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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. 

Articles by Neil Leonard:

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...

Articles September 11 2018 | By Neil Leonard
Sonic Cartography

Town butchers singing traditional tavern songs? Cuban street criers advertising their wares with vocal shouts? Sometimes the naïve ear of a traveler, through curiosity or serendipity, can investigate sounds that...