Tag: nature

It’s A MagiCicada Fest Across the Midwest!

For the first time since 1803, two broods, or groups of periodical cicadas, are emerging simultaneously. Both broods will appear in Illinois and Iowa, allowing residents of Cook and Lake counties to hear this unique sonic event! June 9 at Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area 

Soundwalks at Severson Dells Nature Center

Soundwalks at Severson Dells Nature Center


Sounds of Spring: Science Saturday on April 6, 10am-2pm; Soundwalks with Alex Braidwood, Deirdre Harrison, Eric Leonardson, & Jakob Heinemann

Saturday, April 6, 2024 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Severson Dells Nature Center
8786 Montague Road
Rockford, IL 61102
Phone: 815-335-2915

The Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) is excited to be a community partner with Severson Dells Nature Center in its monthly Science Saturdays event. Join us for three soundwalks by Alex Braidwood, Deirdre Harrison, and Eric Leonardson at 10:30am, 11:15am, and 12:30pm.

We facilitate active engagement with our ecosystems by way of immersing in the sonic landscape. MSAE explores questions such as: What is a “soundscape”? How do we make them and, conversely, what do they tell us? How does deep listening change our relationship with the acoustic environment?

On the first Saturday of each month Severson Dells features free community activities and exhibits! Science Saturdays are designed for all ages and all levels of science knowledge. Join us for this fun and FREE event! No registration required.

About the Soundwalk Facilitators

Alex Braidwood is a sound artist, media designer, educator, and MSAE board member. He is currently Associate Professor in the College of Design at Iowa State University where he is faculty in the Graphic Design department, Masters in Design for Sustainable Environments program, and the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) program. Alex is also faculty at the Iowa Lakeside Lab biological field research station where he teaches the Acoustic Ecology field study course, attended by students in the sciences as well as the arts. The course studies the soundscape and the impact of anthropogenic noise on local prairies, wetlands, and forests over time. Also at Lakeside Lab, he is Director of the Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program, which focuses on bringing artists from around the world working at the intersection of art, science, and nature to the field station to embed with the Lab and create their art. Read Alex’s full bio here.

Deirdre Harrison is a performing artist and director, MSAE member, treasurer of the World Listening Project, and CEO of Big Dipper Projects, a consulting firm that specializes in interim nonprofit leadership, strategic planning, systems retooling, fundraising, event production, and storytelling. With over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Deirdre has helped transform organizations with mission-driven programs, fiscal sustainability, and community impact. She has a proven track record of collaboratively leading turn-around efforts, surpassing revenue goals, building strong partnerships, and fostering effective teams. Read Deirdre’s full bio here.

Jakob Heinemann is a new MSAE board member and a multidisciplinary American-Jewish artist, working in the areas of sound art, free improvisation, avant garde composition, photography and acoustic ecology. Much of his work centers on sonic communion as a means of cultural exchange and solidarity, using sound to understand the community and environments we inhabit as well as our relationships therein. As a double bass player, Jakob frequently performs freely improvised music, and counts himself as a member of the rich and varied community of creative musicians in Chicago, Illinois. As a composer and sound artist, he utilizes field recordings, spectral analysis, and traditional scoring to sonify his local community, seeking to document and understand a sense of place in a radically changing environment. Read Jakob’s full bio here.

Eric Leonardson, a Chicago-based audio artist, serves as co-founder and President of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology. He is Associate Professor Adjunct in the Department of Art and Technology / Sound Practices at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). As a performer, composer, and sound designer, Leonardson created sound with the Chicago based physical theater company Plasticene (1995–2012). Leonardson served as a co-founder of the World Listening Project and, since 2008, as its president and board chair from 2015 until 2021. From 2012 to 2023 he served as President of the World Forum for Acoustic ecology. Since 1994, Leonardson performs locally and internationally with the Springboard, a self-built instrument made in 1994 and often presents on acoustic ecology to new audiences. Read Eric’s full bio here.