© Cheryl Leonard


Of Land and Sea: Exhibition at Center for New Music

Natural Object Instrumental exhibition by Cheryl Leonard at Center for New Music’s Window Gallery

Center for New Music presents the exhibition ‘Of Land and Sea: Natural Object Instruments,’ showcasing Cheryl E. Leonard’s musical instruments made with natural materials including wood, shells, bone, bark, seaweed, stones, sand, and salt. A composer, sound artist and instrument builder, Cheryl E. Leonard approaches the everyday sound of nature in an unusual way. Taking objects sourced from her trips around the world, she brings them together to create unique musical pieces. Antarctic penguin bones and 100-year-old shells, common stones and even sea salt are carefully manipulated to create sounds that eerily reflect the land they came from.

Cheryl Leonard_300Cheryl E. Leonard is a composer, performer, and instrument builder. Over the last decade she has focused on investigating sounds, structures, and objects from the natural world. Many of her recent works cultivate stones, wood, water, ice, sand, shells, feathers, and bones as musical instruments. Leonard is fascinated by the subtle intricacies of sounds. She uses microphones to explore micro-aural worlds hidden within her sound sources and develops compositions that highlight the unique voices they contain. Her projects often feature one-of-a-kind sculptural instruments and field recordings from remote locales. Leonard holds a BA from Hampshire College and an MA from Mills College. Her music has been performed worldwide and she has been commissioned to create works for Kronos Quartet, Illuminated Corridor, and Michael Straus. She has received grants from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, ASCAP, American Composers Forum, American Music Center, Meet the Composer, and the Eric Stokes Fund. Leonard has been awarded residencies at Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Djerassi, the Arctic Circle, Villa Montalvo and Engine 27. Recordings of her music are available from NEXMAP, Unusual Animals, Ubuibi, Pax, Apraxia, 23 Five, and Great Hoary Marmot Music.