Gallery Reception: Cheryl E. Leonard’s “Wilding”

Thursday, April 18, 2024 — 6:00 PM
Tickets: Free!
Buy Tickets Online

Cheryl E Leonard presents a set of new instruments fashioned from objects found in nature as well as graphic scores meant for use with the instruments!

Reception with light refreshments starts at 6 followed by a talk/demo at 7 by Leonard.


Artist Statement

In “Wilding,” newly-conjured musical instruments of wood, bone, shell, seaweed, and stone are combined with an assortment of graphic scores I have developed over the last two decades. Rooted in first hand explorations of untamed and re-wilded places – from the remote polar regions to right outside my front door in San Francisco – these sculptural instruments and notation experiments are part of my ongoing attempts to untangle how I can best duet with environments and ecosystems, to merge music and wilderness.

Constructed out of materials gathered in California and Norway, the instruments evoke fantastical flora and fauna. From clear, pitched tones to gritty, textural noises, these creations produce a wealth of unique timbres, tones, and ambiances when played with various techniques and amplified via microphones. In order to articulate how to produce these unusual voices and enable musicians to perform my compositions, I have invented my own systems of graphic notation. “Wilding” showcases approaches to scoring that I have experimented with while I working with natural-object musical instruments since the early 2000s.

Included are: timelines packed with intricate graphic symbols, recipes for improvisations, abstract gesture diagrams, and asemic calligraphies.

Artist Bio

Cheryl E. Leonard is a San Francisco-based composer, performer, field recordist, and instrument builder whose works investigate natural sites and ecosystems, and human relationships to them. She uses microphones and amplification to explore sonic intricacies, highlighting unique voices and soundscapes while addressing environmental issues. Her projects often feature sculptural natural-object instruments and field recordings from remote locales. Leonard’s musical research has taken her to a wide range of wilderness areas, including Antarctica and the Arctic. Her works have been presented in concerts and art exhibitions in the Americas, Europe, Japan, and Australasia. Grants awarded include the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, American Music Center, American Composers Forum, and ASCAP. Commissions include works for Kronos Quartet, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Funsch Dance. Leonard has contributed to several publications about music and sound art. Her recordings are available on Other Minds, mappa, Gilgongo, Rural Situationism, and numerous other labels.

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