to bring new ears to common everyday sources. Along the way John Cage proposed in 1952, with 4'33”, a silent piece for piano, that a listener could create their own concert by simply listening to ambient sounds without altering them, recognizing that they too have form and content. With the advent of personal recording equipment like the cassette recorder, environmental sounds have been recorded, sampled and integrated into composed and improvised music. In 1970, Charles Amirkhanian and Richard Friedman launched the World Ear Project at KPFA in Berkeley. They invited people from around the world to record continuous sound for 15 minutes or longer without alteration. The result was a long-running program in which listeners driving over the Bay Bridge would be mystified by long segments of sounds of a street market in India or frogs and crickets at night in Cayucos, California. The David Brower Center and Other Minds will present complementary concerts for each visual art show in the Hazel Wolf Gallery.
Unconventional instruments
Current Events
Cheryl Leonard, interviewee
Paul Dresher, interviewer
Field recordings
Nature sounds