Please join us for this event that aims to bring people together to learn from, awaken, and influence one another. Throughout the evening there will be performances by musicians working at the intersection of sound and ecology. A panel discussion exploring collaborative opportunity and possibility will be at the center of the event, featuring several of the night’s performers in conversation with ecological restoration practitioners, scientists and artists. 

Musical performances by Cheryl Leonard, Jorge Bachmann, The Dutton/Nishi-Smith/Otte Trio, and Secret Drum Band. Panelists include artist Elise Brewster, ecologist Ed West, the San Francisco Estuary’s cartographer Ruth Askevold, and conservation biologist Dr. Claire Kremen. 


6:30pm Act 1 – Dutton/Dunkelman/Nishi-Smith Trio – The Dutton/Nishi-Smith/Otte trio explores the group dynamic through both traditional and extended techniques on acoustic string instruments. 

7 Act 2 – Cheryl Leonard – Many of her recent works cultivate stones, wood, water, ice, sand, shells, feathers, and bones as musical instruments. 

7:45 pm panel presentations and discussion

9 act 3 – Jorge Bachmann – Working across a wide range of explorations, Bachmann’s work is eclectic, going from subtle “musique concrete” soundscapes to analog synth minimalism. 

9:30 act 4 – Secret Drum Band – percussion and noise group from Portland, OR. Driven by five drummers, each song also employs an array of affected vocals, guitar, and synthesizers from noise musicians, often mimicking sounds found in nature.


Elise Brewster is a sculptor practicing in the field of art, landscape, architecture and design. She is currently working on a film called THE BOATRIGHT about a woman re-generating a 47’ wooden sloop, dreaming of sailing into a resurrected ocean.

Dr. Ed West’s areas of expertise include project design and management, ecology and management of rare, threatened and endangered species, single and multi-species conservation planning, and quantitative analysis. 

Ruth Askevold is a Senior Project Manager at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, where she manages the Resilient Landscapes Program. She has provided consultation and developed exhibit content for the Exploratorium and the Oakland Museum of California. 

Carol Maxwell is at the crossroads of ecological restoration, landscape design and artistic imagination.  Her work as a landscape designer has focused on integrating restoration with design specializing in educational landscapes, river islands and freshwater mussels.


Secret Drum Band is a percussion and noise group from Portland, OR, and their debut album, Dynamics, was released on XRAY Records this month. The album’s eight tracks were written in response to locations in the Mojave Desert, logging sites in Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon, and Hawai’i, where composer Lisa Schonberg’s entomology work has helped the native Hylaeus bees attain endangered species status. All pieces are carefully scored by Schonberg and composer Allan Wilson, allowing each musician to realize the complex and intricate arrangements in a live setting.

Cheryl Leonard  Glass shards and pinecones, glaciers, boxspring mattresses, a flock of accordions, circular saw blades, viola, the erhu, hyenas and whales and elk, Cheryl E. Leonard’s music finds its raw materials just about anywhere. From these diverse sources come works that embrace the spectrum of musical possibilities: improvised to composed, acoustic to electronic, diaphanous to bombastic, notes to noise. Over the last decade Cheryl has focused on investigating sounds, structures, and objects from the natural world. Leonard uses microphones to explore the micro-aural worlds contained within her sound sources and develops compositions that highlight the unique voices they contain. Her projects often involve constructing one-of-a-kind sculptural instruments that are played live on stage. She is particularly interested in collaborating across artistic disciplines and developing site-specific works.


Jorge Bachmann is a media artist, experimental composer and curator based in San Francisco , USA. He is also a founder member of MEI.collectiv, a multi-disciplinary group of artists. Since the early 1980’s he has been exploring the strange, unique and microcosmic sounds of everyday life, collecting field recordings and creating soundscapes meant for deep listening. Bachmann AKA  [ruidobello] has exhibited and performed in North America, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and South America. In 2009 he performed his audio-visual piece, Coleoptera, at the 10th Francisco Electronic Music Festival. In recent years he has performed and improvised with the likes of Bryan Day, Michael Gendreau, Mason Jones and Takahiro Kawaguchi.

Dutton/Nishi-Smith/Otte Trio 

Violinist/composer Kristina Dutton works in a wide range of musical settings, moving freely between improvisation, new music, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Conservatory trained, she has performed on more than 30 albums of various genres, appeared with numerous orchestras, and a handful of internationally acclaimed rock groups. In recent years, she also works as a curator, director, and educator. Though her primary work has been in the arts, her background is a unique blend of study and experience in both the arts and natural sciences.

Kanoko Nishi-Smith is an artist currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her primary training is in classical piano performance, with a focus in Contemporary/New Music performance. Kanoko’s most recent interest is improvisational music making, both in a solo context and in collaborations with other artists, on piano as well as on her second instrument, koto (13, or 17-string Japanese zither). She approaches her explorations through various extended techniques in addition to more traditional techniques, widening the range of vocabularies on each instrument and enabling them to adapt to both musical and interdisciplinary situations. 

Adria Otte creates music inspired from a diverse musical background that includes classical violin studies, rock bands, traditional Korean drumming, free improvisation and experimental electronic music. As a multi-instrumentalist, she has performed improvised and composed works on violin, electric guitar in rock bands, and live electronic music in her duo OMMO. As a sound designer and composer she has collaborated with performance artist Dohee Lee, NAKA Dance Theater, as well as video and visual artists.