“if one is truly serious about utilizing space in music, one must configure the performance environment in ways that are inconceivable in a typical concert hall.”

Colin Berry, Wired Magazine, in reference to Audium in San Francisco


I have been creating site-specific spatial soundscores for several years and in 2016 introduced a new model for outdoor, site-specific sound + performance installations called “Sound Gardens”, in which I employ my custom spatial speaker sets to create immersive ecosystems of sound that layer and mingle with existing sounds in nature.  Each speaker plays a different part of the whole piece of music, so that every step, every turn of the head, every bird song and shifting breeze results in a different mix and arrangement of the music. The listener is the “dancer” and their self-guided paths, pauses, and movements are the choreography that is part of the larger “dance” we’re all joining together. (for recent interviews and articles see my press page)

In 2018 I composed, designed, and presented four unique seasonally-inspired sound garden events, one for each season of the year, in four different outdoor locations around the state of Minnesota, my Water Suite.  I specifically chose each site for it’s natural beauty, historical significance, and proximity to an important body of water.  Inspired by the Water Protectors at Standing Rock and around the world, I wanted to create connective, reflective experiences that were situated at the waters edge. Each seasonal Sound Garden featured commissioned site-specific poetry, visual art, storytelling, dance, history, and live performances by the roving Free Range Orchestra & Choir, a spatial ensemble I founded in 2015.
I have since continued to develop the Sound Garden model, composing and designing site-specific works for many locations, as well as re-mounting several pieces, including the Water Suite in new sites for new audiences.

(click link icons below for more about each seasonal sound garden)

WATER SUITE: Four Seasonal Sound Gardens (2018)

Recent Sound Garden Events
(click images for more info)

Other Sound Garden Events

The Sound Garden model celebrates community-sourced, site-specific content, and can include educational and community outreach programs to bring community members, students, or clients into the creation and performance process.  In partnership with local schools, parks, historical societies, libraries, and other arts and community organizations, Sound Garden projects are a unique opportunity for community members to participate across artistic disciplines and learn about site-specific ecology and history.  A good example of this is the Monarch Magic! Art + Nature workshop series at the Nokomis Naturescape Gardens at Lake Nokomis Park in Minneapolis, as part of my 2-year Artist-in-Residence tenure in 2016-2017.  We have done similar programs with free community Art + Nature workshops for the Fall Sound Garden at Manomin Park (2018), the LOLA Sound Garden in Land O Lakes, WI, (2021, 2022, 2023) the Riverside Park Sound Garden (2022), and the Fall Sound Garden at Texa Tonka Park in St Louis Park, MN (2022).

Written Comments / Descriptions from Sound Garden attendees:

“This was moving. I wasn’t expecting to cry. Hope to hear more of your work soon.”

“I felt relaxed, connected. Nice to share space with others in a contemplative way.”

“wonderful venue and fitting composition. loved the photos w/ captions”

“relaxing, reflective, calming”

“I liked when I couldn’t tell where the sounds came from”

“I connected more with nature, feeling more at peace.”

“I feel very calm, in a meditative state. This has been an amazing experience – an opportunity to breathe, take a break, relax to get in touch with my senses, with nature and with myself.”

“It was very calming. It also made me feel like I was in a nature documentary or an indie video game. I wish that everyone could experience this exhibit and I wish that it was permanent because I would come here every day. I’m inspired by your work.”

“A centralizing force, so full of feeling.”

“A beautiful experience. Art makes the world a better place. Much gratitude. Brilliant!”

“Meditative, Spiritual, Grounding.”

“Joyful, Inspiring, Grateful.”

“Peaceful, Magical, Reflective.”