White Mountain National Forest Announces 2017 Artist in Residence

Campton, NH June 19, 2017—The White Mountain National Forest and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire are pleased to announce that musician and sound artist Steve Wilkes has been chosen as the White Mountain National Forest Artist in Residence for 2017.

Wilkes will spend three weeks during July and August recording sounds of the Forest and posting them on an online aural map.

Wilkes is a professor of music at Berklee College of Music in Boston, his alma mater, where he has designed core curriculum in Native American Drumming and Studio Drumming Techniques and Applications. He has received a number of awards for his work, including a Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship, and he is a three-time recipient of the Japan Foundation Uchida Fellowship. Wilkes has performed globally — at Carnegie Hall, the National Cathedral, Suntory Hall and Tokyo Opera City, the National Concert Hall in Taiwan, and Petronas Towers Concert Hall in Malaysia. He was a cast member of the Blue Man Group production of Tubes in Boston. From 2010 to 2013 Wilkes recorded sounds on Cape Cod as part of his “Hear Cape Cod” project.

“As a musician, I listen for what intrigues my ear,” says Wilkes. “My work represents an artistic effort to document and archive geographical locations through sound. I’m excited about working with the Forest Service and interested individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage listening to – and recording — the world around us in a musical way.”

In addition to his field ecology and sound recording work, Wilkes will offer several public programs, including workshops that will provide residents and visitors with the tools to contribute to the ongoing sound file collection on the White Mountain NF.

"I am in awe of this opportunity to immerse myself in the act of listening to a National Forest,” he says. “I cannot imagine a more diverse and inspiring soundscape. I hope to be able to express and communicate to others this profound sense of inspiration – and to help everyone slow down a bit, and really listen.”

During his time on the Forest, Wilkes will be hosted by Friends of Mead Base Conservation Center in Center Sandwich.

“After meeting with Steve I am struck by the idea of how sound changes over time and how this project is being done as the Forest turns 100 years old in 2018,” notes Forest Supervisor Tom Wagner. “How will the sounds be different in 25, 50 or 100 years from now? It’s terrific that we will have a sound archive to listen to and learn from.”

“This is a particularly exciting residency for us,” adds Arts Alliance Executive Director Frumie Selchen, “because the work is completely accessible to the public – and because we’ll be able to invite people to participate directly in a real and valuable way not only this summer but into the future. We are really looking forward to having sound archives that can be used by everyone studying


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