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WFAE: UP FRONT President’s Report by Eric Leonardson

Eric LeonardsonWelcome and Farewell
Now, as we begin a new year, I begin my report by thanking retiring WFAE members and welcome new ones to the WFAE’s board. I will begin, with this new issue of the WFAE Quarterly News, by welcoming our new editor, Jon Pluskota. He is an engineer, producer, and a recent addition to the faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg. To submit your news or suggestions, contact WFAE Newsletter Editor, Jon Pluskota: wfae.newsletter@gmail.com.

Next, let us welcome Christopher DeLaurenti as the new WFAE Secretary. He is a composer, author, educator, and phonographer with an international reputation. Currently, Christopher teaches at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. Retiring Secretary, Gary Ferrington has turned the wfae.organization@gmail.com address over to Christopher. Both his and Jon’s profiles are on the WFAE Board members’ page.

Let us thank retiring Volunteer Newsletter Staff Gary Ferrington and Meri Kytö. As WFAE Co-Vice President and Contributing Research Editor for the WFAE Newsletter Staff, we thank Meri. She will continue to contribute to the WFAE by concentrating on her work in the Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology, while Vice President Noora Vikman continues working with Treasurer, Nigel Frayne and me. Gary will continue to contribute by maintaining the growing Soundscape Explorations video blog and assisting us with the WFAE website.

Upcoming Conference and Endorsements
The Balance-Unbalance 2015 conference on electronic art and climate change takes place March 27–29, 2015 at Arizona State University. The WFAE endorsed it and as mentioned in my previous report, I hope to be there to participate with many WFAE members. With prospects of cataclysmic change looming near, this transdisciplinary conference envisions the arts as a catalyst for reimagining our current environments.

The WFAE also endorsed the successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign for the completion of In Pursuit of Silence, a new film by director Patrick Shen. It is described as a “meditative film about the value of silence, our relationship with sound, and the implications of living in such a noisy world.” To learn more, visit the In Pursuit of Silence website.

Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology
The next issue of our annual journal should be available sometime this spring. Editor-in-Chief, Professor Dr. Phylis Johnson says we should expect more information to be announced later in January. This may include a Call For Papers. Also know that print copies of our last issue are still available. I am happy to note that its theme is “Music and Ecologies of Sound: Theoretical & practical projects for a listening of the world,” and that this issue has generated quite a positive buzz.

Portuguese WFAE Affiliate
Lisbon composer, author, and educator Carlos Augusto informs me that discussions on forming a new Portuguese WFAE affiliate continue. All signs appear positive. This is consistent with my numerous private conversations and email exchanges with a host of other organizers and individuals around the world, indicating that global interest in acoustic ecology and the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology remains strong. With help from the WFAE Board, these many threads and connections can be followed and cultivated, leading to any number of reactivated groups and brand new associations.

Get Involved
As many WFAE Affiliate renew their annual memberships with the calendar year, now is an ideal time to join or renew. As mentioned in my previous President’s Report, the WFAE welcomes everyone's input to help coordinate and inform the world about the exciting and diverse activities concerning, sound, listening, and the environment. For information on forming an affiliate please visit the Affiliate Organization page and contact us. Remember, it is the affiliates groups who run the WFAE. To learn about and join the abundant, diverse, and inspired activities of our affiliates, please visit the WFAE News section of this newsletter, join our email discussion group, and “Like” our Facebook Page.

Header Photo: "On the Trail: Giant City Nature Trail" from Giant City State Park, Makanda, Illinois (USA) by Kim Pluskota, Artist & Designer.

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