Elevator Music 45: Neil Leonard—Sonance for the Precession presents a quadraphonic sound installation that explores the orbital journeys of our solar system’s planets. The earth’s precession—it spins on an axis and spins around the sun—causes our vantage points of the night sky to subtly shift each moment as it “wobbles” back and forth on its axis every 26,000 years. In this installation, the approximately 60-minute audio, based on alto saxophone recordings and electronic sounds, advances in circular motion around the listener, sonically animating the elevator and encouraging reflection on the variant rates of planetary orbits around the sun and on our ever-changing place in the universe.
Neil Leonard is a composer, saxophonist and transdisciplinary artist. Leonard’s work includes concerts for ensembles with live electronics, audio/visual installation, and multimedia performance. He maintains active collaborations in Italy, Cuba, Israel, Canada, China, Burundi, and across the United States. Leonard’s sound installations have been featured by MASS MoCA, Williams College Museum of Art, Peabody Essex Museum, Media Lab at MIT, Havana Biennial (Cuba), and the Bahia Biennale (Brazil). Large-scale installations and performances with María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Fujiko Nakaya, Phill Niblock, and Tony Oursler were featured by the Tate Modern, documenta, Venice Biennale, and Whitney Biennial. Leonard is the Artistic Director of the Berklee Interdisciplinary Arts Institute.