Antarctica: Music from the Ice - Cheryl E. Leonard

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Antarctica: Music from the Ice - Cheryl E. Leonard

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Shapeshifters Cinema 567 Fifth Street Oakland, CA 94607

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About this event

Fizzy icebergs, kazooing penguins, glaciers that buzz and burble, snoring elephant seals, and sounds played live on penguin bones and limpet shells: join us for an evening to celebrate the release of Antarctica: Music from the Ice, the latest album by musician, composer and instrument builder Cheryl E. Leonard.

In 2009, Leonard spent five weeks at Palmer Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula as a participant in the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. At Palmer, she made field recordings of ice, water, wind, and wildlife, and gathered rocks, shells, and penguin bones, which she later fashioned into one-of-kind musical instruments. These sound sources are woven together into a set of compositions about the Antarctic Peninsula's dynamic environments and ecosystems, and the profound ways climate change is transforming the region. After 14 years of development, recordings of Leonard’s Antarctic compositions are finally available from Other Minds Records.

Leonard will give a short slideshow about her experiences working with sound at the bottom of the planet and will explain her compositional process, including field recording successes and defeats, instrument-building eureka moments, how to notate snappy icebergs, and techniques for playing penguin bones. This will be followed by a field recording listening session featuring several previously-unreleased recordings of Antarctic birds, ice, and seals. Next, Leonard will perform a solo set of several works from the album. Stick around after the music for informal Q & A and an Antarctic instrument petting zoo, where you can try your hand at making sounds on some of Leonard’s unique instruments.