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avatar for Eric Leonardson

Eric Leonardson

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Adjunct Associate Professor Sound
Greater Chicago Area

Eric Leonardson is a Chicago-based composer, radio artist, sound designer, instrument inventor, improvisor, visual artist, and teacher. He has devoted a majority of his professional career to unorthodox approaches to sound and its instrumentation with a broad understanding of texture, atmosphere and microtones.

Leonardson's interest in creating new sounds for performance and studio composition led to the invention of the Springboard, an electroacoustic percussion instrument made from readily available materials. Its sounds belie its humble origins, thanks to the rich enharmonic timbres of bowed coil springs and the curious sound of the crude wooden daxophones-all amplified by a single, inexpensive piezoelectric contact mic. Leonardson's music resists categorization. Evoking a range of associations, his work was once described as "...ritualistic music, electronically synthesized industrial vibrations miraculously created with ordinary household objects...."—Carol Burbank, Chicago Reader

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