Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Polar Soundscapes Concert May 11

Cheryl E. Leonard will be performing a set of polar music live next week at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, California. Glugge, an Adfreeze Project piece about the the Arctic Ocean with video by Oona Stern and music by Cheryl Leonard will be one of the works featured in this concert. 

The San Francisco Chronicle published a very nice preview article about the show last week. You can read it here.

7:30pm, $15 general, $12 students and teachers, $5 kids 12 and under
Advance tickets available here

David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

In this closing event for the Vanishing Ice exhibition, Other Minds and the Brower Center present composer, performer, and instrument-builder Cheryl E. Leonard, who will create a concert using Arctic and Antarctic field recordings and natural-object instruments including penguin bones, dried seaweed, ice, and seashells. Leonard, with Phillip Greenlief, will perform works about polar environments and climate change including Meltwater, a delicate and innovative composition produced with icicles. Several pieces with videos by visual artists Oona Stern and Genevieve Swifte will also be performed. A Q&A will follow the concert.

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Our latest Arctic collaboration has received funding from the New York State Council of the Arts.

"Iceline" depicts the Arctic Ocean from the perspective of floating glacial ice. Investigating the boundary between above and below water, "Iceline" is an interactive and immersive installation which provides a portal into the sonic and visual details of this chaotic, beautiful, environment.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Performances and music collaborations

Leonard and Stern have been busy with additional video/sound collaborations, including Adfreeze Project works Glugge, and Moffen, plus two Antarctic pieces, Southern Ocean and Ablation Zone.

These four works were performed at the Soundwave 6 Festival, Innovative Art and Music Biennial, San Francisco CA. Special guest musician Philip Greenlief. July 12, 2014.

See www.musicfromtheice.blogspot.com for information on additional performances of these works.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Ice Notes

At Length magazine has just published "Ice Notes," a set of journal entries, images and sounds collected at two of the sites we visited in Svalbard last fall: Coraholmen and Monacobreen. Enjoy!

Friday, January 6, 2012

LASER Artist Talk, Monday Jan 9, 2012

Cheryl Leonard will be speaking about her polar music (from Antarctica and Adfreeze Project), this coming Monday at the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendevous (LASER) in San Francisco. Come by for a fun and interesting evening of presentations and conversations on art, science and technology.

Monday January 9, 2012
6:30 - 9 pm

Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER)
The University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
Berman Hall
San Francisco, CA 94117

Admission is free but limited. Please RSVP to p@scaruffi.com
More details and schedule: http://www.leonardo.info/isast/events.html#LASER-Jan12

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Our first Adfreeze Project installation, at Kurant Gallery for the Insomnia Future Music and Techno Festival, Tromsø, Norway.
Created from video and field recordings of Monaco glacier, Spitsbergen, Norway.

 Monacobreen (N79°31.14 E12°24.85); audio, video, rocks, paint; 12' x 14' x 14'; 2011. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Bear Facts

I've been sorting through 7000 photographs. That's a lot of visual information. I keep wanting to find the few very best pictures of each of the locations we visited in Spitsbergen. Part of the trouble is identifying what very best itself means, let alone finding those qualities in a single, or small set of photos.

Waiting for the perfect edit has meant blog silence (The perfect is the enemy of the good  my mind whispers to itself). So, while that task progresses I thought I'd post something fun.
   - Oona

•   The Polar Bear   ursus Maritimus
•   maximum size 1000kg
•   sprint speed 60 km/h
•   distance swimmers - 400km recorded
•   principal prey - seal

The presence of polar bears is part of Svalbard's identity. Humans have settled in their territory, and for safety and environmental reasons the residents of Spitsbergen have developed a lifestyle which recognizes this fact. Thanks to the bear's protected status, and a ban on hunting in 1973, there are now estimated to be 3000 polar bears in Spitsbergen. Sign of bear is everywhere.

At the airport you are asked to be considerate of the environment.

The first bear sighting - at the luggage carousel.

An invitation to the northernmost supermarket.
On the stamp, of course.

Everyone who visits Svalbard is given strict warnings that rifles must be carried anytime you are outside the main settlement of Longyearbyen. The only way to protect yourself against an attacking bear is to shoot it. The killing of each bear is subsequently treated like a murder investigation. As a result, every bear shot develops a provenance. Preserved and stuffed bears appear everywhere, provenance often on display.

At the Svalbard Museum.

At the entrance to the post office.

At the entrance to the (northernmost) supermarket

In the (multidenominational) Chruch

At our lodge

When you leave town...

...you are reminded to be aware of bear.

One of our early landings was at the famous Magdalene Fjord, which has been on the Spitsbergen tour itinerary since the late 1800's. It is a very intimate bay with a small promontory which is home to some whale furnace remains, and an old whaler's graveyard. When we arrived, we were not the only visitors...

Each print is over 12"

The bear follows a trail worn down by a century-and-a-half of tourists

Our group of more than a dozen clustered around our rifle-toting guide under orders not to stray, while she investigated the prints for freshness. The other guide hiked up to the top of the moraine to scout the landscape. Eventually the area was declared bear-free and we were set loose to pursue our various projects.

On our journey we did manage to see one live bear, at the Magdalene Fjord in fact.
Blending into the rocky landscape, at a very safe distance.