FIRN CD notes:
NETHER, for Bb clarinet and foghorns
Clarinet explorations of multiphonics and microtonal pitchbends are blended with computer-manipulated recordings of foghorns on the Golden Gate Bridge. Standing on the bridge in the fog, right above the horns, the strength of the vibrations is nearly a portal.
TOPOS, for glass
Inspired by the icy landscapes, both real and imagined, of alpine and polar regions, the sounds of glass are sculpted into aural topographies. Recordings of found and constructed glass instruments (wind chimes of broken shards, window panes, gallon cider jugs, cubes of shattered safety glass, airplane-sized liquor bottles and more) were examined and processed via computer to generate these ambiences.
TRUCK, for mutated truck engine sounds
A turbulent foray inside the engine of an ancient truck. Parked in my neighborhood, this vehicle was only started once a week- when its owner had to move it for street cleaning or be subject to a $33 ticket. I recorded the rasping, hacking engine and then played with the rhythmic and textural details of its voice. Yes, the digital distortion is intentional.
THE MAKING SMASHING MACHINE, for sounds from docks, ships, glaciers, and icebergs, plus viola
This is a live recording from an interactive sculpture: a large concrete pod-like structure that visitors would enter one at a time. Once inside, their motions triggered and influenced the structure of computer-controlled music emitted from 4 internal speakers. These interactive musical elements were accompanied by live improvisations on viola.
FOCALIZATION ONE & FOCALIZATION TWO, for computer-processed boxspring mattress sounds and viola
Music for a Butoh dance in which elements of the past are studied. What the process of tuning-in, across space and time, to a specific location and event sounds like.
DREAM ABOUT FLYING, for 14 accordions
Cheryl Leonard and Morgan Guberman- accordions
Breathing, floating, flying, gasping, groaning, lilting... on a ship, on a swing, in a hammock... through the air, underwater, in space? When performed live, the accordionists are suspended from the ceiling above the audience and swing slowly back and forth as they play.
CHERYL E. LEONARD is a composer, performer, improviser and instrument builder. Raw materials for her works can come from just about anywhere and result in pieces that embrace the spectrum of musical possibilities: improvised to composed, acoustic to electronic, diaphanous to bombastic, notes to noise. Many of Leonard’s works explore subtle textures and intricacies of sounds not generally considered musical, and often include the creation of instruments from found natural materials. Her other interests include collaboration across artistic disciplines, and developing site-specific compositions and instruments. In addition to developing her own projects, she has written numerous soundtracks for film, video, dance and theater, and has designed sounds for exhibits at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.
Cheryl holds a BA from Hampshire College and an MA from Mills College. Her music has been performed worldwide, and her compositions for natural-object instruments have been featured on several television programs and in the video documentary "Noisy People." She is the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, the American Music Center and Meet the Composer. Leonard’s commissions include works for Kronos Quartet, Illuminated Corridor and Michael Straus. She has been awarded residencies at Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Villa Montalvo, the Arctic Circle and Engine 27. Recordings of her music are available from NEXMAP, Unusual Animals, Ubuibi, Pax, Apraxia, 23 Five, The Lab and Great Hoary Marmot Music.