Counterstream Radio
Inspect the unexpected
Media on Demand
Browse Music and Interviews
profile image

I'm Listening To

Neil Leonard

Boston, MA            

Leonard is a sound artist, saxophonist and composer. He often performs his compositions for saxophone and electronics with top musicians and folkloric ensembles. Recent sound installations explore how global marketing impacts our listening, and were made in collaboration with bartenders, biologists, street criers and dock workers. For years, he has created projects engaging musicians living in both the United States and Cuba, where art is both a final result, and means to circumvent prohibition. 

Leonard performed and recorded with Terence Blanchard, Joanne Brackeen, Juan Blanco, Alvin Curran, Richard Devine, Vijay Iyer, Robin Eubanks, Phill Niblock, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner, Stephen Vitiello and Amnon Wolman. Leonard composed the music for Relatives, by Tony Oursler and Constance DeJong that was presented by the Whitney Biennial. Leonard’s collaborative works with visual artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons were featured by the documenta 14 (Germany/Greece), 11 Havana Bienal (Cuba), 49th and 55th Venice Biennale (Italy), Museum of Modern Art (NYC).  Recently Leonard collaborated with fog artist Fujiko Nakaya for Fog Ruins, a three month public art installation. Leonard’s latest recording is Matanzas (2017) a 12” vinyl disk published by Akoh.art. Leonard is the Artistic Director of the Interdisciplinary Arts Institute at Berklee College of Music. 

Neil Leonard & Stephen Vitiello At EI

Neil Leonard & Stephen Vitiello at Experimental Intermedia Studio, October 11, 2014.

A new collaboration by Vitiello and Leonard that includes close up field recordings created at Mountain Lake Biological Station in Virginia – saxophone, field recordings, analog and digital processing.

Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

Bar Matanzas @documenta14

Bar Matanzas opening concert @documenta14, June 17, 2017
Neil Leonard – saxophone/electronics
Muñequitos de Matanzas – percussion
Bar Matanzas is an intervention by Neil Leonard and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and that unpacks the design, beverage, and culinary culture of Matanzas, Cuba. The inaugural program included music by Leonard with the iconic rumba group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, who celebrate their 65th anniversary in 9 open air concerts.

Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

Lavender Ruins

Fujiko Nakaya – fog
Shiro Takatani – light
Neil Leonard – sound

Overlook Shelter Ruins at Franklin Park
900 mist nozzles, 38 LED lights, 4 waterproof speakers.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
7pm and 8pm in August, 2018
6pm and 7pm in September, 2018
5pm and 6pm in October, 2018

Lavender Ruins is a sound composition for Fog Ruins, Fujiko Nakaya’s fog sculpture on exhibit at Franklin Park, Boston.

Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

NewMusicBox Articles

Articles October 16 2018 | By Neil Leonard
Sound, Architecture II: Fog, Ruins, and Ellington

Creating sound for a large outdoor installation had been a dream of Neil Leonard's for years. But when the opportunity finally arrived, it was filled with a list of elements...

Articles September 25 2018 | By Neil Leonard
Sound, Architecture, and Necromancy

Neil Leonard is drawn to exploring sound in unusual architectural spaces—locations he finds by accident, through recommendations from friends, and by searching for sites with peculiar histories. This week he...

Articles September 18 2018 | By Neil Leonard
Sonic Cartography II: Questions of Scale

Neil Leonard sought to express something of the wonder he felt, not just experiencing new sounds on site, but also learning the context in which those sounds exist. It led...

See more of Neil Leonard's articles on NewMusicBox.