Wednesday July 29
Cheryl E. Leonard natural-object instruments, Japanese bowl gongs, field recordings
will present a set of music inspired by extreme weather. Featured will be the world premier of Threshold, a music and video piece about an Arctic winter storm created in collaboration with Australian visual artist Genevieve Swifte. Shot in Upernavik, Greenland, Swifte’s video peers out through a window at wind-driven snow and an agitated sea. Leonard’s music merges sounds from amplified natural objects, including stones and driftwood, with Arctic field recordings. Together, sound and image evoke tensions between inner and outer, domestic and wild, the human world and the natural world. Leonard will perform several additional pieces including Frozen Over, a work in which field recordings of lakes flanging, thumping, and cracking in Yosemite National Park are augmented by sounds played live on Japanese bowl gongs and rocks. During the last several exceptionally warm and dry winters it has been possible to access areas of the park that normally can only be reached in summer, including the high-country lakes that Leonard recorded. Typically buried in snow during winter these lakes were bare ice in mid-January 2012. Leonard’s eerie composition reflects on these strange weather patterns, which bode ill for California’s water supply, and herald profound changes in the region’s ecosystems.