In 2016, our student Green Fund helped Sonified Sustainability Festival put together an ecological music and arts celebration. Last year, Sonified was a huge success with Ken Butler’s Hybrid Vision. For 2017, Sonified will host an event on Earth day similar to last year plus new special additions. This year the artists will play their own set, and at the end they will collaborate their music together in one performance. This is special because we will get to see a mesh-up of repurposed instruments and more tech music. Furthermore, Sonified added a new Soundwalk series with Eric Leonardson at Meadowbrook Park and Busey Woods.
Jason Finkelman, the coordinator for Sonified, gave me a little glimpse of Soundwalks just in his own office. We stopped all conversation and everything we were doing to listen to all that was happening around us. The room was chattering with computer engines, the wind seeping through the cracks of the windows and the heavy inhales of our breaths. We took the time to listen to the deeper sounds of our surrounding environment.
For almost 30 years, Jason has been involved with the African-Brazilian music, which got him intrigued in recycled or repurposed instruments. The idea of Sonified Sustainability is to show that music can be made from any material. Artists have gotten really creative with the materials they used in the past. Jason knew an artist who made snow shovels into a drum set, and integrates street signs into different designs. The design of the instrument is an art form in itself. The repurposed instrument can be made at a low-costs, so anyone can explore their musical talent.
Music unites a diverse crowd in the Champaign-Urbana community. You should expect to see the arts and media students, local artists, environmentalists, food traffic attendees, and grade-school and high school students. There will be a feature of live music and interactive art making with recycled or repurposed materials that focuses on the sustainability in the arts.
Here is a video of last year’s event: